Wellbeing in the Workplace is a very real issue that if not tacked quickly, can affect motivation and your organisations internal and external relationships. It can also lead to an increase in absenteeism as a result of elevated health-risks.
A recent study found that;
- In 16% of employees, sleep is regularly affected by work-place issues
- 25% of staff often feel physically drained after an average day at work
- 30% start work feeling low on energy and unmotivated
- 20-30% feel stressed or anxious one or more days a week
- Insomnia costs U.S. organisations more than $60 billion annually.
Another study found that mental health issues are the leading cause of sick leave in the UK, accounting for 70 million sick days, which is more than half of the 130 million total every year.
Why should you invest in workplace wellbeing?
The statistics paint a very clear picture – we know that healthy employees perform better because they have more energy, better focus and are more creative. They also engage more with colleagues and the businesses goals, meaning that managing the flow of information and knowledge transfer becomes smoother. This results in a more productive workforce.
What can you do?
- Unify your teams: When you bring people together, either under a common goal (or project), socially, or under the umbrella of a wellness initiative for example, it builds camaraderie which in turn fosters a sense of unity amongst staff.
- Mindfulness and Meditation: both can have a significant impact. Implementing these practices, and providing a quiet area for people to practice, has been proven to improve skills such as regulating attention and behaviour. Even short mindfulness training can help to stabilise attention (Zeidan et al., 2010). Over time, meditation practice can improve the ability to disengage from mind wandering (Hasenkamp & Barsalou, 2012). This can be helpful in coping with the inner and outer distractions of busy offices.
Mindfulness has also been shown build confidence.
A.D. Amar and colleagues at the University of Westminster measured the self-perception of leadership skills among a sample of senior managers in the London area. And put them through a 12-week meditation-training program. Their results, published in the Academy of Management Proceedings, revealed that training significantly improved their overall self-confidence, as well as skills like inspiring a shared vision and moral and emotional intelligence.
- Flexible working: staff become more efficient, healthy and tolerance levels towards tasks increase when they are able to take advantage of no commute time, their own environment and natural productivity levels.
- Subsidised or on-site Gym membership: Fitness and healthy eating can reduce stress. More organisations now are including these benefits as standard. They frequently include other health perks such as free fruit, breakfasts and juices throughout the day.
- Frequent feedback: This is a good preventative measure to instil and when practised regularly, helps keep lines of communication open. This supports employers instincts about how staff are feeling, gain context for current issues and insight into how to resolve them. Which ultimately helps employers act before problems arise or become severe.
When thinking about your employees wellbeing, it’s important to take into account every aspect, namely their physical, emotional and mental health. With the pressure of work mounting, staff are now more likely than ever to suffer burnout. Which of these 5 strategies has worked best in your organisation? Which do you think you could benefit from implementing to harness the power of your workforce, going forwards?