Is your workplace stressful?
No matter your sector, chances are, the answer is “yes” for many of your employees. In fact, in a recent survey published by the American Institute of Stress, as many as 83% of American workers say they suffer from workplace stress.
What are the impacts of workplace stress?
While you’re likely feeling the pressure associated with the everyday stresses of operating your company, it’s crucial to recognize just how much a stressful work environment can affect your employees. Heightened stress levels can cause weight gain, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, fatigue, and anxiety—and result in absenteeism, poor performance, and even resignation. In short, workplace stress could be costing you money and talent.
As a result, the price of a stressful workplace is real in many ways—which has led more companies to institute health and wellness programs to help employees manage stress at work. Unfortunately, only 41% of workers report that their employers offer any health and wellness resources at all—and only 35% of those believe the resources are sufficient. If you’re a manager or business owner, however, you need a staff that is as physically and mentally healthy as possible, and a health and wellness initiative is an excellent place to start.
How Can You Incorporate Health and Wellness?
While companies like Chesapeake Energy, Google, and Coors are famous for providing employee wellness perks like an Olympic-sized swimming pool, massages, cooking classes, and even beer on tap—most businesses don’t have the resources to match them. Still, making an effort to be mindful of your employees’ health and wellness can help you attract talent like these major brands. Whether it’s offering a flexible schedule or allowing people to occasionally bring their dog to work, there are many low-cost ways to accommodate your workforce and make your organization more appealing. Until you’re ready to roll out a comprehensive health and wellness program for your workplace, here are some tips you can use to help you ensure you’re providing your employees with valuable perks that have little relative cost:
- Raise awareness. Acknowledge the common sources of workplace stress and encourage employees to help plan ways to alleviate them. A sense of preparedness can help nip stress in the bud and improve response from both you and your employees.
- Focus on fitness. Fitness in the workplace can take on different forms for different businesses. You may consider beginning a socially distanced yoga program, providing a gym membership, or even offering free or reduced-cost wearable fitness bands so employees can track their efforts.
- Promote rest. Employee productivity is vital, but work performed while fatigued or unfocused can turn out to be of low quality. Encourage employees to take provided breaks during the workday, and make the most of leave time and other time out of the office.
- Try meditation. It’s an activity that incorporates both mind and body and does not necessitate close contact. Meditation is a simple, virtually cost-free way to relieve stress. Try a shared app or begin a program that your employees can use when the need strikes.
- Facilitate employee connections. Especially challenging to do in the remote work era, the above activities can be performed remotely and individually—but can also be a part of a larger group wellness effort. Employees who feel connected at work are more likely to feel satisfied with their employment and show 41% lower absenteeism.
- Educate yourself. In the current era of information, there is an endless supply of extremely high-quality information that 20 years ago would either not have existed or only would have been available to the very wealthy. Unfortunately, there is also a tremendous amount of misinformation. Below are a handful of people that we have grown to trust over the years. The importance isn’t on the specific sources of information so much as it is on showing that there is an amazing amount of information that can easily be shared and discussed at work.
Implementing one or more of the above tips can help you ensure your employees can achieve a healthy work-life balance, and—more importantly—feel you are invested in their health and wellness. Then, work to develop a full-scale health and wellness program to continue addressing these concerns. With some effort, you can ensure the best-fit, talented staff you’ve hired remains with your organization long-term.