Employee wellbeing lies at the heart of successful business.
Studies have shown that happy and fulfilled staff are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are healthier and less stressed than their discontented counterparts. Given that we spend an average of 1/3 of our lives at work, it is crucial that we design workplaces that promote wellness and help us reach our potential.
Creating a workplace wellness program is a great way to improve mental health, boost morale and strengthen your team. SiDCOR accountants are pioneering a way of business that prioritises the emotional and personal development of their employees, and they’re here to help you do the same.
Here are their 4 tips for facilitating employee wellbeing in the workplace:
1. Make it ongoing
Once-off initiatives like a competition or seminar are fine, but to create lasting change you need to implement a permanent program. No two businesses will have the same program; you are free to customise it as much as you would like. You might want to have a permanent fitness centre, daily nap-time, weekly yoga or cooking classes, or monthly personal development seminars – as long as you have a regular routine, you’re on the right track.
2. Ask your team for feedback
Asking your employees what they would like in a wellness program is a great way to design a program they will actually appreciate (and engage with!). There’s no point adding a weight management program if no one needs it.
3. Use a mental health toolkit
Given that 45% of Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime, being mental health savvy is a must for businesses. The Queensland Government has a mental health toolkit you can download which can help you facilitate positive steps towards creating a mentally healthy workplace.
It provides businesses with practical tools and advice covering four key components of mental health – promotion, prevention, early intervention and recovery.
Promoting the importance of mental health can be done by creating a supportive and positive culture. Showing commitment and leadership is crucial, as is implementing psychologically supportive policies, raising awareness and encouraging open and honest communication.
Preventing work-related stress can be done by identifying psychosocial hazards (e.g. low social support, imbalanced job demands and fatigue), assessing their risk and controlling the risks. Control measure efficacy should be assessed regularly.
Early intervention involves being able to recognise the signs of mental distress, such as uncharacteristic irritability, lateness, fatigue or a decline in performance. Whilst these signs do not necessarily mean that something is wrong, it may be worth checking in with the person to make sure they are okay.
Supporting employees that have experienced a psychological injury is essential. This can be done by helping to avoid reoccurrence of injury in the workplace where possible and by providing social support. You may also want to implement an individualised recovery plan for the person.
4. Providing personal development opportunities
Nurturing each employee’s personal growth is an excellent way to retain talent and help the next generation thrive in the workplace. Each individual will have different ideas of what constitutes ‘personal development’, so it is important to cater to each person’s specific goals. Do they want to focus on building leadership skills or improving their creativity?
Annual growth plans
Crafting a ‘growth plan’ with each employee once a year is a great way to help support them on their journey and give them greater clarity around their goals. Planning for the future is the best way to achieve it!
Scheduling ‘growth time’
As per Kevin’s Best giving your employees time to work on their personal development goals can ensure that they actually get to work on them. You may want to allocate around 5-10% of their total work time to personal growth activities.
Set SMART goals
Make sure that you set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals which specify when the goal is to be completed – this makes the likelihood of success so much greater!
A balance of mental, emotional and physical health is crucial for wellbeing. Help ease the pressures of modern life for your employees by implementing an ongoing wellbeing program.