Though employee wellness has always been important to a positive work environment, it hasn’t always been at the forefront of many business owners’ minds. The COVID-19 pandemic changed that.
In the wake of the pandemic, more companies began to realize the importance of employee health and wellness, especially when it comes to mental health.
Caring for your employees should be a top priority from a humanistic standpoint. However, doing so will also boost your business in several ways. Focus on the benefits people want, including higher pay and a better work-life balance, and your employees will reward you with positivity, productivity, and a better work culture.
Let’s take a closer look at how prioritizing employee wellness can be a game changer for your company, and why you should address the importance of employee mental health as soon as possible.
You’ll Be More Desirable
There’s no denying that the pandemic impacted nearly every industry in some way. People had to be let go or start working remotely. Many businesses scaled back their operations or had to shut their doors completely. Now, unfortunately, many companies are struggling to get back on their feet, and a big issue is not having enough employees. Manufacturing, health services, education, and wholesale industries are still experiencing a labor shortage. Needless to say, it’s more important than ever for your business to retain your current employees and attract top talent quickly. Prioritizing employee wellness can help with that.
Treating employees with basic respect should be the first step in prioritizing their well-being. If you need to know what not to do, take a look at some major corporations that have gotten it wrong – including Uber. At one point, the company’s culture was so bad that lawyers had to get involved. Simply asking your employees how they’re doing, and helping everyone get along can make a big difference in keeping your workers happy.
Additionally, prioritizing wellness will make you more attractive to people looking for jobs. Since the pandemic, many people are expecting businesses to have wellness measures in place as part of their culture and/or benefits package. When you advertise a healthy company environment that focuses on wellness, mental health, and a strong work-life balance, you’re going to draw top-tier applicants who understand the importance of reducing stress and avoiding burnout in the workplace.
Productivity Will Increase
Speaking of stress and burnout, they’re two common culprits that can negatively impact productivity within your company. Stress impacts productivity in several ways. Some of the biggest problems it can cause include:
- A lack of focus
- Difficulty remembering things
When your employees are overly-stressed, they’re going to be less focused on the task at hand. Unfortunately, that often creates a vicious cycle. The less productive they are, the more stressed and overwhelmed they’re likely to become.
Your business and brand image will suffer, as a result.
To ensure your team isn’t feeling overwhelmed with mental health issues or excessive stress, have measures in place that support them.
Encourage frequent breaks. Offer more time off or opportunities to work from home. Prioritize a work-life balance that works for everyone. Make your office space feel more like a community and allow your team to collaborate and converse throughout the day, rather than sticking everyone in private cubicles. You can even go the extra mile by working with mental health professionals, so you can make recommendations to any employees who might be struggling. The more care and support you put into the mental health of your employees, the more productive they’ll be each day.
A Better Company Culture
Perhaps the most beneficial thing that comes from prioritizing employee wellness is overall positive workplace culture. Yes, it’s a culture that will attract new people and retain current employees, but it will also boost your business in other ways.
When your team isn’t stressed, overwhelmed, or burnt out, their creativity will increase just as much as their productivity. Some of the greatest benefits of a strong workplace environment include:
- Improved teamwork
- Greater morale
- Better job satisfaction
- Well-defined goals
A positive work environment also enhances your company brand. It won’t take long for your consumers and/or clients to take note of your environment and the work you’re putting out. It’s not hard for a company to develop a reputation, no matter the industry they’re in. By establishing your brand as a positive place to work, your competitors will take note, but so will consumers. Not only will your internal success increase, but you’ll start to see your target audience respond to your efforts positively, too.
Don’t be afraid to ask your employees what they’re looking for, and offer them the support they need to maintain their mental well-being. In doing so, you can completely change the environment of your company and reap the rewards of doing the right thing.