4 Ways to Prioritize Employee Wellness
The workplace can be a stressful place for many, let alone during an ongoing pandemic. Stressors from employees’ private lives and work lives often blend together, making people feel overwhelmed. A global study found that a majority of employees have experienced greater stress, anxiety, and emotional exhaustion since the start of the pandemic. With all the changes over the past year, employers need to focus more than ever on providing resources and support for employee wellness.
To help you better support your employees’ mental and physical health, we’ve compiled a list of four things that you can do to prioritize employee wellness in your organization.
1. Clearly Define Work Boundaries
When you’re working from home, there is often no clear beginning or end to the workday. Your home becoming your office means that the different demands and distractions at home and at work become muddled as well. Leaders can help their employees by replicating the consistent structure of working at the office.
Managers can still offer flexibility as to when their employees work — some businesses have a range of time in which employees can complete their work! But it is essential that employees clearly define these hours and that you and your coworkers respect these boundaries. Employees will appreciate being able to choose their schedule, and you’ll have a clearer guideline of when to expect responses from your team.
Tip: Leave time at the beginning and end of each day to prepare for and decompress from the workday. This will weave some consistency back into your schedule and help you reflect, refresh, and reset.
2. Discuss Wellness During Performance Reviews
Performance reviews offer an excellent opportunity to discuss employee wellness and mental health. Use these as an opportunity to find out if your employees feel taken care of and ask for feedback on how the company is supporting their well-being. Reviews aren’t just a moment to discuss performance and feedback. They’re also a time for managers to step back and listen to their employees. Ask them about their experiences with working remotely and handling the stressors of the pandemic. Make sure they feel cared for and valued. Having these conversations frequently shows employees that you genuinely care about them and offers you the chance to continually improve your well-being initiatives.
Remember: Employees appreciate frequent feedback. Have check-ins with your team regularly to discuss how they’re doing and ways you can better support them in their future goals.
3. Offer Wellness Resources
Make sure you are providing resources that support your employees’ mental health and wellbeing. When your employees feel their best, they perform their best. Many employers are investing in the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness involves centering your attention on the present and working to regulate your emotions. There are many benefits to mindfulness, including a reduction in stress and anxiety.
A popular way to help employees practice mindfulness is through meditation apps like Headspace. With guided meditations and relaxation resources, mindfulness apps can help employees disconnect from the stress of their workday and recuperate. If you don’t have the resources to invest in additional wellness initiatives, you don’t need to worry. As long as you encourage healthy habits and check in with your team regularly, you won’t need an elaborate, costly program.
4. Listen and Communicate
One of the best things you can do to help your employees is to listen. With the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and remote work, embracing communication platforms is crucial for employee wellness. Over the past year, many employees have felt lonely or isolated while working remotely. This can lead to department siloes and a decrease in the quality of work. Leaders need to preemptively combat this by offering opportunities for communication outside of work tasks.
Chances are, your company is currently using a communication platform to help with collaboration. Look into ways you can utilize this platform for conversations outside their designated channels. For example, set up a separate Slack channel that can be used for employees to talk about fun, non-work-related topics. Grant them the space to talk about upcoming plans, tips for handling burnout, or ways to stay active. This offers a reprieve from the stresses of the workday and brings back some of those friendly conversations coworkers would have at one another’s desks.
When you provide employees with wellness initiatives and encourage open communication, you help prevent sickness, fatigue, and mental burnout. Even as vaccination efforts increase and a sense of normalcy is returning, many employees are still feeling the lasting impact of the pandemic on their mental and physical health. Employers need to prioritize employee wellness to keep their employees healthy and satisfied in their role.
ClearCompany can help you better understand the state of your employees’ wellness by using employee surveys. These quick pulses offer insights into the sentiment of their team and can give leaders ideas for how to better support their staff. With our survey templates and custom surveys, you can personalize your approach to better fit the needs of your workplace. To learn more, reach out to one of our experts or sign up for your free demo now.
This article was originally published on the ClearCompany blog.