Creating a great workplace isn’t just about getting work done anymore. As an employer, you also need to make sure that you’re taking care of your employees and providing them with the support they need. Taking care of your employees isn’t just a nice thing to do anymore. Employee wellbeing is something that HR departments all over the country are ranking as one of the top priorities for companies, and the employee wellbeing industry is expected to boom. Employee wellbeing is both a way to create a great place to work and a way to keep up with the ever-shifting work landscape.
What Is Employee Wellbeing?
Employee wellbeing in the workplace is the overall mental, emotional, physical, and economic health of your employees. Think of employee wellbeing as an employee’s overall state—especially because of the work they’re doing at your company. Employee expectations, duties, responsibilities, coworker relationships, resources, and other workplace factors all play a big role in employee wellbeing.
For example, if a workplace is extremely high-stress and involves a lot of competition between employees, the overall company employee wellbeing might be lower—too much stress and competition for everyone to feel healthy with their work. On the other hand, if a workplace provides good employee benefits, promotes a good work-life balance, you’ll probably have better employee wellbeing.
Of course companies can’t control every aspect of their employees’ wellbeing. Things like family life, housing situations, personal health, and more can all affect an employee’s wellbeing, and employers have little control over that. But you can definitely provide a great workplace, and you’ll still get a much higher level of employee satisfaction and wellbeing than putting employee wellbeing on the back burner. But what is a part of employee wellbeing?
Components of Employee Wellbeing
Like most good things in life, employee wellbeing has a few different components. We’ll discuss 3 key components of employee wellbeing to give you a good idea of what employee wellbeing can look like.
Physical health is a big part of having a positive wellbeing. There are a few simple ways companies can create an environment of physical wellbeing. One way is to make sure the office space or workspace is physically safe and comfortable. You can also promote physical wellbeing with shorter meetings, standing desks, healthy break room snacks, and offering a gym pass.
But even outside of work time, employers can still be supporting the physical wellbeing of their employees. Some companies use incentives and fitness programs to keep their employees exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep outside of office hours. All in all, physical wellbeing is supported by good eating habits, physical exercise, rest, and a comfortable space to work in.
Having friends isn’t just a thing for elementary school. Working adults also need friends and good relationships—even in the workplace. Employers can help promote good social relationships by making sure employees are keeping a good work-life balance that allows them plenty of time after work (or at other points, depending on how your company works) to spend time with friends and family and to go and make new friends.
You can also promote social wellbeing by providing socialization on the job. Company activities, “fun day” Fridays, a super cool break room, clustered desks, and get-togethers can all help your employees spend time together and have good workplace relationships to support their overall wellbeing.
Social wellbeing can be even more important with remote employees. Remote employees can’t socialize in person with their colleagues. But you can still make sure you’re promoting social wellbeing for these employees. Virtual activities can be one way or even something as simple as the occasional pass or giftcard for the employee and a friend could be a great way to make sure employees are spending time on their relationships.
Mental health is always an important thing to support, and a good workplace will be supporting mental wellbeing as well. Some ways to promote mental wellbeing are to provide good mental health support, promote a healthy work-life balance, keep the work cognitively invigorating, and try to make work as flexible as possible. Making your work environment somewhere that supports employees’ emotional and mental needs will really help you promote mental wellbeing.
The big key to supporting mental wellbeing, though, is making sure the stress levels at work are reasonable. Stress has been known to eat away at mental wellbeing and emotional wellbeing and leave workers feeling more burned out. When a stressful week is inevitable, try to provide some balance afterward that helps employees destress in a healthy way. Creating a work environment that is productive yet not too stressful can be a fine line to walk, but it’s a worthwhile pursuit to promote your employees’ wellbeing.
Benefits of Employee Health and Wellbeing
Employee wellbeing is obviously important for your employees. With good support, they feel better and enjoy the work they’re doing more. A work environment that supports wellbeing will benefit their overall health and wellness. But a workplace focused on wellbeing also helps you as the employer. Here are some awesome benefits of supporting employee wellbeing at your company:
- Increasing productivity. Happier, healthier employees perform better. It might seem obvious, but this principle actually does hold true in reality. If your employees feel supported and like work is a great place to be, they’re way more likely to perform a little better and work a little harder.
- Improving employee retention. Again, it might seem obvious: employees who don’t like where they work will often leave and find somewhere else to work. If your company is providing great benefits and solid support systems, your employees are simply more likely to want to stay and work there—which is great news for employee retention.
- Reduced costs. Here’s another business principle: when employees miss work due to illness and stress, it costs you money. Now that might make you want to cut back on sick days, but the opposite is actually true. Employees who don’t have adequate physical and mental support are going to get sick more often or need more days off, and that is going to cost you much more than providing good employee wellbeing support early on. Happier, healthier employees usually need to miss less work, and when they do miss work, they are doing it on their own terms and not due to a sudden stress-induced illness.
- Improving the customer experience. Happier and healthier employees perform better, and it shows to the customers. If your employees are having a good experience working for you, they’re more likely to make your company a good experience for your customers. Helping your employees will ultimately help your customers.
How HNI Can Help
Employee wellbeing is obviously a great benefit to your company, your employees, and your customers. But where do you start with promoting your employees’ wellbeing? One great way to get started is to provide health benefits and other important benefits. Benefits are an excellent method to provide your employees with physical and mental support, so that they’re feeling happy and healthy at work and in their own personal lives.
Ready to get started with benefits for your employees? HNI is here to help you and your company. We can help you add health benefits and other employee benefits for your employees, so that you’re supporting your employees’ wellbeing. Start the conversation with our experts to get started.