As we get accustomed to the new routines and realities amidst COVID-19, employee wellness has resurfaced as a new challenge as most employees are now working remote.
This is an exceptionally important time for every leadership to gain an acute understanding of how to support their employees’ wellness, both physical and mental. It not only serves the individual employee, but also will foster a cohesiveness to your team. When an employee sees that you care about them and their well-being, they’re significantly more engaged, more productive and a better contributor to the team. According to Fast Company, social isolation increases the risk of mortality by 29% - that’s a scary statistic.
Follow these tips to prioritize employee wellness, especially when they’re working remotely.
Physical employee wellness should be incorporated into your company’s day to day whether or not there’s an international emergency. After all, 87% of employees said they consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer. Employers investing in their employee’s wellness is a value that has fully become the norm.
An easy way to integrate wellness into your company is adopting a corporate wellness platform. LifeDojo is a B2B platform that’s built for multi-platform engagement, and has been sold into companies like Airbnb, Goodyear and Adobe. Additionally, their new B2C mobile app just hit the app store! Full disclosure - Majestyk did build the platform :) But no matter what you use, ensure it’s user friendly and comprehensive. LifeDojo, for example, offers a diverse set of goals an individual can make, from mindfulness and healthy eating to weight loss and toning.
Another thing you can do is integrate physical wellness into your workplace culture. You can integrate gamification with your teams and have competitions around drinking 8 glasses of water a day, or preparing healthy lunches, or running a 5K as a company. Making this part of your employee engagement plan and social offering will make it so that those practices permeate your employee’s life in and out of the workplace. Studies show that 61% of employees agree that they have made healthier lifestyle choices because of their company’s wellness program. That gives you as an employer a huge responsibility to offer one!
Finally, benefits focused towards wellness are always helpful. Paying for gym memberships, offering standing desks, or getting ergonomic chairs are all great ways to support your employees. If you’re not able to do that, doing something as simple as allowing a flexible work schedule so your employees can make time for the gym, or to go meditate, whatever it may be - the point is to show support and empower your employees to practice wellness.
87% of employees said they consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer
Mental health is a topic all employers are going to have to get comfortable addressing. It’s such a taboo in the U.S., and very much to our detriment. An environment that enforces understanding and empathy gives people space to explore what mental and emotional health means to them. The workplace being where your employees will spend about ⅓ of their lives, you absolutely have a role in that.
Being tech-minded, and also due to the overall digitization of the workplace, mental wellness platforms like Headspace, Joyable or BetterHelp are great things to educate your employees on, or even offer to pay the monthly subscription fee for. The new wave of therapy, meditation and mental health apps is making waves on how mental wellness is accessed, all while democratizing who has access to it.
When you think about investing in employee’s mental and emotional wellness, don’t just think about your budget. Very simple strategies can be put in place to integrate that value into your workplace culture. You can welcome open and honest conversations about mental wellness, whether an employee is extremely stressed out, or is going through a hard time at home. There is a time and place for these conversations of course, but make sure to carve out that time and that place.
Another thing you can do is demonstrate interest in their personal projects, hobbies or interests. Ask them questions about it, remember their children’s names. Employees will immediately see how you care about them as a person, not just as a job title. The stats show how important this is: 96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention.
Finally, create opportunities for positivity as much as you can. Have a “win” Slack channel, call people out for doing great work, share how their contribution is so, so impactful to the larger goal. A little positivity can go a long way.
Personally, and as a New Yorker, I’ve seen people come together and exhibit such touching acts of kindness during this very hard time. I’m inspired every single day, and hope that this camaraderie and sense of community remains far after the Coronavirus is eradicated. As a leader, be conscientious of how impactful you can be in people’s lives. We’re all in this together.
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