Employee engagement tips for wellbeing
Wellbeing of your people
A top priority for HR leaders is now employee health and wellbeing.
This has shifted from prioritising recruitment and retention in recent years. Wellbeing has taken the top spot as HR recognises the value to look after employees and the need to provide a culture that supports employee wellbeing, mental health and flexible working.
Both employees and organisations have adapted remarkably well to the new ways of working due to lockdowns and restrictions. But the pandemic has certainly taken its toll on mental health and wellbeing.
- 51% of poor mental health caused by work was due to pressure.
- 76% of colleagues are considerate of their mental wellbeing, and a further 69% believe the same of their managers.
There is a challenge though for HR and leadership teams. While employees feel supported by colleagues and managers, they do not always feel HR departments (39%) and CEOs and boards (37%) are as considerate of mental wellbeing, often putting the organisation above the wellbeing of their colleagues. It is essential that HR takes the lead in placing employee wellbeing at the centre of your culture.
Employee wellbeing needs to be prioritised, managed effectively, and led from the board room. When employees are engaged, collaboration, productivity and innovation are known to increase.
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Improve the workforce experience
Workforce experiences can positively impact overall health and wellness. Help employees better manage their work-life balance and reduce work related stress and burnout.
Healthier employees take fewer sick days, are more productive in work, and are more willing and able to go the extra mile. By offering holistic wellness programmes, incentive programmes, spot rewards, senior leadership acknowledgement and smart working conditions, leaders can support the physical and mental health of their workforce. This has been linked to reduced absenteeism, improved productivity and retention.
Communicate your wellbeing strategy
Psychological, physical and financial wellbeing have been impacted in different ways for employees during the pandemic. Now is a good time to stress the importance of wellbeing initiatives and ensure a strategy is drafted and communicated to employees, so they feel valued and supported.
It is important to engage employees when developing the wellbeing strategy and identify the areas that most require investment and focus. Keep in mind that you will also need to consider how to retain your employees’ engagement as the strategy is rolled out in the medium and long term. Adopt a multi-channel approach, using varied communications (both online and offline) to deliver key messages effectively – a personalised wellness pack might be more effective than an e-voucher or membership. Understand what matters to your people.
Design a thorough wellbeing benefits structure
Structure your wellbeing programme to promote healthy behaviours around the core elements of wellbeing, both during and outside of work hours.
Provide traditional opportunities for employees to socialise organically, such as events, charity outings, birthday lunches. Use as an opportunity to bring cohesion and reinforce values, for example provide branded clothing with your campaign strapline.
Look at physical wellness (more than offering a yoga hour and a discounted gym membership). Explore programs that allow employees to monitor their health in real time, exercise in different ways including during working hours and gain access to health and fitness professionals.
Provide access to educational tools and financial advisors who can help people plan – setting up safety nets will mitigate future uncertainty and reduce stress.
Finally, HR is best positioned to provide career goals and positive feedback that can help assuage any discomfort people may have around their work. Optimising your performance management techniques and policies with wellness in mind will make a world of difference to keep your employees engaged and prevent work from becoming a source of anxiety and stress.
Adopt technology to help address wellbeing issues
Consider providing a comprehensive suite of technology to assist employees in pursuing wellness, such as:
- Emotional tech – improves self-awareness and emotional regulation
- Stress management tech – provides access to resources that help people understand stress and its impacts, and how to manage it
- Collaboration and trust tech – helps deepen group connections and further social bonds
- Cognition tech – guides people to organise their thoughts
- Coaching tech – creates structure for reflection in real time
- Energy tech – provides feedback on how to manage productivity and energy levels throughout the day
- Learning tech – facilitates the learning process so people can adapt more effectively and efficiently
- Wellness tech – optimisation of health and cognition.
By integrating some, or all the above technologies, HR not only does the individual a service, but the business and the culture of the organisation. Employee experience and engagement improves, and so will productivity, retention and business outcomes.
Measure the success of your wellbeing strategy
Evaluating the efficacy of your organisation’s wellbeing strategy demonstrates to your leadership team its value and reduces future friction when passing new wellbeing initiatives. This also ensures it is correctly targeted to your employees’ specific needs.
When deciding how to measure the success of your wellbeing strategy, consider what you are trying to achieve through implementation.
Fine tune your work environment
The physical work environment – noise levels, space, temperature and light – can significantly affect staff wellbeing. Make sure you consult people on how to improve the work environment and take action to ensure it is suitable. Space dividers, quiet spaces and reaching agreement on respectful behaviours to help manage noise levels may help tackle some of the typical issues.
Create an inclusive workplace, where regardless of role, wellbeing is supported. Consider what is required from your work environment, from each stakeholder. The workforce is increasingly made up of many different types of workers, all of whom have more choice and expectations about how, when and where they work.
Company-employed people may be employed on different contracts— full-time, part-time, temporary, at-will, flexible, leased or job sharing. Then there is the contingent workforce who are paid for their time, and gig workers who are paid by task, project or job. Failing to get experiences right for these types of workers can have serious consequences on productivity, culture, cohesion and wellbeing.
Promote a good work/life balance
Encourage your people to work sensible hours, take full lunch breaks and recuperate after busy periods. Senior leaders should role model these positive behaviours where possible. Supporting employees to fit their lives around their work with more flexibility and smart working practices can also keep people healthy, committed and productive and help reduce sickness absence.
Empowerment is key. Give your employees the tools they need to manage their own wellbeing, and they will be happier and healthier longer term. Organise expert seminars or workshops to educate your team on important wellbeing topics (such as how to improve sleep routines, stay hydrated, or reduce refined sugar intake). Rather than just send a presentation, or post-event email, reinforce your advice with workshop packs that include supporting products and information.
Take a proactive approach to wellbeing
Wellbeing shouldn’t be a reactive measure; it should be proactive and strategically implemented. Consider taking steps to understand the issues faced by employees and your organisation and then back it up with investment in the right areas.
To take the lead on wellbeing and engrain it within your people strategies will help create a workplace that works. This involves data gathering, engaging your workforce, measuring results, listening to feedback, and improving your policies and practices.
We can help!
Limelight assists companies to implement measures for new methods of working to ensure their employees work effectively, productively and most of all – safely. Employees will have peace of mind knowing their company is looking after them.
Limelight has a range of wellbeing packages for you to choose from. Sending a wellness pack is a great way to demonstrate appreciation for any employee, at home or in the office.