As the days and years go on, we are demanding more from our employees - everything from innovation to engagement to productivity. It's okay to want this, as an organization, but as leaders, we need to create an incredible culture that promotes well-being in order to keep good people.
Did you know that employees with a strong overall well-being (per Gallup) are 81% less likely to seek out new jobs and 2 times as likely to adapt to change?
And - this is crazy - did you know that 41 million people voluntarily quit their jobs in 2018, according to the Society for Human Resource Management?
So how can we, as leaders, achieve bottom-line benefits? The best thing we can do for our employees is to create a well-being strategy that helps the workforce thrive - which will force you to rethink how you approach employee well-being, understand what your employees want and offer them techniques to put them in control.
The first thing to understand is that although physical health is important, there are emotional, financial and social dimensions as well. Employee well-being is not just a set of "wellness" programs, but a comprehensive approach where their quality of life is prioritized and supported by the company’s culture. Gallup did extensive research on the workplace elements of well-being: social, physical, community, financial and career, and found that all elements are interrelated. The relationship between all five elements makes sense - If your career is great and you have high engagement, you’re more likely to connect with co-workers and form strong social bonds, and THEN that element rubs off onto others.
Employees with higher well-being produce substantially higher business results - isn't that what we want as leaders of organizations?
Each business has many parts (just like our bodies), and each person is a valuable asset that needs to be prioritized, in terms of well-being. The more healthy and engaged your people are, the further your business will go.
What Employees Want and Need Most
So, what do employees want? ASK THEM! In recent surveys about life today, employees have stated that emotional/mental well-being (80%) followed by physical and financial well-being (both at 79%) are most important. Work-related issues are among the highest for stressors of employees, stating that heavy workload or company restructuring (especially without proper communication from management), has led to anxiety, depression and heart disease.
This is why it is SO important for companies to invest in quality programs and offer techniques on reducing stress and overcoming burnout. Employees will want to stay at companies longer (increased loyalty), which will reduce turnover rates, when organizational leaders take the time and put forth the effort to take care of their employees.
Here are a few tips to assist with improving well-being in the workplace:
1. Have a fitness challenge to breed healthy competition and friendships
2. Encourage employees to take their FULL lunch breaks, AWAY from their desks
3. If a parent has a sick child, don't question - let them go home and care for them!
4. Allow remote days to renew focus and remove distractions
5. Encourage journaling and meditation practice
People are appreciative when you respond to their needs! So in what area is your company lacking? Do you truly know what your employees need? Do you know if they are overloaded, stressed, anxious? If not, stop NOW. Get a strategy in place for a solid employee well-being program. Provide them with tips on the physical, mental and financial areas of their lives. Take a load off their shoulders so they can carry your company through and improve the bottom-line.