4 Ways You Can Improve Employee Wellbeing
In businesses of today, the discussion of how to improve employee wellbeing is not had nearly as much as it should be. According to the Australian Psychological Society, 34% of all Australians identified issues in the workplace as a source of stress. The health and happiness of your employees is your biggest asset – without it, their productivity and job satisfaction will suffer. Encouraging happy and healthy staff does not have to break your bottom line – there are a number of affordable initiatives that can be incorporated to make improvements. For a selection of simple yet effective suggestions, see below.
1. Offer a free exercise class
One of the most common reasons that people choose not to participate in active classes is the associated cost. For a business, hiring a yoga or group fitness instructor once a week for one hour should be a cost effective initiative. This cost should not exceed $100-150, and with the option for numerous staff to attend, the cost per person is minimal. Offering a class such as yoga or Pilates outside of work hours is a fantastic way to get staff moving, and can improve the mental health of all who participate.
2. Organise healthy snacks
When an occasion is celebrated, meetings are called or vending machines are installed – more often than not this includes snacks which are high in sugar and fat. To limit poor eating habits, try to organise a selection of healthy snacks rather than the standard cocktail party food and treats. It is also advised to organise a weekly fruit delivery from a local grocer – this not only supports local businesses, but also sees employees make healthier choices when looking to satisfy an afternoon sugar craving.
3. Set the culture of taking breaks?
When looking to truly improve employee wellbeing and change the behaviour of staff, this cultural change needs to come from the top. If staff are encouraged to take breaks away from the desk, their manager should be setting the example and doing the same. Leaders should show employees that taking breaks is important for mental health, and in turn increases greater focus throughout the day. Cultural change does not happen overnight, but with increased encouragement and acceptance for stepping away from the desk, things will slowly change for the better.
4. Organise team activities?
When planning for team building exercises, there should always be one which incorporates physical exercise, or one which involves movement of some kind. To avoid staff feeling pressured, these types of activities should always be non-compulsory, however, with time, staff participation will increase. Initiatives such as a team walk after work, a group scavenger hunt, or a stair challenge each encourage movement throughout the team. Team bonds will be created during these activities, while getting the heart rate up to improve employee wellbeing overall.
What do you think?
Do you have any other tips to improve employee wellbeing? I’d love to hear what your workplace offers, as well as what you’d like to see offered. Comment your views below and join the conversation.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.