Health is one of the most important factors that affect employee motivation and productivity. However, many workplaces tend to neglect their staff’s health, leading to stress and burnout. As discovered in a 2021 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 79% of employees had received work-related stress, with nearly 3 in 5 adult workers reporting negatively-induced impacts. Many of them experience a lack of interest, motivation, and energy, resulting in a poor work ethic and emotional exhaustion.
Considering many people spend most of their week in their workplaces, it’s essential for business leaders to be more responsible for their employees’ well-being. A study published by Frontiers in Psychology urges organizations to pay attention to employee health issues and shoulder the responsibility for promoting employee health, as this is closely related to organizational performance. Workplace health promotion can increase productivity as employees are less likely to call in sick, and can focus on work without additional concerns over their health. If you are interested in fostering a health-oriented work environment, here are some actionable tips you can do to support employee health and wellness:
Keep an open line of communication
To ensure that staff well-being is sustained throughout the workplace, it’s crucial for business leaders and managers to stay connected with their employees. One of the best ways to do this is to talk to your staff – having quick chats over lunch or during a coffee break – to gain more insights into how they are doing. The key here is to be proactive, keep it as light as possible, and listen well with support and empathy, so that employees are more honest about their experiences. After learning about their plights, it’s important to take action to improve the workplace, so that employees stay open in sharing their concerns.
Promote convenient healthcare options
Employers may indirectly discourage regular doctor visits as these often take up an entire day of work. This cut in productivity is often punished, so employees tend to neglect their health for work. However, in-person check-ups are no longer the only way to get medical assistance. Telemedicine is widely available, and employees can easily meet their doctors online. Remote physicians are accessible in states like Alabama, bustling metros like New York and further afield in the U.S. However the physicians must still obtain the same qualifications and adhere to the same standards as doctors practicing in an in-person facility — ensuring quality care and service. Additionally, many of these online consultations are open 24/7, allowing employees to consult even after their usual work hours. You can encourage your employees to consult with online doctors by providing discounts at a possible partner telemedicine provider. This way, employees feel encouraged to stay healthy and productive.
Serve as a role model
One of the most important factors that can improve employees’ health and well-being is to lead people with the right practices. As the leader, you are the person who sets the cultural standards in the workplace, even beyond personal behavior. The importance of caring for employee health is supported by researchers from Zurich, who found that leaders who valued self-care had better staff engagement and decreased exhaustion. Some steps that can be made toward greater health are to employ food caterers who offer healthier options or encourage walking breaks in between work hours. By setting a good example, employees are more willing to follow in your footsteps and take better care of themselves.
As shared in our post “Leadership Isn’t About You, It’s About Unleashing Other People”, being a business leader requires you to go beyond work delegation; you need to be responsible for serving others and understanding their needs. By being understanding of your employees and taking proactive steps to improve the work environment, you can lead your company to better employee health and improved business outcomes.