The pandemic has caused widespread repercussions across various levels and transformed the way companies function. Considering that most employees are in remote setups, you need to structure employee wellbeing initiatives based on these new dimensions to create a happy and engaged workforce.
There are multiple such employee wellbeing initiatives examples that you can make note of. Take a look at 15 of the best employee wellbeing initiatives that we listed down.
1. The Benefits of Employee Wellbeing Initiatives
The benefits of employee wellbeing initiatives are wide-ranging, from positive physical and psychological health, to financial security and social connection. This is not only conducive to a generally nicer, more attractive workplace for everyone, but it can also lead to greater efficiency. A 2019 Oxford University study found that people are on average 13% more productive when they are happy.
So, what are some of the employee wellbeing initiatives companies can initiate to promote holistic health?
2. 20 Employee Wellbeing Initiatives Examples
2.1 Encourage Employee Feedback
We’re going to start with an obvious one: ask your workforce what would help them achieve a greater sense of wellbeing. Get them involved in discussions about what they would find most beneficial, either through anonymous surveys or open talks about wellbeing topics. Are there aspects of the office that they find particularly stressful? What social challenges are they facing due to the increase in remote working?
An environment where individuals can express their ideas and opinions is something every office should strive for in any case, but it’s certainly a core part of making sure you get the right employee wellbeing initiatives or strategies for your office.
2.2 Initiate Team-Building Activities Among The Employees
Departmental scavenger hunts, virtual escape rooms, dance lessons, wine tastings, bubble football – there are innumerable options when it comes to the team-building activities out there, whether in-person and remote. Team-building activities, as part of employee wellbeing initiatives are a sure-fire way to get people communicating in a relaxed, fun atmosphere, bringing teams closer together and promoting the social element of employee wellbeing.
2.3 Provide Employee Recognition And Awards
This doesn’t have to mean just pay raises and bonuses – though making sure employees receive appropriate remuneration is certainly important. Something as simple as a verbal or written compliment from a boss to an employee on a job well done can have tangible benefits to workplace satisfaction. There are also several software on the marketplace now that give a more formal structure to communicating praise, with in-built points systems and rewards for those who hit certain KPIs or demonstrate good team working skills.
A recent study found that 66% of people would leave a job if they felt underappreciated, rising to 76% for millennials. Clearly, employee recognition is an area that cannot be ignored and so implementing employee wellbeing initiatives will show positive long-term results.
2.4 Ensure Nutritious And Healthy Meals in Canteen
It’s long been known that a balanced diet benefits physical health, but more and more studies are showing how smart nutritional choices can benefit mental function as well. With science becoming ever more sophisticated, it’s so much easier for companies to make clear-cut decisions regarding what constitutes a healthy meal to promote workforce wellness and productivity.
Some companies even offer lunch for free, while others subsidize meals, as part of employee wellbeing initiatives, benefiting the pockets of employees and leading to greater financial security in a time of increasing economic uncertainty. Alternatively, as part of employee wellbeing initiatives for those working from home, a number of businesses have started ordering healthy meals to homes for their workforce once a week or emailing out vouchers to help with the cost of food.
2.5 Implement Flexible Work Hours
Even before the pandemic, forward-thinking businesses were offering flexible working hours to help employees manage their time more effectively, particularly when it came to navigating childcare and reducing carbon footprints.
There are a number of ways to approach flexible hours, from allowing work from home a certain number of days a week, to setting particular days when everyone comes together in person for meetings. It’s even worth considering reduced hours or working days as part of employee wellbeing initiatives. Iceland revealed last year that its trial of the practice has seen productivity stay the same or rise in the majority of companies.
2.6 Establish Mental Health Resources For Employees
As we’ve already mentioned, issues like depression and anxiety are not uncommon in work environments and this too needs to be an important factor when charting out employee wellbeing initiatives. Instituting mental health initiatives in the workplace is a natural step to counteract these problems, whether it means ensuring everyone is informed about employee assistance programs (EAPs) or including resources on the office network.
2.7 Provide Opportunities For Career Development
Performance reviews are sometimes treated as little more than box-ticking exercises or occasions to criticize, but they can be incredibly useful as part of employee wellbeing initiatives. Often, the key is to make sure that clear discussions are had between line managers and their team regarding expectations on both sides. This opens the door to conversations about what kind of skills or courses might be useful to help an employee develop, as well as the opportunity to create a roadmap for the future.
Needless to say, this is not only motivational but also increases well-being by giving employees a sense of direction and positivity regarding their professional career.
2.8 Establish Office Gyms/ Provide Gym Membership For Fitness
Not every office is going to have the space for an in-house gym, but many fitness chains offer corporate deals so that employees can work out in a location near them – a particularly handy benefit as society pivots to more remote working. Research has shown that employees report better moods and greater productivity if they exercise during the workday.
2.9 Track Employee Utilization Using Resource Management Software
Employee utilization is most commonly associated with driving profit in a business, but it also has a part to play in employee wellbeing initiatives. Resource management software can help track productivity and translate this into more efficient ways to assess each member of a team’s workload and contribution. Satisfying jobs are jobs where people feel they are contributing in an effective way to a company’s success while not becoming burdened with more than they can handle.
2.10 Initiate Employee Volunteering With a Community Organization
One of the more surprising activities shown to correlate with physical wellbeing is volunteering. Many team-building companies offer to facilitate community outreach programs with the local organization of your choice, creating the dual benefits of individual wellness and group camaraderie.
Alternatively, as part of employee wellbeing initiatives, consider giving employees an extra day or two of paid leave specifically earmarked for volunteering, so that each person can give back to the charity or cause that is most important to them.
2.11 Communicate Effectively With Empathy
Yes, there will probably be high-pressure moments in your workplace, but vituperative harangues are only ever harmful to an office atmosphere. A little patience and compassion go a long way in any situation, and an action as small as just actually listening to someone’s response when they tell you how their day is going will have an impact on general wellness.
Keeping channels of communication open will encourage employees to open and express themselves more freely.
2.12 Ensure Competent Allocation of The Employees
An pivotal part of resource planning in any organization is allocation of resources or employees for goal achievement. A great way to ensure that is to understand the scope of work and identify employees with compatible skill sets. Share tools that can help them build efficiencies in the process, and create realistic deadlines using time tracking software to make sure they can meet them easily.
2.13 Foster a Supportive and Inclusive Workplace
Make sure there is a robust HR policy in place so that staff know what to do if they need guidance around an office issue. It may also be beneficial to hold meetings or workshops around equality in the workplace, so that people from all kinds of backgrounds feel supported and have an opportunity to express any concerns they have around actions or behaviors that are impacting their overall wellbeing.
2.14 Ensure a Proper Office Workspace
Air quality, lighting, elbowroom – all contribute to a positive working environment. An office workspace should have good ventilation, plenty of light and a reasonable amount of room for each employee to spread out in. If employees are working from home, it might be helpful to provide them with a list of ideas for their home office space – for instance, a separate, specific work area creates focus.
2.15 Grant Leave
Everybody needs a break once in a while. Some companies, like Netflix, have even begun offering unlimited leave, as they believe that it increases wellbeing and productivity. At the very least, make sure employees are using their paid annual leave to prevent them burning out.
It may be appropriate to extend maternity/paternity leave. Additionally, longtime employees might benefit from the option to take a sabbatical for a few weeks, secure in the knowledge that the company supports their desire to do so.
2.16 Arrange For Counseling Sessions
As part of implementing employees wellbeing initiatives, providing employees with the opportunity to speak to an in-office counselor is a proactive way to address health and wellbeing at work. Alternatively, partner with locally based counselors to offer a more private setting to address mental wellness. –
Several counseling services can also administer sessions via telephone for added convenience or in situations where face-to-face might prove stressful.
2.17 Offer Free Medical And Health Checkups
Health screening services come in all shapes and sizes, from basic lifestyle assessments and medical tests, to advanced screening for cancer and cardiovascular disease. There are obvious benefits to ensuring a workforce is healthy, physically as well as mentally, and the offer of free health checkups as part of a corporate package can be a nice added incentive in a market where competition for skilled employees is high.
2.18 Allow Employees to Choose Their Work of Interest
As the saying goes, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Are employees being given the opportunity to express what they enjoy most about their career? Perhaps there are specific facets of a job that overlap with their hobbies? Making sure people are placed in the right position that suits their interests is a sure-fire way to increase overall workplace satisfaction.
2.19 Optimize Workforce Utilization Across The Enterprise
Using a set of workforce-centric strategies and approaches that are proactively created to benefit employees will help boost productivity and efficiency in the long-run. These could range from effective scheduling, setting of realistic deadlines, matching of skill sets to tasks being given and more.
2.20 Encourage Movement During The Workday
Ensuring people aren’t sitting for the entire workday is one of the most basic and easy-to-implement employee wellbeing initiatives. This can take the form of organizing walking meetings, holding yoga classes or simply insisting people leave their desks for lunch.
If you want to add a competitive element to the mix, consider initiating an office challenge centered on meeting a certain number of steps a day. Alternately, set up 10-minute stretching sessions throughout the day in spare meeting rooms or chill-out areas.
1. Why should we implement employee wellbeing initiatives in our company?
Employee wellbeing initiatives improve overall health, which means fewer sick days, which in turn means a better financial performance for the company. Studies have shown that staff wellness is directly linked to productivity and a reduction in presenteeism.
2. What is the best award to provide to employees?
Financial incentives are always appreciated, but not necessarily the best way to get the most out of employees. Instead, fun team-building days as well as benefits like gym memberships and healthy office meals can aid staff retention.
3. How to boost employee wellness in the office?
A combination of physical, mental, social and financial initiatives is the best way to approach employee wellbeing initiatives. Particularly in the wake of the pandemic, it may be helpful to assess approaches to employee wellbeing initiatives during Covid and see how best they can be adapted with remote working in mind.