Workplace wellbeing refers to the overall health and satisfaction of employees in the workplace. It encompasses the creation of a conducive and wholesome work environment that fosters employee productivity and success. This is achieved through the establishment of a positive corporate culture that prioritises respect, support, and recognition, as well as promoting holistic wellbeing among employees. To cultivate such an environment, organisations may implement various programmes, such as physical and mental health initiatives, stress management solutions, engagement, and satisfaction-enhancing activities. These efforts aim to not only improve the overall health and happiness of employees, but also to boost the organisation’s productivity and success.
Workplace wellbeing is important for several reasons
Improves employee health and happiness: A focus on workplace wellbeing can lead to improved physical and mental health, reducing stress and absenteeism, and increasing overall employee happiness.
Boosts productivity: Happy and healthy employees tend to be more productive and engaged in their work.
Increases employee retention: A workplace that prioritises employee wellbeing is more likely to retain its employees, reducing the costs associated with high turnover rates.
Enhances corporate culture: A focus on workplace wellbeing can help foster a positive corporate culture, promoting teamwork and collaboration.
Supports diversity and inclusiveness: A workplace that prioritises wellbeing is likely to be more diverse and inclusive, creating a supportive environment for all employees.
Meets legal obligations: Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment. A focus on workplace wellbeing helps meet these obligations and reduces the risk of workplace-related health problems and accidents.
Improves overall organisational performance: A workplace that prioritises employee wellbeing is more likely to be successful, with higher levels of productivity, lower turnover rates, and improved employee morale.
Workplace wellbeing helps create a positive and productive work environment. A healthy workplace is beneficial to both workers and employers. It can reduce absenteeism and turnover, improve morale and productivity, and lead to better overall health and wellbeing for employees. Additionally, it can help create a better company culture, improve communication and collaboration, and foster a sense of belonging and community. In short, workplace wellbeing is essential for creating a successful workplace in today’s competitive environment.
A holistic approach to workplace wellbeing
A holistic approach to workplace wellbeing encompasses 6 pillars of wellbeing i.e., physical, nutritional, social, emotional, professional and financial wellbeing, and considers factors such as the physical work environment, workload, job satisfaction, social support, and financial stability etc. This approach recognises the interconnections between these factors and seeks to address them in a comprehensive and integrated way for the benefit of both employees and the organisation as a whole.
A workplace with a strong focus on wellbeing creates a positive and supportive environment for employees, which can lead to improved employee morale, reduced stress and absenteeism, and increased productivity. A holistic approach to workplace wellbeing takes into account the synergies between various factors that impact an employee’s overall health and wellbeing, and seeks to address them in a comprehensive and integrated way. This approach recognises that employees are multi-faceted individuals with diverse needs and seeks to create a workplace that supports their overall health and happiness. Implementing a workplace wellbeing program can not only improve employee health and happiness, but also benefit the organisation as a whole by reducing turnover, absenteeism and increasing overall productivity.
Employers have a responsibility to provide a comprehensive framework for the holistic wellbeing of their employees, including offering access to resources such as counseling, an employee assistance program, and occupational health services when possible. Line managers must be equipped with ongoing guidance to support their teams, so they can have open conversations and direct employees to expert help if necessary. It’s also important for employers to encourage all employees to maintain a good self-care routine, including a healthy diet, relaxation, and adequate sleep. The rise in reported mental health issues over the past decade highlights the need for employers to address both the physical and psychosocial aspects of health and wellbeing in the workplace. Most organisations are taking steps to support mental health and reduce workplace stress, as seen in CIPD’s annual survey 2022. However, unhealthy working practices, such as “presenteeism” and “leaveism,” remain prevalent, with 81% of organisations reporting people working while sick, and 67% observing employees using holiday time while unwell or to work. Employers must go beyond absence statistics to understand the underlying factors that are affecting employee wellbeing and driving unhealthy work practices.
Everyone has responsibility for fostering workplace wellbeing
It is a common misconception that workplace wellbeing is solely the responsibility of an organisation’s HR or management team. In reality, fostering a positive and healthy work environment is a shared responsibility among all employees. Every employee has a role to play in promoting and contributing to workplace wellbeing. This includes taking care of their own physical and mental health, respecting the wellbeing of their colleagues, and contributing to a positive and supportive work environment.
Employees can also contribute to workplace wellbeing by speaking up about any concerns they have and being proactive in suggesting changes that could improve the work environment. It is important for employees to understand that their opinions and contributions are valued and that their wellbeing is a priority. Moreover, management and HR have a crucial role to play in creating and implementing programmes and initiatives that promote workplace wellbeing. This includes creating a safe and healthy physical environment, offering support and resources for employee well-being, and creating a culture that prioritises employee wellbeing.
People professionals play a crucial role in driving the health and wellbeing initiative within organisations. They must prioritise the matter, influencing senior managers to integrate wellbeing into the day-to-day operations of the organisation. They are responsible for communicating the advantages of a healthy work environment to line managers, who enforce people management and wellbeing policies. To ensure policies and practices are carried out effectively, people professionals need to collaborate with various departments and provide practical advice, delivered with empathy.
Insufficient involvement from senior management in promoting wellbeing can be a major obstacle. Senior managers serve as key examples, and when they actively participate in health and wellbeing initiatives, line managers and employees are more likely to follow suit. With their power and influence, senior managers can ensure that the emphasis on wellbeing is ingrained into the organisation’s culture and daily operations as a strategic priority.
Line managers bear a significant portion of the responsibility for overseeing the health and wellbeing of employees. This encompasses executing stress management programmes, recognising early indicators of stress, making accommodating changes in the workplace, and maintaining positive relationships. Studies repeatedly indicate that “ineffective management” is a major contributor to job-related stress. In the CIPD’s annual survey 2022, approximately 26% of participants attributed work-related stress to management style. Managers serve as influential role models in promoting healthy habits in the workplace, and this finding highlights the adverse effects that can occur if managers lack the skills and confidence to execute their people management responsibilities effectively. It is also crucial for managers to comprehend the impact their management style has on employees and the organisational culture in the workplace.
Individuals also have a duty to maintain their own health and wellbeing and can only reap the benefits of wellbeing programmes if they actively participate and attend to their health both in and outside of work. Employers can foster employee involvement by clearly communicating the support and benefits available to them. Gathering employee feedback on current initiatives is also crucial to refine existing programs and plan new ones effectively.
In conclusion, fostering workplace wellbeing is a shared responsibility among all employees and the organisation as a whole. By working together and taking an active role in promoting and contributing to a positive and healthy work environment, everyone can play a part in creating a workplace that supports employee health and happiness.
What makes a great workplace wellness program
Mobile First Approach: The distinction between work and wellness is becoming blurred as forward-thinking companies put mental and physical health at the forefront. Employee wellbeing is no longer an optional perk but a crucial and strategic initiative to support the entire workforce, whether they work onsite, remotely, or in a hybrid model. For a Corporate wellbeing program to be effective, it must be easily accessible. A digital platform provides a centralised hub that can be reached from any location, making it possible for all employees to participate. Additionally, purpose-built apps save time and reduce administrative work compared to traditional wellness programmes. These apps offer features such as in-app challenges, goal setting recommendations, activity tracking, leaderboards, inspiring content, and integrated rewards all in one place, providing a comprehensive wellbeing experience for employees.
Consider these questions when assessing a wellness platform
- Does the platform integrate with existing company initiatives such as the Employee Assistance Program, or HRIS?
- Is it scalable, allowing new employees to join effortlessly?
- Can administrators customize the programming?
- What is the capability for user-defined goals and challenges?
- Does it fully comply with GDPR regulations?
The notion that “one size fits all” is outdated with the advent of machine learning-powered technologies that personalise wellness programmes for each individual employee. Wellness apps that use user data and a recommendation engine can provide a tailored experience that drives behaviour change by delivering the right content, goals, and prompts to the right person at the right time. While holistic wellness remains crucial, it has been challenging to execute in the past. Wellness programmes often covered too many areas, preventing meaningful engagement with any one topic, and employees often felt that much of the programming was irrelevant to them. Personalisation changes this by using machine learning to create a more meaningful experience based on real-time data, delivering content that is relevant to both the user’s interests and their wellness journey. Each employee has unique physical, psychological, and social capabilities and opportunities, and personalisation supports them where they are now to help them reach where they want to be.
How can you determine the effectiveness of a wellness programme? Are there metrics to gauge its success? One of the limitations of many wellness initiatives is the lack of quantifiable results. Effective workplace wellness programmes are those that offer ways to view and analyse programme data, allowing for the implementation of insights to drive positive change.
Is your wellness program being utilised by employees? How engaging is the experience? Engagement is a metric used to assess the frequency with which users return to an app. It is calculated by comparing the monthly active users (MAU) to either the weekly active users (WAU) or daily active users (DAU). The closer the weekly or daily percentage is to the monthly percentage, the higher the engagement. Stickiness is crucial for promoting behaviour change in wellness programmes. Only 10% of individuals stick to their New Year’s fitness goals and one-third of those who purchase a wearable give up on it within 6 months. In contrast, wellness apps that are user-friendly, provide clear guidance, offer benefits, and are personalised, result in greater engagement and stickiness. Stickiness not only reflects the extent to which your employees engage with your wellness programme, but it is also a precursor to establishing long-lasting healthy habits.
Traditional Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) offer a one-time insight into the health status of employees, but often face low participation rates and outdated information. VIWELL’s digital wellbeing platform, integrated into a wellness app, provides real-time and updated insights into health risks and wellness scores to drive effective change. This type of digital wellbeing platform incorporates wearable device data, smartphone data, and manual tracking of health variables, and compares it with established population data to produce personalized wellness scores. With real-time data, companies can better support their employees and drive behavior change. Integrating HRA scoring into a wellness platform helps employees understand the impact of their actions on their health and encourages behavior change.
It can be challenging to create and implement an in-house wellness programme and gather the necessary data. Having a partner with customised solutions and a deep understanding of employee engagement is crucial for success.
The VIWELL digital wellbeing platform fosters a positive work culture, improves overall health and wellness, and results in happier, more productive, and profitable employees. If you’re ready to invest in wellbeing, request a demo to see how VIWELL can make a difference in your organisation.
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How to build a culture of holistic workplace wellbeing with VIWELL
Workplace wellbeing programmes have evolved, and organisations must now look beyond offering yoga classes and meditation apps. Workplace wellbeing has become much more comprehensive, encompassing the physical, nutritional, emotional, social, professional and financial health of employees. It is no longer simply a concept for startups, but a necessity to ensure employee wellness and productivity. Creating a comprehensive workplace wellbeing culture requires a flexible approach that addresses the diverse needs of your workforce. By encompassing the full spectrum of holistic wellbeing, you can foster a positive work environment and boost employee engagement, productivity, and work-life balance.
With VIWELL’s total people wellbeing platform, you can take your employee wellbeing to the next level and attract and retain top talent. Our experts are ready to assist you in reaching your employee wellbeing goals. Contact us today.