5 Fresh Takes on Employee Wellbeing
More employers today are focusing on how to create an environment that doesn’t just foster good work but also satisfaction and fulfillment for their employees, including when it comes to health and wellbeing. Outlets like Forbes have noted that the concept of employee wellbeing has expanded beyond physical wellness to include considerations like mental health, emotional safety, and sense of purpose.
We sifted through a swirl of reporting about employee wellbeing to get a sense of the conversation this past year, and what the future of wellness at work may look like. Read on for five points we’re taking with us.
Employee Wellbeing Isn’t Just About Work
According to Gallup, individual wellbeing encompasses five aspects: career, social, financial, physical, and community wellbeing. While it’s obvious employers can impact career wellbeing, they can positively impact overall wellbeing by offering support in other arenas, too.
Promoting holistically happy team members—who then show up more engaged in the workplace—could include providing financial literacy resources, stocking healthy snacks, creating affinity groups, and helping teams get involved in the neighborhood.
Managers Set the Example for Workplace Wellness
Three main ways org leaders can help foster a less anxious workplace, per Protocol: Lead wellness from the front, make unstructured time social, and think about how company benefits can target wellness. When interviewed, many employees said it’s hard to take initiatives like days off seriously when all the managers are still working. Holding leaders accountable for prioritizing wellness on their teams—and modeling it themselves—empowers everyone else to follow suit.
Holding leaders accountable for prioritizing wellness on their teams—and modeling it themselves—empowers everyone else to follow suit.
Personal Hardship Should Be Part of the Plan
Entrepreneur observes that, unfortunately, we’ll all experience grief and loss—and that will inevitably impact our work worlds. Being able to support and accommodate team members through the big and difficult things in life is an important part of building a work environment that values wellbeing. Writer Zane Landin urges employers to be proactive in creating emotional spaces for employees to share and acknowledge struggles they may be going through.
LGBTQ+ Workers May Be Apt Mental Health Leaders
Harvard Business Review points to data from Mind Share Partners’ Mental Health at Work Report that suggests LGBTQ+ workers have the ability and opportunity to become mental health leaders in the workforce. Per the study, individuals in the community are frequently affected by mental health-related and othering experiences, and were “more likely to feel comfortable talking about their mental health at work.” So they may be primed to lead in wellbeing, not just for their own communities but for the workplace at large.
Yup, Working Fewer Hours Makes People Happier
Is simply working less a wellbeing magic bullet? We’re not saying yes, but we’re not… not saying yes. A huge survey in the UK about the four-day work week is at its halfway point and Gizmodo reports, “88% of surveyed participants said that the four-day work week is working well for their business.”
Anecdotally, executives are seeing increased employee wellness with their new schedules. While this doesn’t mean none of us should ever work a Friday again, it’s worth thinking creatively about extending time off in ways that work for our respective workplaces.