Employee wellness as part of company culture helps employees perform their best, fulfilled and engaged work. As an HR leader, think of what companies can do to help employees be connected and engaged in the new normal. Here’s how you can cultivate employee wellness culture in your organization.
The Great Resignation is really a Great Re-Evaluation. We are entering into a great cultural shift. People are rejecting the hustle culture in favour of what can give them work-life balance, mental wellness and fulfilment. People are clearly reassessing their options and most of the resignation stories cite burnout as one of the biggest reasons.
Work demands a lot from people in your company. It often demands people to be tested on their decision-making creativity, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills, while feeling the weight of resilience and focus. Oftentimes, work also demands people to adjust their personal life.
What can companies do to support employee wellness?
Instead of chasing a cure to burnout, companies need to incorporate well-being and recharging practices, such as mindfulness, relaxation activities, workload management, and even play, etc. into employees’ work and their lives. Well-being weeks and mental health days, as welcome as they are, aren’t enough.
Managers and employees alike need to stop thinking of relaxation as a reward we get for working hard and burning out. In many wellness practices, being rejuvenated actually allows us to do our best, most productive, most creative work. It must be made a foundation of any HR strategy to depict success at the personal level and a sustainable definition of business success.
Here’s what employee wellness culture can offer your team:
Increased happiness and well-being
Very simply put : people feel good. If all the efforts put in to drive employee wellness are widespread and homogenous, you are creating a company culture where no one would feel being put in a spotlight for wanting to care for their mental health. Happiness is proven to extend beyond the moment and ripple throughout daily life.
I had experienced, as a busy professional, wife and mother to two children, many times drifting thoughts. This is not unusual and in fact, research has shown that 47% of our time is spent with a wandering mind. That time spent with unfocused thoughts contributes to increased unhappiness, especially at work. Practising Tra-tac exercise helps sharpen focus in a lasting way.
Productivity is simply not enough. We are decades forward from the industrial period and for your company to thrive, creativity is the new asset class. When your employees have a clear and receptive mind, new and original ideas tend to flow easier. In the workplace, this can have positive effects anywhere from problem-solving, to decision-making.
Building a culture of wellness helps support your employees’ well-being by reducing stress itself. Employees have increased resilience to stress and have a stronger body and mind to fend off any health threats.
Better emotional well-being
Emotions drive actions and they play a big role in the workplace. Practising sophrology exercises improve emotional processing. What this can do good for your employees is that they will be less susceptible to emotional intensity and preconception.
We spend one-third of our lives asleep. Sleep determines mental well-being, and can massively impact the workday. Sleep duration and quality have been associated with obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease risk. The prefrontal cortex, the brain area associated with judgement, is low on fuel after poor sleep. Sleep affects us emotionally.
Improved work relationships and environment
When employees are in great shape, physically and emotionally, the benefits multiply across the whole team and result in a happier collective, improved collaboration, better communication and engagement.
How can HR leaders create the new culture in their organization?
Normalize employee wellnes
Give your leaders a reason to get curious. It’s important to educate your managers on the benefits of employee wellness. To start an evolution, let them lead the new culture in the organization. Employee wellness, after all, can help managers and leaders become more effective too!
Sophrology exercises, even short ones, can help your people recharge throughout the workday. Guided visualisation and brief breathing exercises can act as a reset and help bring your people into a fresher condition – one that has lasting effects after the exercise ends.
In other words, encourage single-tasking. Multitasking kills productivity and has a detrimental effect on your employees’ well-being. Studies have shown that the brain is not designed for constant and heavy multitasking, which spreads attention thin and facilitates distraction. By managing workstreams effectively and encouraging your people to focus on one task at a time, you’re helping them improve not only their mental health but also their effectiveness.
Just like multitasking, micromanagement is another form of interruption which greatly affects your people’s focus. Checking in too much can hinder concentration and can curtail employee motivation. On the other hand, stretches of uninterrupted time can be much more conducive to effective work. Educate your team on meeting etiquette and avoid making excessive video conferencing a routine.
One of the easiest ways to encourage your employees to schedule time to have guilt-free moments of walking, breathing, napping or just being without any expectation, is by blocking off lunchtime as mandatory pause.
Retain your talents
Equipping your people with tools for wellness and creating a new culture of wellness can help them work happier, perform better, and live healthier. For more on how you can help your people be at their best, reach out for a demo.