A workforce full of employees that aren’t at their best can bring any company to its knees. Companies that fail to prioritize employee well-being, happiness, and health have difficulty attracting top talent and keeping them.
In addition, the employees they do have aren’t ever as productive, engaged, and motivated as they could be — and this adversely affects the company’s ability to perform, provide the best for its customers, and turn a profit.
Caring about the quality of life your employees have is a much better route to take if you want your business to thrive. Human resources (HR) can play an integral role in assuring employees’ holistic health and well-being is in good place.
Let’s look at how HR can support genuine employee well-being.
Educate Yourself On Holistic Health and Well-being
Workplace health and wellness are usually a lot better when HR employees take it upon themselves to learn about and promote holistic health and well-being on their own time.
You’ll be more empathetic to what people face every day regarding their health and their struggles to make well-being a priority. This leads to better solutions for employees in the workplace and more comprehensive support for physical, mental, and emotional health.
Become well-versed in:
What well-being is and how to support it
Substance abuse, addiction, and recovery
Physical health and the most common illnesses
How to assist people in various health and wellness crises
Different mental health challenges and how people living with them navigate life
How a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health impact their personal and professional lives
You can go at your own pace by diving into internet research, following health and wellness experts on social media, and taking free courses and classes on holistic health. You can also pursue traditional education opportunities to grow your health-related knowledge.
Build a Workplace Culture That Prioritizes Well-being
After learning about well-being and what to do to support it, start building a workplace culture that represents your company’s commitment to bettering your employees’ quality of life.
For example, don’t let long hours, skipped lunches, and silenced health and well-being needs become “the norm” in your workplace. Instead, build a company culture that:
Is positive, authentic, transparent, and supportive
Understands employee needs and accommodates them
Has dedicated resources for employee health and well-being
Has leaders with varying abilities, experiences, and backgrounds
Openly discusses mental, physical, and emotional health and wellness in the workplace
Provides employees with a healthy workplace full of ergonomic equipment, greenery, good air quality, and nutritious food and drink options
You may have to work with stubborn company leaders and be willing to go to bat for your employees to create a workplace culture that prioritizes well-being — but the work will be worth it when you see how much a safe, supportive space in the workplace means to your employees.
Enable Two-Way Communication With Employees
While building a company culture that supports genuine employee well-being, it’s also good to include employees in the process. If you can directly communicate with your employees about how to better support their well-being, do it.
First, get to know your employees personally. For example, chat with them about their family, home life, personal goals, passions, and interests outside of work. Then, move the conversation toward health-related topics and their perspective on health and well-being. Finally, encourage employees to share their thoughts on how your company can better support their holistic health.
Many of your employees will give you fantastic advice and suggestions on how to best support their health and well-being. Absorb what they share with you, document it, and implement those suggestions one at a time to build a solid support system for them at work.
Stop Conflict Before it Begins with
a Culture of “Thank You”
Does your organization foster a culture of micro-rewards and gratitude? If you’re not sure or the answer is “no,” your company culture could be contributing to workplace conflict. Building a culture of “thank you” can be difficult (especially with remote teams), but it doesn’t have to be! Learn more in our eBook, "10 Free / Low Cost Employee Recognition Ideas.”
Exceed Expectations With Your Benefits Package and Wellness Resources
If you genuinely want to give your employees support in the pursuit of health and well-being, exceed their expectations regarding your benefits package and additional wellness resources.
For example, instead of offering a “one-size fits all” wellness program in your workplace, offer one your employees can personalize based on their unique health and wellness needs and goals. Allow them to pick which resources they need, connect with specialists, and determine how long their program lasts.
You should also exceed expectations regarding the benefits package you offer your employees. Full and part-time employees deserve quality health, dental, and vision benefits that include general services like yearly health screenings for women and men. They should also have next-level services like surgery or outpatient treatment that are low cost and easy to manage.
Include the following in your benefits package to support employee well-being:
Short and long-term disability benefits
Paid vacation, sick, and personal days
A 401(k) contribution match
A solid compensation package
Free gym memberships
Access to mental health support and services
Paid maternal, paternal, medical, and stress leave
Low cost or free mindfulness, meditation, and yoga classes
Highlight Safety Policies, Procedures, and Equipment
Looking out for your employees’ well-being also means sharing all safety policies and procedures with them and ensuring they have any equipment they need to perform their job responsibilities with ease.
For example, if your employees spend a lot of time on tech devices, provide them with accessories like blue light glasses to help with the adverse effects of constant blue light exposure. Also, be sure they have the software and hardware they need to do their jobs.
Supply them with any safety apparel they need. Additionally, upgrade old equipment and train your employees to use the new equipment properly — this helps to ensure everyone is empowered to do their jobs well without the stress of unsafe working conditions.
Bring the Right Leaders On Board
HR will have a much easier time supporting genuine employee well-being when company leaders support the same thing. Therefore, it’s essential to recruit and hire leaders who value wellness over work for your company.
When you bring the right leaders on board, you can create and get health and wellness resources approved much quicker. You’ll also have people in higher positions who walk the wellness walk rather than just talk about it.
Welcome HR leaders to your team who understand the importance of employee well-being, are committed to supporting holistic health, and can lead by example. Hiring leaders who are transparent about their journey with mental, physical, and emotional health make it easier for the rest of the workforce to do the same.
Allow for Flexibility
One of the best ways to support genuine employee well-being is to ensure they have a healthy, happy personal life. Of course, you want your employees to love their jobs and find meaning in their work. But you don’t want work to become their sole focus because it often results in burnout, increased stress, and less motivation.
Allow your employees flexibility in their work schedules and responsibilities to have ample time for family, friends, relaxation, personal passions, projects, and goals. Also, encourage employees to completely detach from work once they clock out. This makes for better work life balance for everyone.
Lastly, be proactive about ensuring your employees use all of their vacation days and sick/personal days wherever they need them. The narrative should be that rest and rejuvenation are always available to employees and that they won’t be shunned for taking time for themselves.
It’s crucial for HR to support genuine employee well-being so that workers can be their best and do their best for your company. By implementing the tips above, you can do your part to ensure that your employees have adequate support for their holistic health and wellness.
About Author: This article is written by our marketing team at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is dedicated to providing powerful solutions for your HR teams and creating an exceptional employee experience. Our aim is to help your company improve employee engagement, onboarding, and to save you valuable time!