Employee Well-being Management

Why Well-being Initiatives are Essential for Employee Productivity

Happy and healthy people with a high level of well-being can engage in tasks with higher productivity and work more productively than people with lower well-being, and dissatisfaction with business and daily life. By organizing various initiatives to promote well-being, the performance of the work team improves.

The impact of well-being on productivity

Employees’ feelings, work environment, and life balance affect their ability to work and perform well. When a person feels stressed, it isn’t easy to concentrate, and the work can be done more superficially and with less quality. Stress is one of the most significant factors affecting a person’s physical and mental well-being. Excessive workload is the most frequently mentioned source of stress (62%), followed by the specifics of management style (43%) and interpersonal relationships with colleagues and managers (30%) [1].

In turn, lack of energy encourages employees to delay tasks by directing them to side activities such as communicating with friends and visiting social networking sites.

An inappropriate work environment and climate affect our well-being. When there is too much heat or coolness on the premises, discomfort occurs, and it is more difficult for the employee to pay attention to work tasks.

By gaining and maintaining well-being, an individual reaches his work potential. Therefore, both the employee’s concern for his well-being and the company’s involvement in promoting employee well-being is important. There is a consensus among employees and managers that well-being programs have a largely positive effect on productivity [2].

Ways to increase well-being in the company

Healthy snacks. A popular and effective way to ensure your employees’ well-being in the company is to provide various fruits and vegetables every day. Vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables have a positive effect on well-being, improve health, and provide energy. In addition to fruit, it is valuable to place a clean drinking water facility.

The availability of fruit also helps not to waste time on work. Instead of going to the store for a snack, an employee can go to the company’s kitchen or lounge to pick up healthy snacks that help keep the energy going until lunch breaks and the end of the day. The survey found that 57% of employees in a non-fruit company go to the store for coffee and snacks daily during working hours [3]. The World Health Organization has found that a healthy diet increases productivity by 20% [4].

Ergonomic work environment. The most appropriate and comfortable work environment has a significant impact on the well-being and productivity of employees. Ensure proper room lighting, placement of tables and chairs, height. A cozy indoor air temperature in all seasons also affects the well-being and performance of employees. According to the survey, 44% of employees consider a pleasant work environment as a well-being promoter [2].

Strengthening work team relations. A cohesive team event strengthens employee relationships. There are several types of such events – sports day, hike, Christmas party. At events, employees enhance mutual friendship and trust, which allows them to better support and help each other and get the job done more productively. Joint projects and oral communication also create healthy relationships in the work team. 77% of employees in a study cited peer relationships as the primary motivator for engagement [5].

Growth promotion and training. Organizing training and reviving a culture of independent learning improves the employee’s knowledge and skills. And it promotes personal growth and self-confidence, which improves employee well-being and reduces insecurity and stress. Training on stress reduction, the importance of physical activity, and proper nutrition will promote individuals’ well-being at work and home.

Sports activities. The popularity of supporting physical activities is growing. The companies provide employees with gym subscriptions and discounts and organize yoga classes in the workplace. Walking also requires physical movement, so employees can be encouraged to walk 10,000 steps throughout the day, easy to measure with a mobile phone app and smartwatch. 77.6% of employees would do more sports if they could exercise in gyms during working hours, and 53% of employees would devote time to sports to reduce their health insurance costs [6].

Flexible working hours. Being able to come to work and go home at the right time helps the employee maintain a balance between private and working life and reduce stress levels. Several companies offer the opportunity to come to work until 11 AM. Thanks to flexible working hours, a person prepares for a new working day more gradually and thoroughly, eats the most important meal of the day, i.e., breakfast, and takes children to an educational institution. Also, by offering flexible working hours, the employee can choose to work when he feels productive. Research has shown that flexible working hours are the most effective way to reduce stress in the workplace [1].

Health examinations and insurance. Employees consider the possibility of a paid health examination, such as a vision test, to be a significant bonus. Early detection and treatment of diseases preserve human health and avoids mild and severe illnesses. The more employers include health checks and insurance in their well-being initiatives, the more the number of absences from work will decrease. In the United Kingdom, an employee is absent from work for an average of 4 days a year due to illness [7]. The survey found that 91-94% of companies at various levels consider the health of employees to be an essential factor in productivity [12].

Open communication at all levels. Employees should feel more open to communicating with their line manager, other department heads, and the company manager. When communication takes place vertically, only from top to bottom, a person may experience stress. In turn, free, dynamic communication opportunities allow employees to ask clarifying questions for work performance and find the best solutions to situations.

By finding out your employees’ thoughts and wishes, the company will most effectively increase the well-being and productivity of the team. A survey in Australia found that 74% of employees believe that it pays off for organizations to invest time and money in promoting well-being [2]. Even by investing small financial resources and rethinking the organization of work, employees’ well-being increases. Also, 87% of workers expect work to provide work-life balance support [8].

Studies have shown that improving the following factors increases employee well-being: engagement, work-life balance, employee evaluation and health [9], peer relationships, physical activity, learning [10], flexibility, and support [11].

Sources:

[1] CIPD, Simplyhealth, 2019. Health and well-being at work. Available: https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/health-and-well-being-at-work-2019.v1_tcm18-55881.pdf

[2] McMillan L. 2017 Workplace wellbeing

[3] Hoppier, 2019,  Employee wellness programs: Exploring the impact of office snacks. Available: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://assets.website-files.com/5cab75b41283e5fbfc0e18e2/5d2cb2b199a69030d338f73e_Exploring-the-impact-of-office-snacks.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwj17IrY05PuAhUaAxAIHTPYAukQFjAJegQIGhAB&usg=AOvVaw3uoC3Y0hpTW4RWAgYTOZ3v&cshid=1610360542767

[4] World Health Organization, 2018, Global Nutrition. Available: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.who.int/nutrition/globalnutritionreport/2018_Global_Nutrition_Report.pdf%3Fua%3D1&ved=2ahUKEwi36Z3H3ZPuAhXNvosKHfc8BWUQFjACegQIDBAB&usg=AOvVaw1ccpgqy0HstSnsg_YODg0o 

[5] Society for human resource management. 2016. SHRM Research Spotlight: Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement. Available: https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/research-and-surveys/Documents/2016-Employee-Job-Satisfaction-Engagement-Flyer.pdf

[6] Treadmill, 2021, Working out during the workweek. Available: https://www.treadmillreviews.net/working-out-during-the-workweek/ 

[7] Office for National Statistics. (2018). Sickness absence in the UK labor 

Market. Available: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/labourproductivity/articles/sicknessabsenceinthelabourmarket/2018 

[8] Glassdoor 2019 Glassdoor mission & culture survey 2019. Available: https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/mission-culture-survey/

[9] Keeman A., Näswall K., Malinen S., Kuntz J. 2017 Employee wellbeing: Evaluating a wellbeing intervention in two settings. Available:

[10] Bennett J., Senft M., Waiver J., Neeper M. 2017 Creating Workplace Well-Being. Available:

[11] Baptist3 N.R. 2007 Tightening the link between employee wellbeing at work and performance. A new dimension for HRM. Available: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.466.3964&rep=rep1&type=pdf 

[12] Health Enhancement Research Organization. 2015. Exploring the Value Proposition for Workforce Health Business Leader Attitudes about the Role of Health as a Driver of Productivity and Performance. Available: https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/benefits/Documents/HPP-Business-Leader-Survey-Full-Report_FINAL.pdf 

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