Four Pillars of Employee Health and Wellbeing
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It is the International Labour Organization defines workplace health to mean “all aspects of the work environment including the safety and quality of the physical environment to how employees are feeling about their job as well as their work environment and the work climate and how they organize their work.” It is possible to observe that some businesses refer to this as workplace well-being, office wellness as well as employee health and well-being and well-being, however, they all mean the same thing.
In terms of maintaining an effective and engaged workforce, There are no longer days where compensation and salary packages were the most effective motivations. Nowadays, 43% of employees attribute their motivation at work to initiatives for well-being.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss why creating a well-being program is crucial and the initiatives that you can invest in now to help create an environment that is healthier for employees.
Why is a well-being program vital?
The global market for corporate wellness size was estimated at $U.S. 51 billion in 2021. It is predicted to expand at a compound annual (CAGR) in the range of 4.38 percent from 2022 until 2030. Since the pandemic brought health issues into the spotlight of companies around the world, employees have maintained expectations that employers have to spend more money on creating an environment that is healthy for employees. In essence, workplace wellness initiatives result in happier employees, that results in higher productivity and efficiency. What’s the proof?
A study conducted by Harvard University found that employee wellness programs can:
- The increase in sales is 37%.
- Increase productivity by 31 percent
- Reducing production error by 19 percent
- Enhance creativity by 55%.
A study conducted by The Chapman Institute found that workplace wellness programs cut absence by 25%. Since disengaged employees cost an estimated U.S. economy somewhere between 450 and 500 billion dollars per year in lost production and lost productivity, it’s safe to affirm that a major factor in the effectiveness of an organization in the present is closely tied to the amount of investment it makes in employee wellbeing.
In addition, the numbers make it difficult to deny the need for these programs, but you should also think about the way that potential candidates, current employees, as well as consumers might react. Since it is getting harder to find skilled and qualified candidates as a result of the recent labor shortages as well as the increase in ghosting of candidates making sure you put in the best effort in terms of recruiting and the image of your brand is vital.
Announcing that your company believes in investing in employees’ physical or mental well-being creates a lovely picture of a welcoming working environment that promotes optimism, innovation, and a desire for its workforce to be successful. In the beginning, it’s a major positive for those who are considering joining your business. If you look at the longer term the initiatives mentioned above will help employees already in the workplace reduce stress and improve their psychological health, leading to an enduring and stable workforce.
Four Pillars of Employee Health and Wellbeing
How do we begin? Think of these four areas as the pillars for establishing an effective well-being and health program: emotional and mental physical, financial, and social. If you are able to complete the appropriate initiative for each of these areas, then you are well on the way to creating a comprehensive wellbeing program.
- Mental well-being and emotional resilience
90 percent of employees believe that their mental health is an essential factor when managing a profitable business, however only half of them believe that their workplaces are healthy. From a recruitment and retention perspective, approximately 75 percent of employees believe that they feel a healthy and mentally stable workplace is crucial when looking for work.
Begin by establishing a normal conversation about emotional health and mental well-being within the workplace. There’s some stigma associated with having mental health days, or when not being ‘go every day is not a good idea. Don’t wait until Mental Health Month rolls around and then rely on your HR department to design the mental health awareness day each month and schedule events that let employees be open about their recommendations for emotional wellness to the company.
Consider investing in apps or platforms that encourage mindfulness. Allow your employees to make time during their workday to use these apps. For instance, Headspace, Calm, Talkspace, Happify, and BetterHelp.
Think about hiring an in-house psychologist for the company. They can provide complimentary consultations to your employees, ensuring that confidentiality is protected. Alternatively, you can seek out outside therapy sessions funded by your company for your employees in the event that an in-house solution does not work.
- Physical health
When working at home or in the office, employees are spending around 67 percent of their time in front of a desk. This could have long-term negative effects on our bodies. Even when your employees aren’t desk-based, it’s vital to provide activities that encourage blood flow, proper posture, and physical movements.
Forbes published an article entitled ‘ Why we pay our employees to exercise during work The article explains why they let employees exercise off time for 30 minutes per day. It is possible to do this by arranging online yoga sessions for those who work remotely, or an annual office run of 5km. From improved energy levels and productivity to creating positive social interactions at the workplace, having your employees active can bring huge benefits to their well-being.
Making physical changes to the workplace rather than occasions can be a good starting point. Consider allowing employees to stand at desks in place of traditional ones, yoga balls as chairs, underneath desk treadmills or bikes, and even automated notifications on your computers to inform your employees to stand up and go for the stairs.
- Financial stability
With the rise of inflation and increasing interest rates being a constant struggle for all people and demographics and your employees aren’t the only ones to be affected. How do you ensure employees with financial aid?
Regular salary reviews are a method to make sure your employees are compensated in accordance with the economic trends and reflect exactly what market conditions are paying employees at their jobs in other places. This will improve their overall well-being as they will feel more secure knowing that they have their employers essentially got their back’ in stressful times. Salary bonuses are another option to offer financial aid to those who deserve it.
Similar to the suggested funded therapy sessions Why not also offer financial advice sessions for free also? In-house or not, all sessions are kept private and give people who require financial guidance the opportunity to speak with them.
Perhaps offering training opportunities that have to do with a focus on ‘investing in your future, or offering plans to sacrifice salary could be an alternative to increase your employees’ health financially.
- Collaboration with the community
Volunteering can lead to an improved standard of living and therefore incorporating these types of opportunities in the workplace can boost the morale of employees. Think about what your company represents and if there’s a non-profit organization with which you could create an alliance and which is a good fit for your employees. If not, this should not stop you from looking at ways to contribute to the community.
For instance, many large retail stores provide recycling options for their customers. Customers can bring in any type of clothing (doesn’t need to be from the brand) and reuse the clothing into new ones or give the clothes to those that are in need. A charity event could be the best option or request your employees’ suggestions regarding non-profit organizations they’d be willing to help with. There is a myriad of options.
Improve employee engagement
Improved employee well-being can increase engagement. In the words of Erin Davis said in her 2010 speech during the annual American Library Association conference in Washington, DC: ” An employee who is happy is a productive worker“. Also If your employees aren’t enjoying their work, feel valued and engaged in their work There is a great probability that they will not be productive.
A study conducted by researchers from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom tested the idea that employees who are happy work harder. The result? Happier, more engaged employees had an average of 12 percent more productive.
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