Over the past decade, wellness programs have been implemented into businesses across every industry. These programs are often seen as a way to lower insurance costs for the company but are also lined with good intentions for the employees themselves.
Everything from providing staff with fitness trackers, encouraging them to take part in corporate fun runs, or support for losing weight or quitting smoking have been programs implemented, but for the most part, they’ve been unsuccessful.
Because the real issues facing the workforce are stress, disengagement, poor mental health, and burnout, and each of these issues can cause the other.
Stress is a severe and chronic issue experienced by just about everyone in the workforce. According to the American Institute of Stress, over 1 million US employees skip work daily due to stress. Another statistic shows that out of those employees quitting their jobs, 40% of them put the reason down as stress.
And all of this was before the pandemic hit…
Businesses need to adapt to a culture in which they realize that their people are their greatest asset. You can have the best ideas and the greatest products, but you cannot succeed without the dedicated staff working tirelessly behind the scenes.
This is why supporting and protecting these assets at all costs is essential. Leaders that treat their employees with kindness, take a positive approach to work/life balance, and offer valuable support and management will see major benefits.
So how can you do it?
Well, here are three ways to integrate wellness into your business to benefit your staff.
The pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty – both on a personal and professional level. Leaders in the workplace need to recognize this and show real concern for their team. During challenging times, empathy is crucial: Your staff wants to see that you care about them as a person rather than just a number. Without it, you can quickly lose their trust, loyalty, and engagement.
Don’t micromanage remote teams
If your business has never been remote prior to COVID-19, it can be a tough transition. You don’t really know what your employees are up to, and letting go of the reigns can feel scary.
Employers scheduling less-than-necessary meetings, check-ins, and status updates can quickly push away their most loyal employees. Nobody wants to feel like they’re untrusted or being micro-managed. The stress of this constant checking-up can cause serious exhaustion, frustration, and disengagement in your team.
Finding a healthy balance between checking in and giving staff autonomy over their own work progress will provide you and your employees a more positive and effective working environment.
If you’re struggling, work with your HR team to practice good communication and working boundaries.
Respect work boundaries
Speaking of boundaries, remote working doesn’t mean constant working. No employee should be expected to answer work-related calls and emails after they’ve clocked out.
While staff are often able to manage their own work schedules when working from home, that doesn’t mean you should try and push the boundaries of how long they should be working. Let them cherish their free time, and perhaps leave that 9 pm email for the morning.