Why Employee Wellbeing is Serious Business

Employee wellbeing is topping HR workplace trends for 2024. Now, more than ever, employees are demanding a supportive and nurturing work environment where they can thrive. But how can HR Leaders demonstrate to employees that their leadership team is taking it seriously? Keep reading for tips on how to genuinely commit to supporting employee wellbeing.

While Quiet Quitting and the Great Resignation seems to have settled down, employee retention and recruitment is still a top concern for HR Leaders. Despite inflation rates and economic uncertainty, salary is not the only deciding factor for candidates—the day-to-day employee experience and full benefits package equally matter.

How to Prioritize Employee Wellbeing

Too often, company wellness benefits become a list of vendors mentioned during Open Enrollment instead of a seamless integration into day-to-day operations. Employees need more than just a phone number to your EAP and a link to a wellness portal. They need to see HR, leadership, department heads, and managers demonstrate empathy, accountability, inclusion, and transparency on a daily basis.

5 Reasons to Commit to Your Employees’ Wellbeing (and How to Do It!)

1. Boost Productivity and Performance

Encourage Regular Breaks

Implement policies that encourage employees to take regular breaks throughout the day. Ensure your remote team members aren’t afraid to be “on red” in Microsoft Teams or Slack in the middle of the day. Short breaks have been shown to improve focus and overall productivity.

Provide Ergonomic Workspaces

For in-office team members, ensure that workstations are ergonomically designed to minimize physical strain and discomfort, promoting better long-term health, and reducing the risk of work-related injuries. This not only supports your employee wellbeing, but also demonstrates your organization’s commitment to accessibility and best ADA practices.

2. Enhance Employee Retention

Flexible Work Arrangements

Offer flexible work schedules or remote work options to accommodate the diverse needs of your workforce. Trusting your employees to define how they best get their work done leads to better employee mental health and higher productivity levels.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

Partner with a comprehensive EAP like Carebridge to provide confidential support for personal or work-related challenges including mental health support, life-work support, emotional wellbeing, and positive behavioral change.

Train Managers on Employee Wellbeing

All efforts to integrate wellness initiatives into day-to-day operations go out the window if managers don’t understand why it’s important and how to effectively support their team. Because managers have the most direct impact on employee retention, required management trainings on topics such as empathy and mental health will underscore the organization’s commitment to employee wellbeing.

3. Attract Top Talent

Highlight Wellness Initiatives in Recruitment

Clearly communicate wellness initiatives in recruitment efforts, but go beyond just a list of offered benefits. Instead, be intentional. Share authentic examples of how prioritizing employee wellbeing shows up during an average work day.

4. Reduce Healthcare Costs

Preventive Health Programs

Invest in preventive health programs such as wellness screenings, health coach services, fitness classes, and nutrition workshops to proactively address health concerns and reduce long-term healthcare costs.

Mental Health Support

Offer mental health resources, including counseling services and stress management programs, to reduce the impact of mental health issues on both individuals and the organization. Consider the accessibility and health equity of your benefit vendor. For example, an EAP like Carebridge provides all these services (and more!) in a multitude of access points (app, web, phone, video, and in-person) at no cost to the employee.

5. Foster Innovation and Creativity

Encourage Diverse Perspectives

Foster a culture that values diversity and inclusion, allowing employees from different backgrounds to contribute unique perspectives and ideas. Leadership should strive to be transparent and explain why (or why not) certain decisions were made. This helps employees feel like they’re being heard and are in a safe place to share their thoughts. For example: Yes we did consider X, but if we did X we would’ve negatively impacted Y because…

Create Collaborative Spaces

Design physical and virtual spaces that encourage collaboration, brainstorming, and the sharing of innovative ideas among team members.

Invest in Employee Wellbeing

Investing in your employees’ wellbeing now will increase company profits in the future. Your organization will have an easier time retaining top-performing employees, weeding out under-performing employees, and attracting new talent.