Employee wellbeing has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years, and for good reason—it can have a huge impact on your business. Focusing on employee wellbeing initiatives can be a great way to boost employee engagement and motivation, which can help with your bottom line. 

However, knowing how to improve employee wellbeing can be difficult. It can be a complicated topic, especially since there are several different aspects to it that need to be addressed. This is especially true if you haven’t put much thought into employee wellbeing previously. 

In this article, we’ll break down why employee wellbeing is important, what you can do to better employee wellbeing, as well as some of the common challenges and how to overcome them. 

Why Employee Wellbeing is Important

Employee wellbeing in the workplace is incredibly important if you want to be successful, whether you’re a manager, business owner, HR professional, or employee yourself. Let’s look at the benefits of supporting employee wellbeing for both employers and their employees.

Improved Retention

When your employees feel supported and cared about, they are much more likely to stay with your company. According to a survey conducted by Paychex, more than 60% of employees say that employee wellbeing programs/benefits are a top priority when looking for a job. Employees clearly value the support they get from their employers, so focusing on wellbeing can help you improve retention. 

Increased Engagement and Productivity

Engagement and productivity are directly linked. Employees who are more engaged in their work will end up being more productive. Unsurprisingly, employees feel more engaged when their wellbeing is focused on. The support and care from a focus on employee wellbeing can directly translate to increased engagement and productivity. 

Increased Morale and Job Satisfaction

While they may not seem that important, morale and job satisfaction are huge factors when it comes to the workplace. Employees want to feel like they matter and are contributing to their employer. When employees are excited to make a difference at work, it spills over into areas like their motivation, productivity, and more. 

It also just makes the workplace more enjoyable for everyone. If you’ve worked at an employer with poor morale, you know how tiring the constant pessimism and gossip can get. On the other hand, working somewhere with high morale is much more enjoyable and even fun. It makes a huge difference for everyone in the workplace.

Reduced Absenteeism

Another benefit of focusing on employee wellbeing in the workplace is reduced absenteeism. This one is fairly self explanatory, but it’s still worth mentioning. Employees who want to come to work because they feel valued and enjoy their job are much less likely to take time off. Obviously employees will have to take time off, but reducing absenteeism can have a big impact on your productivity and bottom line. 

employee wellbeing Initiatives

Improved Organizational Reputation

Lastly, focusing on wellbeing can improve your organizational reputation. Many employers only focus on their reputation to customers, but your reputation as an employer is incredibly important too. 

Employees now more than ever do thorough research on their potential employers. Websites like Glassdoor and Indeed feature reviews sections where jobseekers can read reviews about employers. Word also gets around about how you are as an employer, whether that be online or in-person. 

This has a huge impact on their decision making. If you have a reputation as a company that doesn’t treat its employees well, they may decide to work somewhere else. But if you are known as a great company to work for that offers various employee wellbeing initiatives and programs, they’re more likely to work for your company. 

Reputation has other impacts as well, such as your relationships with other companies in the industry. Other companies that care about their employees’ wellbeing may not want to support a company that doesn’t. They may be more likely to work with a company that has similar values as theirs, hurting your standing in the industry. 

Examples of Employee Wellbeing Initiatives

So you know why employee wellbeing is important, but where do you start? How do you improve employee wellbeing? One of the best ways to start bettering wellbeing at your company is through employee wellbeing initiatives. Let’s look at a few different types of wellbeing initiatives you can consider using. 

Health and Wellness Programs

These programs focus directly on the health and wellness of you and your employees. These programs can range from laughter yoga and meditainment to team resilience training. They can help you and your employees learn valuable skills like how to deal with stress, coping strategies, and more. 

An often overlooked benefit of these programs is the physical health aspect. Being physically active can have numerous mental health benefits, and those can directly translate to things like improved motivation, engagement, productivity, and more. By focusing on health wellness, you can directly improve your employees’ wellbeing and your profitability.  

Mental Health Resources and Support

Another example of wellbeing initiatives are offering mental health resources and support. The pandemic made it clear to everyone that mental health is a very important factor when it comes to work, with many employers moving to offer more mental health resources and support. This can have a huge impact on an employee’s overall wellbeing, and that correlates with their performance at work. 

Work-Life Balance Initiatives

The work-life balance struggle is something that we all deal with, so it shouldn’t take much explaining as to why these initiatives can be so beneficial. Helping employees balance their work and personal lives can help them enjoy their time at work more, meaning better morale in the workplace. 

Professional Development Opportunities

Professional development opportunities may not seem like they help employee wellbeing, but they can have a big impact. Helping employees get more training can make them feel more confident in their abilities, which can be a big mental health boost. It can also make them feel more valued by their employers, leading to increased motivation. 

Employee Recognition and Appreciation Programs

One last example of employee wellbeing initiatives are employee recognition and appreciation programs. It’s no secret that employees want to be recognized and appreciated for their work. It makes them feel valued, cared about, and important to the workplace. A little bit of recognition can go a long way in the workplace, especially for remote workers

The Challenges to Implementing Employee Wellbeing Initiatives

Though employee wellbeing initiatives are great resources, there are challenges to implementing those initiatives in the workplace. First, we’ll look at some of the most common challenges, and then we’ll address how to overcome them in the next section. 

  1. Resistance from management or employees. People are often resistant to change, especially management. If you can’t get employees and management on board with wellness initiatives, it will be difficult to implement them. 
  2. Budget constraints and resource limitations. As always, budgets and resources can be a big factor. There’s only so much money to go around, and management is often reluctant to spend on things they see as “unnecessary.”
  3. Difficulty in measuring the ROI of such initiatives. Tying into the last point, the ROI of employee wellbeing initiatives can be hard to measure. And since management often wants to see concrete benefits before making a commitment, it can be difficult to implement wellbeing initiatives 

Overcoming Challenges and Implementing Employee Wellbeing Initiatives

With the main challenges laid out, let’s focus on some possible solutions to these challenges that can help you implement employee wellbeing initiatives in the workplace. 

  1. Gaining buy-in and support from leadership. Convincing leadership may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Try focusing on the clear and obvious benefits, such as retention or reputation. These are benefits that have a direct impact on the bottom line, which can help convince management.
  2. Creative solutions for cost-effective wellbeing initiatives. Wellbeing initiatives don’t have to be expensive. If management is worried about the cost, try pitching more cost-effective wellbeing programs, such as group yoga or group discussions. These programs can be very cheap or even free, making them more persuasive for bottom-line concerned management. 
  3. Strategies for measuring the impact of employee wellbeing initiatives. Try coming up with ways to measure the impact of your initiatives, whether that be through surveys, measuring productivity, or something else. If you can show that there are benefits for the business, management will be more likely to agree. 

employee wellbeing Initiatives

Start Improving Employee Wellbeing

Employee wellbeing is an essential part of a productive and enjoyable workplace that has numerous benefits. Better morale, increased productivity, improved reputation, and reduced turnover are just some of the many benefits that come with employee wellbeing. 

Employee wellbeing initiatives such as health and wellness programs, mental health resources, and work-life balance programs can be a great way to emphasize and improve employee wellbeing. Implementing these initiatives may be a challenge, but it is possible if you can gain support from leadership, focus on cost-effective options, and find ways to measure the impact of your initiatives. 

Start putting employee wellbeing first and provide them the resources and support they need to be successful. We have a wide range of programs that focus on employee wellbeing and can help you better your workplace. So get in touch with us today and start bettering your employee’s wellbeing. 

Anna Webber

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