One of the things that employees look for in a job is doing something that they enjoy and that allows them the ideal work-life balance. This isn’t just about cutting down on overtime or avoiding taking work home, it’s also about whether employees feel as though their workplace is a positive and nurturing environment.
Promoting employee well-being is increasingly being recognised as one of the most important things an employer can do to minimise staff turnover, increase productivity and create a workplace where individuals are encouraged to thrive.
What is employee well-being?
On a simple level, well-being is about ensuring that everyone is as happy as possible. Given the proportion of their time that most people spend work, there are a number of different factors which can make a big difference as to whether they feel their safety, health and happiness are important to their employers.
Workers who enjoy their work are more likely to exceed their employer’s expectations and meet higher performance standards than those who are dissatisfied with their jobs. Similarly, employers who recognise the importance of actively promoting well-being amongst their staff will reap benefits beyond the immediate effects of the policies or programmes they introduce.
How can it affect performance?
Staff who are struggling at work are prone to making silly mistakes, finding themselves in conflict with colleagues and failing to meet the expectations and performance targets associated with their roles. Their mental and physical health can suffer, increasing incidents of absenteeism and long-term sickness in particular.
A staff member who has endured setbacks in the workplace may find that this takes a toll on their self confidence, meaning that they second-guess their decisions and their productivity is reduced. This can lead to a culture of poor quality service which can ultimately lead to both staff and customers becoming disillusioned and the company’s reputation suffering, both internally and externally.
Employers that go above and beyond their duty of care towards their staff will foster good-will amongst their workforce. The exact form that their efforts take will vary from one business to the next, but there are some things which any organisation can implement to improve well-being amongst their employees.
Offering training programmes to staff not only helps them to develop their skills, but makes them feel as though their experience is valued. It also allows them to increase the scope of their position, ensure that they can progress in their career allows them to take control of their future.
Reducing stress by promoting well-being
Stress in the workplace can undermine the well-being of the staff, and taking positive steps to reduce stress can help employers and employees to achieve their potential. Employers who ensure that their staff feel supported can cultivate an atmosphere of mutual respect which will enable them to deal with problems in a positive way.
High pressure roles will often be those which are likely to induce stress, but any worker can feel as though things are getting too much for them. Traditionally, workers have sought relief from stress in ways that are now regarded as unhealthy – blowing off steam by using cigarettes and alcohol to relieve the short-term effects of workplace pressure.
Current understanding of the long-term damage that these can do to your health has led many to seek out healthier alternatives, such as include physical activity like yoga or aerobics as well as mental disciplines such as mindfulness and meditation.
Employers may also support their staff in making healthier choices by offering nutritious snacks, gym membership and encouraging alternatives to smoking such as e-cigarettes. Since the smoking ban, many employees have found that the places in which they can indulge their habit have become fewer and further between, but e-cigarettes offer a healthy alternative to traditional cigarettes which is much more flexible.
By encouraging smokers to make the chance from smoking to vaping, employers who are keen to provide their staff with a way to relieve stress in the short-term without damaging their health in the long-term can demonstrate their commitment to their workers’ mental and physical health.
Good employers understand the importance of making their workplace somewhere that their staff feels comfortable and confident. Focussing on well-being can boost morale, improve employee output and encourage increased creativity amongst staff who feel motivated to succeed. A business which takes a positive approach to ensuring their staff feels good about coming to work will notice improvements in all aspects of their output, from better problem solving to staff loyalty and enhanced reputation.