Developing a Wellness Culture in the Workplace
The following blog posting is from an article by Elizabeth Fletcher. You can read biographical information about her below.
Most of us spend a huge amount of time at work over our lifetimes. Whilst it can feel like the main part of your life is your leisure time, working 7 hours a day soon adds up, and many people do more than this. As a result, it’s vital that employees feel settled and welcome in the workplace, both to improve their quality of life and to ensure that they’re able to produce their best work.
Creating this positive work environment doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you need to make some changes to how your business operates. However, it’s a long-term commitment that is clearly well-worth investing your time and effort into. It directly benefits happiness, and therefore employee retention. Studies have shown that a third of job hunters would decline a job if they felt the culture was a bad fit for them, whilst another study showed that company culture was a deciding factor for 72% of candidates considering a job offer.
Not only does high employee turnover look bad and deter new candidates, but it will also cost you a lot of money and time. So how can you create a workplace culture that supports your team? We take a look at three top tips.
Encourage honest communication
Employers have a responsibility to set the tone, and create a culture where employees feel welcome. But employees also need to play their part and give hard, honest feedback around changes they’d like to see. This doesn’t mean being rude or blunt, but rather taking the time to speak to the people who can make the change, rather than wishing for it in silence.
Employers can support this by asking for regular feedback, and making it clear that employees’ opinions are valued. This can be done via email, catch-up calls/meetings, and surveys – you may find people are more comfortable giving feedback in their own time and not on the spot, so make sure to give them plenty of notice, so they can collect their thoughts.
Our lives outside of work impact our lives inside work, even with the best intentions to keep things separate. Feeling stressed doesn’t have an on/off switch, and so when employees feel under pressure in one aspect of their lives, it often spills over into other situations.
Consider allowing flexibility as much as you can, both in working location, and in working hours. Doing so can mean that employees are able to manage their own time, and can balance their personal responsibilities with work. This should help reduce stress, especially for those with caregiving commitments.
You should also encourage employees to switch off once they’re done with their work for the day by allowing them to set clear boundaries around communication. If you email a team member after hours and expect a reply, all it does is mean that they’re glued to their phone or laptop for the evening. Instead, encourage your team to communicate with each other about when they are available, and make sure that they respect these boundaries for themselves and others.
Welcome and promote diversity
There is no one perfect way to do a job – each individual will bring their own experience to the table. In order to have a fresh approach that values a range of different life experiences, you need to have a diverse team.
If you think you could do better in this area, then start by taking a look at your hiring process. Are you posting your jobs in a range of locations? Do you offer flexibility? Are your job adverts accessible for neuro-diverse individuals, and people with sight loss? Examining your process from this starting point can help you make sure that you’re getting your adverts seen by as many people as possible.
This is an ongoing process too. Be open to hearing from your team about their lived experiences and what you can do to make things better. You can also share this learning with the wider community, and make it clear that every member of your team is welcome.
To sum up
Ultimately, you won’t be able to please everyone, but by talking to everyone involved and advocating for a tailored approach rather than one-size-fits-all, you’re more likely to have a happy team.
Author bio: Elizabeth Fletcher
I believe that good communication and collaboration are key to a happy working life. I write posts designed to help businesses and employees to come together and create a productive, healthy workplace.