How to ensure workplace wellness

The other day we had a discussion in the office about ‘me-time’ and staff wellness in terms of the workplace. We talked about how rushed, stressed and demanding life is in general, and especially in the work environment. Another issue that came up was the high staff turn-over some companies have because of this. Most companies expect staff to sit in a gloomy corner at a desk for long periods on end working on a screen at close range without realising the damage it can do to employees’ mental and physical well-being.

Employee wellness is a win-win situation. Improving the wellness of employees makes good business sense. It has an impact on staff morale and motivation and the company benefits from less absence and improved productivity.

Automatically top management thinks “Okay, so all we need is a gym and coffee shop with healthy snacks and then we are sorted.” But employee wellness is much more than that, especially when management starts focussing on retaining Millennial talent within the business. Businesses are realising that the well-being of employees in the workplace goes hand in hand with their performance at work. Employees are a company’s biggest asset and the ones who move the company forward towards their goals.

So not only should the workplace environment be conducive to work in, but workplace wellness also means employees want to feel like they matter and contribute positively. That they are worthy and that they can make a difference every day.

So what can businesses do to increase and invest in the well-being of their staff?

· Transform the workplace into a healthy environment. If your employees sit for long periods of time, adapt their workspaces to enable them to adjust their stations to stand and work. Healthy snacks in the cafeteria and yes, an activity centre is always a good idea. Make sure there is enough fresh air, green surroundings and that they work in a well-lit area.

· Relaxation and break away. There should be time-out or chill spots where your employees can relax and regroup themselves. These areas can also be used for brainstorming and to boost creativity. People are more imaginative and think clearer if they are relaxed.

· Stimulate their learning. Invest in their skills development. Send them on courses or get a training company like The Mindspa Institute to stimulate their minds. Combine it with fun activities or even team building exercises. When retaining talented up-and-coming Millennial managers, this is something they really appreciate and want.

· Motivation and food for thought. People need to feel inspired. This forms parts of their well-being. Have ‘food for thought’ sessions in the morning, where you create a space to motivate and inspire your employees. Create a mentorship programme where staff can have a ‘go-to-person’ to guide and lead them so that they always feel heard. If you have a ‘cheerleader’ and allay in your corner, your confidence and thus mental wellness will increase.

· Create a culture of purpose. This is the part that most Millennials especially feel passionate about. A lack of having this is enough reason for them to quit. They need to feel as though they matter and can make a difference. Not in the bottom-line of the company and with cash flows etc., but in the lives of the company’s colleagues and customers. The culture is part of the company’s wellness and the well-being of every staff member.

Because companies expect the best from their employees, they are being pushed to the limits which naturally mean their mind and energy is drained. This will influence their job satisfaction; can lead to anger and increase conflict in the office. It will ultimately impact the employee’s health, performance and productivity.

The Mindspa Institute, a corporate skills training company presents a powerful one-day workshop that will equip your employees with an understanding of how they can take care of specifically their mental health in the workplace. It will give them up to date information, personal tools and practical tips. The workshop itself will be fun and motivational and enable all attendees to leave feeling up-skilled, uplifted and enabled to self-manage their mental well-being at work.

For more information call Llewellyn at 010 110 0227 or email him at Llewellyn@themindspa.co.za