15 tips to create a great Employee Well-being Strategy
When it comes to employees, there are a lot of buzzwords that get thrown around: culture, retention, engagement, and satisfaction. The list goes on!
If we’re being honest they’re all important. But there’s one that often gets overlooked. Employee well-being.
While all these things are closely intertwined, employee well-being is an essential part of helping your team be successful – at work and beyond. So how can you improve employee well-being while also prioritizing company goals?
In this article, we’ll cover the basics around employee well-being and some tips for implementing a strategy that works.
What is employee well-being?
Employee well-being is more than just wellness – it’s about everything that makes up your employee’s life and how well it’s going.
You can typically look at well-being in three buckets: physical well-being, mental well-being, and social well-being. (Some also consider career, financial, and community well-being as part of these buckets as well.)
As an employer, prioritizing well-being means that you’ll have happier, more engaged, and more productive employees. These benefits can pay off in spades!
How to improve employee well-being
Employee well-being affects all aspects of a business, from employee retention to productivity and even profits. When it starts declining, those effects can be far-reaching.
It’s critical that your employees have the right tools and support in place to feel content at work. Here are 15 tips to help your employee engagement team build a better employee well-being strategy.
1. Build a positive work culture
Your company culture can have a major impact on employee morale and happiness. It’s no surprise, given workplace culture tends to drive things like strategies, policies, and general working styles. While it’s certainly not the be-all and end-all of employee well-being, positive work culture is one of the best places to start when it comes to creating an employee well-being strategy.
Start with the basics, like having a clear company mission and values. Then make sure your employee well-being strategy ladders up to it!
2. Identify the gaps
Every organization is unique and might face different challenges when it comes to employee well-being. So it’s important to take a step back and understand the biggest gaps and areas of improvement when it comes to your team.
Does your team struggle with absenteeism? That could be a sign that physical well-being is a concern. Or is it low morale? Which could be a sign of social well-being issues.
There is a wide range of issues that can stem from deteriorating employee well-being. But you can’t necessarily tackle them all at once. By narrowing down the biggest causes for concern, you can focus on the areas that will make the biggest difference.
3. Prioritize communication and transparency
No one likes to feel like they’re being shut out of the cool kids’ table. And while your workplace isn’t the high-school cafeteria, the principles are similar. When employees feel like they are left out, they’re more likely to feel dejected and like they don’t belong.
This can take a major toll on the mental side of employee well-being.
Instead of leaving employees to guess, create a culture of transparency and communication. Whether it’s through regular company updates or something as simple as public calendars, it can help provide your employees with a sense of purpose.
Realistically, not every piece of communication is going to be good news and some things need to stay on the down low. But that’s okay – most employees would rather their company be honest than skirt around the truth.
By creating a culture of transparency, even if there is less-than-ideal news (like layoffs), employees can trust that they’re still valued members of the team.
4. Recognize and reward
A little appreciation can go a long way – a bit of a cliché but it’s true. Not only can it increase employee motivation, but it can also improve employee mental well-being.
Employees who feel appreciated at work are more likely to feel satisfied with their work and careers.
But recognizing and rewarding employees doesn’t need to be complicated. Even creating a culture of peer-to-peer thankyous and team shout-outs can make an impact. Platforms like Evergreen make this super simple.
However, you can also reward employee achievements through formal programs, like bonuses and milestone rewards.
5. Encourage collaboration and community
One of the best things about working on a team is that you can reach out to a network of folks to support you with your day-to-day work. Whether it’s syncing on work or just chatting about your weekend, collaboration and a culture of teamwork can do wonders for employee well-being.
In fact, employees that have a workplace best friend have been shown to have better job success.
When employees feel siloed, it takes away a huge benefit of working as a team, it can cause burnout and cause social and mental well-being to deteriorate.
Your employee well-being strategy includes tools to foster internal engagement between your teams – both in the context of work and social bonding.
6. Offer meaningful work
Despite the naysayers, the majority of employees want to come to work and do good work! They would rather do that than keep a seat warm.
A huge part of employees feeling valued at work comes down to knowing that they’re making an impact. Improve mental well-being by providing your employees with meaningful work.
Fulfilling work can manifest in many different ways. Maybe it ladders up to the company's mission and values. Perhaps it shows in the numbers. Or maybe it’s just an opportunity that helps an employee get one step closer to their career goals.
If you constantly find your employees working on projects that feel uninspired or don’t serve a greater purpose, it might be worth evaluating if the work is worth doing in the first place.
7. Don’t forget to celebrate
Whether it’s individual milestones or teamwide achievements, make sure you give your team the opportunity to step back and celebrate. This can include yearly events or even simple virtual celebrations.
It’s simple but makes a big impact.
When it comes to employee well-being, it’s also worth celebrating the things that happen outside of work. Whether it’s an employee welcoming a new family member or achieving a personal goal, by making a point to celebrate you’re showing that your organization has a vested interest in your team’s all-around well-being – not just who they are at work.
8. Encourage career development
Elevating your employees is one of the best ways to support their well-being.
If your employees feel stuck in their roles, it can be extremely stressful and unmotivating. As a result, you’ll likely see a decrease in performance and engagement.
Building paths and opportunities for career development should be a staple in your well-being strategy. It shows that your organization is invested in employee success and growth.
Whether it’s implementing policies around internal hiring, employee learning budget, or just encouraging managers to discuss career goals in 1:1s, it can have a major impact on employee engagement.
9. Provide regular training
Every employee should constantly be learning. Otherwise, they run the risk of getting bored.
Offer your employees regular opportunities to upskill in different areas through training and development. This can make them better equipped to handle their job and provide them with the skills they need to do their job effectively. Ultimately, this can reduce burnout, increase job satisfaction, and even improve employee confidence.
Training and learning opportunities don’t have to only relate to your team’s work life. Hosting webinars or lunch & learns on other topics, like financial wellness or even stress management, can show that you’re invested in your employee’s overall well-being. Not just their workplace productivity. Plus, they can walk away with real skills that can improve their life.
10. Focus on feedback
A culture of open communication and feedback can help your organization stand out from the crowd.
Creating a safe space for employees to share their thoughts, ideas, and even their concerns around their work (or life) can help identify issues early on. When employees trust their managers and leadership, it makes it possible for managers to step in and support them where needed. Otherwise, you run the risk of issues festering and ultimately impacting your employees’ well-being.
11. Listen to your employees
When building out strategies, it’s important to do market research. Except in this scenario your target audience is your employees.
The best way to create an environment where your employees can thrive is by truly understanding their well-being needs. Reach out and ask your team for direct feedback and listen when employees speak up.
Do they feel like they need more career development? Or perhaps they’re feeling burnt out? This way you’re not grasping at straws and spending valuable resources on initiatives that won’t move the needle.
You can also formalize this process by sending out regular well-being surveys or providing opportunities for employee feedback.
By going directly to your employees, you’ll be able to make meaningful changes that show you care about their well-being. (And actually make an impact!)
12. Competitive compensation
While salary isn’t everything, it’s still an important part of employee well-being. Putting employees in a place where they feel financially secure empowers them to put their best foot forward when they’re at work.
This doesn’t mean you should pay your employees unrealistic salaries, it just means being competitive in the market and paying your team for their value.
Employees who are less stressed about finances (among other things) are more likely to do better work and be more productive. It frees up energy and brain power to be a better team member.
Being compensated properly can also make employees feel more accountable for their work and pursue their goals at work and beyond.
13. Offer the right benefits
On the flip side, total compensation is equally important – this includes everything from salary to employee benefits, and more.
When it comes to benefits, the right ones can have a huge impact on employee well-being. Offering medical benefits can help your team maintain better physical health. Life insurance can offer peace of mind and improve mental well-being. Meanwhile, other benefits like retirement matching (401K in the US), fitness stipends, and mental health benefits can all improve employee satisfaction.
But it’s important to consider what benefits employees are likely to use and will actually benefit from. While new benefits can be costly, the right ones are usually worth the investment.
14. Support work-life balance
Work-life balance is one of those things we always hear about. But it’s actually very important.
We all hear the stories of employees being expected to answer emails around the clock – which can ultimately lead to burnout, frustration, and poor mental (and physical) health.
While employees should set healthy boundaries between personal life and work, it’s possible for employees to achieve it without support from you, their employer.
Your employee well-being strategy should include things like policies around paid time off and logging off after work hours. These little things can help promote employee satisfaction and overall well-being.
15. Prioritize diversity and inclusion
Diversity in the workplace is an increasingly important conversation – for good reason!
Employees who feel welcome and feel that they can be themselves are more likely to thrive at work. Whether it’s sharing their ideas or concerns, no one should feel judged in the workplace.
By creating a space that is diverse and inclusive, you’ll not only reduce the mental load on your team but it can also come with major benefits. A team that embraces differences is going to enjoy a wider range of perspectives and more creativity.
Make employee well-being a top priority
When it comes to your workforce, it’s easy for employee well-being to fall between the cracks. While it may not be a metric that has an immediate impact on your business, the trickle-down effect can be far-reaching.
Employee well-being can impact how they interact with each other and their performance at work.
It’s important to look at employee well-being holistically, not just individual areas. But when you provide the support your team needs, your employees’ mental, physical, and social well-being is more likely to thrive.
Not only will you have a healthier workforce, but your business will reap the benefits.
Take the first step toward improving your employee well-being with Evergreen. Evergreen makes internal engagement a piece of cake, helping teams level up their peer-to-peer recognition. Schedule your free demo today!
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