Most companies acknowledge that their employees spend most of their waking lives at work.
The COVID-19 pandemic – and the move to remote and hybrid work – clouded many built-in boundaries at work and made maintaining a work-life balance more difficult. Specifically, for those working from home for the first time, working from home means working longer hours and not knowing when or how to switch off.
A study by Qualtrics revealed that burnout and workplace stress are among the top reasons employees say they will look for a new job in the coming year.
What is employee well-being?
Employee well-being encompasses all aspects of work life: health and safety, physical work environment, workplace culture, work-life balance and job satisfaction.
Workplaces that value employee well-being delivers positive outcomes for individuals and the organization. Employees who report a feeling of well-being enjoy positive emotional states and consider themselves more engaged, productive and able to face challenges.
Another study conducted by Qualtrics found five key factors that impact well-being at work:
- A feeling of belonging
- Employees feel like they can be themselves at work
- Feeling like a valued member of a team
- A feeling of belonging to a team
- Employees feel that they are treated with respect
A survey conducted by Deloitte and Workplace Intelligence of 2,100 employees and C-level executives across four countries (USA, UK, Canada and Australia) on employee well-being found:
- 47% of workers believe their executives understand how difficult the pandemic has been for them
- 53% of employees feel that their company’s executives have been making the best decisions for their well-being during the pandemic
- 56% of employees think their company’s executives care about their well-being
The disconnect between employees’ feelings and how companies respond is a wake-up call to leaders. Less than 60% of employee respondents say their company embeds well-being into the workplace culture.
Here are five ways you can support the well-being of your team:
Share resources on what support is offered
Your employees don’t have the same access to information that you may have. If you know about upcoming health-related initiatives and can share, then spread the news. Don’t assume your team knows what’s available; check in with HR on existing well-being resources and share them.
Support work-life boundaries
End work meetings early and suggest employees use the extra time to get some fresh air or stretch. Ask about weekend plans with friends and family and share your own. Let employees know that working longer hours to make an impression is unnecessary.
Meet employees at eye-level
Don’t guess the needs and concerns of employees. Needs and matters of importance to them change over time. Start with listening and understanding the issues affecting well-being among your employees; when you know, you can better target the actions to improve it.
Celebrate your employees
Employees feel appreciated when you recognize their hard work and achievements. Celebrating employees plays a large part in employee satisfaction, and employers who celebrate success in the workplace improve morale and strengthen teamwork and overall employee well-being.
Lead with empathy
When you lead with empathy, are supportive, and generally understand and know what’s going on in each employee’s work-life, it goes a long way to supporting the well-being of your employees.
In conclusion, work and employee well-being go hand-in-hand. The secret formula is getting the right balance, starting from the top down.
With organizations navigating a global pandemic, there’s never been more pressure to ensure performance is consistently met. But employee mental health is simultaneously at the center of attention.
By not investing in employee well-being, your staff is at risk of burning out and not being as productive as they can be.