In the context of corporate history, the concept of keeping employees healthy and happy to increase productivity at work, is relatively new. The concept of holistic “wellness” rather than just focusing on physical health is even newer. In fact, as an HR professional myself, with an experience of more than 40 years, I’ve observed that productivity of an organisation’s employees improved tenfold after we implemented a few simple ideas and policies which focused on our employees’ wellness rather than squeezing more work out of them. Here are some tips which I found useful, to keep your employees happy, healthy and productive.
1. Physical health
Taking care of your employees’ physical health may not be all there is to their wellness, but it’s certainly an important aspect of it. After all, someone who’s sick all the time can hardly be productive. There are multiple things you can do to ensure that your employees are taking care of their health, the first of which is to give them a good medical plan. Another thing you can do is keep regular workout or fitness sessions at the workplace to keep them in good shape.
2. A culture of communication
People always work better in environments where they feel that their opinions and thoughts are valued. Keep an open culture in your workplace, where your employees are free to give feedback; and make sure their feedback is acted upon for the betterment of your organisation. Give your employees credit for their ideas and acknowledge the work they’ve put in. If they feel appreciated, they’ll work better.
3. Work-life balance
As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. It also makes him unproductive and unwilling to put in more efforts. Give your employees time off to enjoy themselves, and let them have a life outside of work. Take them out for team lunch once in a while, and make sure you bond with your employees outside the meeting room. All this not only keeps them happy but also motivates them to work harder, because it shows you care.
4. Retirement plans and financial management
Everyone thinks about the future, whether they are millennials or people on the verge of retirement. Offer good retirement plans to your employees, and couple it with financial advice and counselling to make them feel more secure about their future. Debt management services coupled with financial coaching also help your employees make their way towards financial success, and are especially useful for freshers looking to pay off their student loans.
5. Legal insurance
You could provide your employees with a network of attorneys and legal professionals to help them out in case of any legal crisis like child custody during a divorce, a dispute with your homeowner or even all the legalities associated with buying a new house.
6. Leaves of absence
One of the tenets of employee wellness involves making it easy for your employees to ask for a leave of absence as long as they have a good reason. They’ll breathe easier if they know they can take a leave when the need arises, without needing to jump through a hundred processes. You may want to give new parents good leeway when it comes to taking time off, and make it clear to them that they’re welcomed back to the job once they are through with their personal responsibility.
Having employees feel valued and taken care of certainly increases their output at work – and this isn’t one of those debatable concepts. Multiple studies continue to uphold what should honestly feel rational and logical. As they say – health is wealth, in case of employee wellness, their health is your wealth!