There is no better time to think about wellness and wellbeing – especially in the workplace. With so much focus on eating well, taking care of our mental health, and trying to fit more physical exercise into our lives, here are the top 5 trends employee wellness experts Elevate think will be big this year.
1. FINANCIAL WELLBEING
Deal or no deal, the Brexit vote two years ago has damaged the UK economy, and a weaker pound has squeezed household incomes. With more uncertainty forecast, now is the time to get smart with our money and equip ourselves to stay on top of our financial wellbeing. We’re delighted to be teaming up with strategy and finance consultant Darryl Bannon FCCA MBA to provide a brand new financial wellbeing workshop. This will take a practical approach to budgeting, negotiation, and saving – tips and tricks to becoming more financially confident.
Here are some additional tips for employers:
- Make financial wellbeing a priority. Communicate the importance of financial wellbeing to employees and show your commitment to supporting them.
- Be flexible. Employees may have different financial needs, so be flexible in your approach to financial wellbeing.
- Be proactive. Don’t wait for employees to come to you with financial problems. Be proactive in providing financial education and resources.
- Partner with experts. There are a number of organizations that can help you to create a culture of financial wellness in your workplace. Partner with these organizations to get the best possible advice and support.
Health and wellbeing is personal. Much like no two companies are the same, no two employees are the same, and the key to an effective health and wellbeing program is offering an individualized, personal approach. This is key to ongoing success and optimal engagement. First, find out what your employees want and need by conducting a survey. Secondly, offer something more than just a generic workshop with a one-size-fits-all approach. Employees are demanding more from their health at-work packages – DNA testing, one-to-one specialist health coaching, and personalized wearable tech now being the norm.
Here are some additional tips for personalizing employee wellbeing:
- Have a flexible approach. Not all employees will have the same needs, so be flexible in your approach to personalization.
- Partner with employees. Ask employees for their input on how to improve wellbeing in the workplace.
- Measure results. Track the results of your personalization efforts to see what is working and what needs to be improved.
3. ADDRESSING BURNOUT
Employee burnout has a huge financial implication for businesses, with low productivity, high sickness absence, and presenteeism costing UK businesses an estimated £73 billion each year. It’s time to take a proactive approach to this stress epidemic and teach individuals to look out for the signs of stress in themselves and others before it reaches critical levels.
Here are some additional tips for addressing employee burnout:
- Be a proactive employer. Don’t wait for employees to come to you with burnout problems. Be proactive in identifying and addressing burnout before it becomes a serious problem.
- Be supportive. Let employees know that you are there to support them and that you are committed to helping them address their burnout.
- Measure results. Track the results of your efforts to address burnout to see what is working and what needs to be improved.
4. MEASURED RESULTS
No data, no proof. Without clearly measured improvements, it’s hard to gain senior-level engagement and in return, the financial support to continue with wellbeing programs. Measuring impact is easier than it sounds – by running regular wellbeing surveys (we suggest every six months) you can keep track of the key areas of concern within your company, gain valuable feedback monitor the notable improvements.
Here are some additional tips for measuring employee wellbeing:
- Make it easy for employees to participate. Employees should be able to participate in surveys and other measurement tools without having to spend a lot of time or effort.
- Be transparent with the data. Employees should understand how their data is being used and how it is helping to improve the workplace.
- Use the data to improve communication. The data you collect can help you to communicate with employees about their wellbeing and the steps you are taking to improve it.
- Celebrate successes. When you see improvements in employee wellbeing, be sure to celebrate your successes. This will help to motivate employees and keep them engaged in the process.
5. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
With increasing numbers of young entrepreneurs and developing C-Suite leaders, a recent study found that employers value emotional intelligence over IQ. Emotionally intelligent teams perform better at work, have better relationships, and are psychologically and physically healthier.
Here are some additional tips for employees to improve their emotional intelligence:
- Pay attention to your emotions: The first step to improving your emotional intelligence is to become more aware of your own emotions. Pay attention to how you feel in different situations and what triggers your emotions.
- Label your emotions: Once you are aware of your emotions, it is helpful to label them. This will help you to understand your emotions and how they are affecting you.
- Manage your emotions: Once you are aware of your emotions and can label them, you can start to manage them. There are a number of techniques you can use to manage your emotions, such as deep breathing, relaxation techniques, and positive self-talk.
- Be aware of the emotions of others: In addition to being aware of your own emotions, it is also important to be aware of the emotions of others. Pay attention to the body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions of others to get a sense of how they are feeling.
- Respond to the emotions of others: Once you are aware of the emotions of others, you can start to respond to them in a constructive way. This could involve offering support, listening to their concerns, or helping them to find a solution to a problem.
Ruth Tongue, Co-founder of Elevate, says:
Research has shown that well executed employee wellbeing programmes can not only improve productivity, reduce sickness absence and presenteeism, but also improve morale, sense of value, trust and increase staff retention and attrition.
About the author: Ruth Tongue, Co-founder of Elevate, is an MSc qualified nutritionist, sports scientist and health editor with over ten years’ experience in corporate wellness.