Friday 10 June 2022

Why Employers Should Take a Holistic Approach to Wellbeing

Following the unprecedented effects of the pandemic, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to support employee wellbeing in the workplace. By taking a holistic approach to wellbeing, employers can help prevent absenteeism due to stress, anxiety and depression. And promoting good mental and physical health can also create a more positive work environment and better employee engagement. A study published by The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health found that “the average employee takes seven days off sick each year of which 40 per cent are for mental health problems. This adds up to 70 million lost working days a year, including one in seven directly caused by a person’s work or working conditions.”

Ensuring that employees are happy at work also has a knock-on effect on their wellbeing in their personal lives. Having an effective wellbeing programme in place is mutually beneficial to both businesses and their staff and encourages everyone to thrive within their individual roles.

Benefits of taking a holistic approach

  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Reduced absences
  • Higher engagement
  • Increased productivity
  • Better resilience to stress
  • Positive working relationships
  • Happier personal lives

To see greater benefits of holistic programmes, it’s important that they are embedded in the workplace culture and company management.

Ways to take a holistic approach to wellbeing

  1. The first step any organisation should take is to create a strategy that incorporates how they aim to support employee wellbeing and what they want to achieve through taking a holistic approach. There are many ways that a holistic framework can be integrated into the workplace such as:
  2. Offer support or counselling services for physical and mental health.
  3. Encourage healthy day-to-day routines that include diet, sleep and regular breaks. Perhaps ditch the vending machine and opt for fruit and water instead, encourage breaks outside and limit the number of hours employees can spend at work at one time.
  4. Undertake regular one-to-one meetings with employees to discuss their workload and wellbeing.
  5. Consider introducing some flexible conditions for parents or carers, such as remote working or flexible hours.
  6. Create an inspiring environment by introducing plants or flowers into the workspace, providing additional facilities for breaks, or having fresh interior design. All of these small adjustments are conducive to better wellbeing and productivity.
  7. Make sure all employees are provided with all the resources they need to carry out their job successfully, whether that’s an up-to-date computer, comfortable desk and chair or specialist equipment relating to their role.
  8. Encourage physical wellness by offering cycle to work initiatives, discounts for sport and leisure activities, or optional after-work classes such as yoga or Tai Chi.
  9. Provide clear pathways for career progression and salary increases.

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