WAYS TO INVEST IN YOUR EMPLOYEES WELL-BEING and INCREASE EFFICIENCY and PRODUCTIVITY.
Today companies are not only competing for customers and clients, they are competing for the highest standard in the labor market as well. The terms culture, employee well-being and work-life balance are an important piece to most job openings, as employers strive to obtain top talent. What are some of the top perks you seek from your employer in 2024?
Not all perks are created equal. Is your company assuring the most important benefits are included and following through? In fact, some employers tend to focus on offering the basic perks those that look good and exciting but do not provide much value to employees and the company they serve. Such things as pickle ball and pizza lunches can be fun and enjoyable, but they don’t compare to a long-term plans to the company and actually investing in employee well-being. Create a company culture that supports growth and well-being, and turn your employees into the most valuable part of your company. As without them you have nothing. Leaders today need to follow through in support of a health and happiness culture to achieve the best results.
While most companies are still coming to terms with the fact that employees deserve better care, others have offered mental health resources as well as wellness programs that support work-life balance. These companies believe that happy, healthy employees are an invaluable asset and are reworking to prioritize employee overall well-being including leadership itself.
COMPANIES LEADING IN THE EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND HAPPINESS CULTURE:
The world leader in sports apparel, NIKE, Inc., incorporates a work culture that is focused on employee satisfaction offering comprehensive mental health benefits with twenty free therapy and coaching sessions for employees and their families, including meditation and caregiving resources. They also ensure their staff keeps up with fitness by including them in Nike Sports Centers and providing great healthcare benefits. NIKE, Inc. also supports their employees to take short leaves of absences, including Fridays off during the summer and a Wellbeing Week in August, enabling employees to recharge to be thier best.
Microsoft believes in the importance of open dialogue in relation to mental health. Employees at all levels are allowed to share their personal struggles through the Microsoft Cares program, a subsidiary of Microsoft, so they can receive support. The culture at Microsoft fosters open dialog and encourages in person and on podcasts to share their mental health journey with many leaders coming forward to share their stories and struggles, paving the way for other employees to feel inclusive in a supporting environment.
At Salesforce, employees are taken care of by an approach that includes personalized care, stress management, therapy and coaching, generous time off, and rehabilitation services. The company partners with Lyra Health to provide therapy for its staff and their family members. When it comes to physical health, they offer healthcare solutions like medical reimbursement and personalized counseling services to their workforce.
Financial services company American Express is committed to promoting employee well-being through a range of wellness programs and initiatives including on-site fitness centers, healthy food alternatives and mental health resources. In addition, the company places a strong emphasis on work-life balance, with flexible work options and a range of benefits available to employees.
As a major provider of airline services, American Airlines has implemented a comprehensive mental health program to empower its employees to obtain the services they need, while keeping costs at a minimum for the business. The company reviews and monitors each case on a monthly basis to ensure a consistent strong program. In addition, the organization has helped to streamline clinician reporting for stronger measurable outcomes in employee mental health. All of these efforts have resulted in increased work engagement, and the program continues to evolve and is now focusing in on integration and proactive programs.
Each one of these companies mentioned have unique approaches to corporate wellness, but all share a common commitment to supporting employee health and well-being. Working for one of these companies can provide an opportunity to learn from top industry leaders and gain valuable experience in the field of corporate wellness.
Many large companies today have taken the initiative to provide wellness programs to their staff and encourage mental health specialists and coaches as part of their benefits package.
I have witnessed first-hand at some of the top companies what can happen to an individual that is not taking care of their wellbeing in some of the top companies worldwide and can tell you it not only takes from the company's productivity but can lead to many self-sabotaging behaviors such as addiction which can increase costs, time, efficiency, turnover, culture and can be detrimental to the companies brand.
STRATEGIES YOU CAN USE TO FOSTER EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND HAPPINESS:
Whether you are beginning a new team or making changes to an existing one, here are a few steps leaders are to consider when building a strategy that fosters employee health and happiness:
Ensuring leaders are given the right education on employee engagement and passing down the education to employees on managing their health and happiness can be an important first step.
Currently Harvard is offering courses on Managing Happiness and Improving Your Business Through Implementing a Culture of Health that is free. These are in addition to Web Programming, Computer Science, Entrepreneurship, and AI classes, indicating that managing health and happiness are two critical skills, in additional to top technical skills, for long-term success in companies. In order to create a growth-driven environment, take your company to the next level, and improve your company’s reputation, take advantage of these Harvard courses while they’re still availalble at no cost.
A flexible work arrangement continues to be one of the top drivers for job seekers and employees when seeking alignment in their current or next organization. With more companies offering flexible options to workers, it’s becoming imperative to offer flexible options in order to retain your best employees.
As we call it work life balance has always been important, but it is even more so today. Many employees are working from home and their spouses and/or children are home too. In the modern world, investing in employees often means understanding their situation and allowing them flexibility in their schedules.
Allowing employees to choose their hours, or implementing a 4 day work week can lead to increased productivity and reduced turnover rates. By introducing a 4 day work week, or hybrid work schedules that require less commute time, or allowing employees to work fully remote, have been shown to drive high levels of employee engagement, productivity, and well-being. Better still, in cases of high work demands, distributing tasks more evenly, adding in Flexible Time Off after peak demand passes, and reminding employees of resources or tools available to help manage their responsibilities efficiently will decrease the odds of burnout and prevent additional health risks.
How do you determine the best ways to invest in employee well-being? Just take a moment to ask. Before companies create new policies, many conducted an internal survey to ask employees how they felt about remote work. Then it acted on the results to give employees what they requested. Surveys can easily be achieved by speaking to each employee directly or by sending a questionnaire either electronically or on paper (for small companies).
Be subjective in your approach when dealing with your employees. Interact more with them and ask for their opinions on issues, especially ones concerning them. They’re a huge part of your company and deserve that recognition. By allowing your staff to participate in the decision-making by identifying and solving workplace problems, you earn higher levels of loyalty, decrease turnover, and drive buy-in, which can increase engagement and productivity.
Leaders need to promote a welcoming environment. Another strategy to improve employee well-being is to create a work environment where employees support each other. Encourage open communication, active listening, support in a non-judgmental atmosphere where employees feel safe sharing their concerns, both personal and professional. When employees have psychological safety within work relationships, it can reduce psychological distress and enhance positive attitudes toward work. This begins with the Leader and when that person is not promoting an environment that is welcoming it can backfire promoting toxicity and mistrust that will hinder the success of the company.
Fostering a sense that each person is a part of the company's mission, and its success does not have to be over complicated. Appreciating employees for their hard work and celebrating their achievements, you can tie their work and accomplishments to company goals, allowing them to feel more connected to your company, illuminating how their work is contributing to the overall mission.
Providing constructive feedback that includes what is going well, what can be better and ending the conversation in a way that fosters appreciation for their hard work working with them on solutions will increase productivity in the work environment that is welcoming and encouraging and increase the overall culture of the company.
ENCOURAGE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
Physical health is closely linked to well-being. Absenteeism due to illness results in low production, affecting the bottom line in the long run. Promote and encourage a heathy work environment beginning by promoting regular exercise, healthy eating, and providing opportunities for employees to stay active during the workday. Implementing wellness programs, including workshops, fitness classes, meditation sessions, or access to counseling services, support thier health and wellbeing by developing healthy habits and manage stress in the workforce.
Improving employee well-being is not just a way to help your employees feel better; it’s a needed strategic investment. When you prioritize the health and happiness of your employees, they become more engaged, productive, and feel supportive which likely will encourage the retention rates with the company for the long term. Leaders need encourage support and lead by example to create an impactful environemnt for the employees, driving more results when they are healthy and happy.
Thriving companies in 2024 will have leaders that prioritize their employees' wellbeing. Top talent will no longer settle for companies that do not value them, personally and professionally.
What will truly improve employee well-being is to invest in their growth and development, personally and professionally. Growth is an important piece to each of our overall fulfillment in life. Without it you may feel stagnant and repetitive likely feeling under motivated. When you provide opportunities for growth, you show your employees that you care about them and their success beyond the duties of their job.
EVENTS TO INSPIRE:
In order to create an environment focused on progress and development, consider providing ongoing professional training. In today’s remote world, online events like a lunch & learn session with an area of improvement, a financial consultant or an internal expert are a great way to invest in employee well-being while also providing a bonding experience. You can also provide online courses or send employees to conferences that give them a chance to expand their networks and establish themselves as industry insiders, and even experts.
The BENEFITS OF INVESTING IN YOUR EMPLOYEES:
Companies like American Express, American Airlines, Nike, Salesforce, and Microsoft, are known for investing in their employees. They understand that making employee well-being a part of their company culture provides numerous benefits that make it worth the initial investment.
STRONG COMPANY CULTURE:
You will not be able to achieve a strong company culture without healthy and well-balanced employees. If the individuals who make up your team or that who leads your team are not operating at their peak, your team as a whole will not achieve its best.
Higher productivity. Multiple studies indicate that happy, healthy and engaged employees are more productive, providing greater efficiency and reducing costs in the company.
GREATER EMPLOYEE RETENTION:
Research conducted by PriceWaterCoopers (PWC) suggested that 33% of employees said poor well-being had been a factor in leaving a job. According to the same study, 24% of employers say that employee turnover is the #1 challenge they face in their people strategy. Improve employee morale and retention while avoiding unnecessary costs down the line by investing in employees.
It’s no secret that employee turnover can have a substantial impact on an organization’s bottom line. With turnover rates hiking up in the corporate business world, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s no better time to adopt proactive strategies that improve employee retention. Companies should invest in a work culture that supports the mental health of their employees, as that will enable them to reduce the constant churn of staff and bypass the staggering cost of recruiting new talent.
We are shifting more towards the next generation of workforce, typically referred to as Generation Z this is particularly sensitive to mental health concerns. They want to feel heard and seen. Noone wants to be in a place where they do not feel needed.
We will not please everyone with these strategies but rather focuing on the majority. As leaders looking for ways to make an impact to the bottom line, focusing on the people aspect of your organization in 2024 will lower your turnover rate and add points to the bottom line.
By creating healthier employees, you give them the capacity and motivation to go above and beyond, significantly impacting your company’s revenue and growth. By taking care of their health, both physical and mental, companies may witness reduced sick days and callouts for self care days. They may also notice lower stress levels in the office directly translating to a more efficient and effective workforce.
Improving employee well-being is not just a way to help your employees feel better; it’s a needed strategic investment. When you prioritize the health and happiness of your employees, they become more engaged, productive, and will likely stay with the company for the long term. Leaders need buy in from employees to create an impact, and employees drive more results when they are healthy and happy. Thriving companies in 2024 will have leaders that prioritize their employees' needs and top talent will no longer settle for companies that value them, completely.
Begin to implement your company wellness program today with help from Ack Professional International. Schedule a Strategy Session with us to learn more and we will lead your employees in team building and goal setting exercises to begin your journey to an unremarkable company culture.
What opportunities will you provide to your team to increase your companies culture in 2024?
Be the best version of you.
Ack Professional International
Contact us directly at AckProfessional@outlook.com to schedule your complimentary Strategy Session.