What is Wellbeing and Why is it Important?

By Erika Rahman
Illustration of backpacking backpack with a mountain background.

Creating a safe and positive work environment is one of the best ways an employer can support their staff. By investing in wellbeing initiatives, programs and best practices, productivity will improve and your employees will continue to feel motivated, inspired, safe, healthy, and valued in the workplace.

At Motivosity, we are experts in helping businesses work towards increasing employee wellbeing, through building incredible workplace cultures built on four pillars - connection, recognition, the ability to listen, and leadership. Our intuitive employee recognition and feedback software is designed to help find a powerful solution to bring workplace wellbeing to the forefront of your company.

Understanding the importance of workplace wellbeing

image with text - Without investing in workplace wellbeing initiatives, employees can feel dissatisfied with their work, struggle with their mental health, feel unproductive, unmotivated and undervalued.

Workplace wellbeing refers to the general perception employees have when they think of themselves and their employment situation. Without investing in workplace wellbeing initiatives, employees can feel dissatisfied with their work, struggle with their mental health, feel unproductive, unmotivated and undervalued.

It’s common for businesses to enlist their HR departments to ensure a positive environment and wellbeing in the workplace are being upheld within the organization. In order to keep employees motivated, healthy, safe, engaged and inspired, workplace leadership teams often introduce flexible work arrangements, cultural activities, mental health initiatives, support systems, additional courses and training programs.

Signs of a healthy workplace

At Motivosity, we believe that by increasing employee wellbeing, you’ll develop a much healthier workplace with even healthier employees. To build a productive and safe environment, it is important to understand the markers of a healthy workplace. When organizations place emphasis on positive workplace wellbeing, you’ll notice:

  • Effective and respectful communication between leadership and employees.
  • Conversations around mental health are encouraged, discussed openly and positively.
  • Employees feel safe enough to speak about their mental health issues and receive support.
  • Resilience strategies have been developed and effectively communicated to employees so they feel supported during difficult times.
  • Regular feedback is provided.
  • Co-workers speak positively about each other.
  • Employee retention is high.
  • Employees feel valued and that they have the mobility to grow within the organization.

These signs of a healthy workplace all contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing and positivity for everyone working. Once you unlock the keys to managing wellbeing at work, your organization will undeniably thrive.

Let’s unpack the benefits of a healthy workplace

image with text - Benefits of workplace wellbeing: increased productivity, higher performance and participation, increased job satisfaction, better support networks, off-the-charts retention, cost savings.

By investing in programs and initiatives that place an emphasis on creating a healthy workplace environment, your organization will start to see a real shift in the culture. Here are some of the ways your business can improve by introducing workplace wellbeing practices:

1. Increased productivity

If your employees feel like they are being valued within the company, are receiving regular feedback and generally feel positive about their work, they are more likely to increase their productivity and be more effective in their roles.

2. Higher performance and participation

When employees have the support and positive reinforcement of a healthy workplace, not only will they feel motivated to perform, but they will also feel encouraged to participate in new projects by going above and beyond.

3. Job satisfaction

One of the biggest factors that can affect employee mental wellbeing is their job satisfaction. In an environment where they feel supported, valued and encouraged to grow within the company, they will have an increased feeling of job satisfaction.

4. Support network

By building a support network where employees feel like they can safely seek help for mental health issues, you will improve employee satisfaction and help work towards a workplace that encourages positive and effective lines of communication across all areas.

5. Employee retention

One of the reasons why wellbeing is important in the workplace is the reduction in employee turnover, meaning you’ll be able to hang on to great talent and attract impressive new employees with ease.

6. Cost savings

With fewer absentee days, a reduction in staff turnover, and increased productivity, your organization will be able to find efficiencies with organizational costs.

5 simple ways employers can improve workplace wellbeing

Investing and committing to building a healthy workplace in order to help your employees develop positive workplace wellbeing doesn’t need to be an overwhelming task. By shifting organizational practices and leadership values, you can work towards creating a much more productive and healthy work environment. Here are 5 simple ways you can improve workplace wellbeing within your company:

1. Flexible working

Help reduce your employees’ stress by introducing flexible working arrangements. Open the lines of communication with your staff by checking in and discussing how alternative hours or working from home setups might fit in with their personal schedules. Work with them to find solutions.

2. Mental health initiatives

Build a work environment where mental health is openly discussed by promoting and providing programs that support employees. Regularly check in with your employees, ensure they feel supported to take mental health leave days when needed, provide them with external resources like anonymous hotlines, participate in mental health awareness events and provide mandatory mental health programs.

3. Introduce healthy programs

By providing additional programs that encourage a healthy lifestyle, you’ll be helping your employees develop effective and meaningful resilience strategies. Begin a lunchtime run club, a morning yoga class, provide meditation lessons, provide healthy snacks or start an after-work football competition. These kinds of initiatives will help your staff de-stress, connect with each other and effectively combat mental health issues.

4. Feedback sessions

To allow employees to feel like they are actively participating in helping your organization reach its goals, make sure to set up regular monthly check-in sessions to provide feedback. Take the time to listen and develop plans to help them grow within the company. These sessions will motivate employees to reach their own personal development goals but also allow them to explore mobility and growth.

5. Develop a positive work culture

A great way to build a positive workplace where employees are proud to step into the office each day is to organise social activities that can help teammates unwind and connect. Every last Friday of the month, you might want to put on a BBQ — or perhaps you could take employees out for a team bonding day at the bowling alley. These kinds of social activities work towards building a fun, vibrant, celebrated and connected work culture.

How individuals can improve their mental health in the workplace

image with text - Give your employees the support they need to keep their mental health in top-top shape.

One of the most important aspects of workplace wellbeing is ensuring employees have the right avenues to reach out for help if they are dealing with mental health issues.

Here are a few ways individuals can improve their mental health in the workplace:

  • Begin the day mindfully by practicing meditation, yoga or exercising.
  • Strive for work-life balance by including something you love in your day, like meeting up with friends, going for a walk, watching TV, or reading a good book.
  • If you’re struggling with your mental health, speak up early and connect with a trusted colleague to discuss meaningful solutions.
  • Access mental health resources and material to learn more about coping strategies.
  • Set realistic and positive targets to give yourself professional goals to strive towards.
  • Nourish your body and mind by eating a healthy diet — but don’t forget to treat yourself sometimes, too!
  • Exercise to release yourself of any stress factors and enjoy a rush of endorphins.
  • Step outside and breathe in some fresh air to give yourself a moment to disconnect from the workplace and boost serotonin with some sunshine.
  • Create a warm and welcoming desk or workspace to harness a positive sense of place.
  • Try something new or get creative to help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Make connections with colleagues to discuss work-related topics or socially catch up.
  • Give back to the community by volunteering, completing an act of kindness for a stranger or start a new health program within the workplace.
  • Keep a journal, to not only list out positive developments in your life but to keep track of your feelings.
  • Ensure you’re allowing your body to rest each night by reducing screen time and getting a healthy night's sleep.

How to manage wellbeing at work

There are plenty of reasons why workplace wellbeing is important. By investing in mental health initiatives, supportive programs, flexible work arrangements and developing a positive work culture, your employees will feel safe, motivated, respected, valued and supported.

Not only will investing in workplace wellbeing ensure a positive work environment for your staff, but you’ll reap the many organizational benefits, including greater staff retention, higher performance, increased productivity and cost savings.

If you’d like to learn more about how your company can work towards managing and increasing employee wellbeing within your organization, get in touch with Motivosity to get started today. Reach out to one of our workplace wellbeing experts to understand how our employee recognition and feedback software can help you build a happier, more engaged workforce. Call on (801) 758-7188 or head online to read about our products, pricing and additional resources.