Some years back, the word ‘wellness’ could only be found in board papers, business plans, and strategies. However, all that has changed as this word is now among the most commonly used words especially in business approaches as businesses are looking for ways to make their employees physically and mentally fit.
Since this is Mental Health Awareness Week, I think that it may be a good idea for us to ensure that living well is at the core of your staff engagement strategy. A workplace wellness program does not necessarily have to be elaborate, time-consuming and costly.
Of course, there is much more to employee health and wellbeing than providing lighter options in the canteen but keep in mind that small changes can significantly boost your team’s morale. Although a plan to improve mental health covers all sorts of things, here are our top 5 picks that will help create a healthy workplace:
1- Make eating healthy an easy task
Eating a healthy diet is the first step to maintaining good mental health. This can be achieved by offering nuts, fruits and seeds free of charge to your staff instead of chocolate, cake, and biscuits. Doing this will make a big difference to the wellbeing of your employees.
I am aware that this cannot be treated as a quick fix or seen as healthiness being ticked off the to-do list rather consider it as an aspect of a wider approach. It cannot hurt to give your employees essential vitamins and in addition, it shows you care about them.
2- Encourage your employees to exercise
Providing discounted or free gym memberships can help your employees to be more active. Exercises have been shown to boost mental health. Many gym groups offer great value corporate packages and encouraging movement – whether it is 20 minutes on the treadmill before going to work, a spin class at lunch or some weight training after shifts.
Any of these will help energize your team. Apart from boosting brain health, exercises also boost concentration levels and help you have more efficient employees.
3- Encourage breaks
Getting away from working desks and going to the open air can boost mental wellbeing. This is why it may be a good idea to encourage your employees to get away from their working desks or stations and take a break from work.
In fact, a few minutes of sunshine and fresh air will make your employees feel energized and ready to handle even the hard tasks. If you realize that there are some employees who stay late to meet deadlines or keep on top of their to-do list, then it may be good to think how to alleviate pressure and ensure that they are able to go home on time.
4- Be flexible
Even though it is not applicable to all the types of businesses out there, offering flexible hours to employees whether it is allowing them to take control of their own working hours or letting them complete some tasks from home can be something transformational.
It does not have to be full-on flexible working (even though this helps) but only an hour here and there can make your employees feel supported and valued at work.
5- Have face to face conversations
It can be easy to default to email or instant messaging programmes. Many workplaces are guilty of this. However, it may be a good idea to set aside time to have proper conversations and listen as much as you talk as this can make employees feel like they are part of the business. Talking is a great form of therapy according to Clarity Clinic.
Make the time to put the kettle on and ask your team members to tell you about their personal goals and if you can help them accomplish these goals or you can ask them what they have planned for the weekend. Doing this will make your employees feel valued as you are showing interest in them as a person and not as people who work for you.
The Bottom Line:
Every business strive to grow to the next level by maximizing workplace productivity and to achieve this goal they must enhance the capabilities of their workforce. Investing on the mental health of your employees is certainly a big step towards organizational growth.