More than ever, making sure that your staff stays healthy, happy and fit is an important part of looking after your workforce. A happy workplace is a great place to be – it encourages greater productivity and helps staff to look forward to coming in to work.
The benefits of a healthy workforce are easy to understand, but the difference that it can actually make to a company is remarkable and could be the difference between a happy, thriving organization and a company that simply can’t stay afloat in tough business times.
We can turn to physics for a formula: energy is the ability to do work. It stands to reason, also, that a happy and engaged workforce put more energy into their work and, therefore, the company gets more out of it.
Workplace happiness is critical to the success of your company but there has to be real substance behind it. True happiness comes from a place of security and, in an employer/employee relationship, it comes from transparency, care and empathy. A mentor scheme can be an inexpensive, but hugely supportive program to offer your workforce, both old and new.
While it can seem ethereal to say that ‘We care about our employees’, it can be demonstrated by offering flexible schedule jobs and encouraging a good work life balance. This shows that you recognize the impact of an employee’s home life and the responsibility that they have to their family and as well as the wider society. Companies who can work in tandem with what’s going on in their employees’ life cease to be seen as the competition. Need to work overtime? That’s ok, they’ll get that time back. Working as well with your employees as you do with your clients can bring you success.
An organization that can extend their practices to work with staff with health problems and/or mental health problems will be able to get the best from these employees. There are many talented people that find it too hard to work within the traditional 9 to 5 office structure. If you can agree a mutually suitable alternative, you are more likely to get the best from your employee and you will be impacting on potential absenteeism before it starts to mount up.
There are some key parts of the jigsaw that need to be in place to make sure that you protect the safety of your staff. There are more tangible steps that can be taken, like working to ensure that workplace accidents don’t happen and, if they do, that the staff involved are looked after properly and with care and concern. Ensuring that you provide suitable health insurance for your teams as part of their employee benefits will go a long way to showing them that you take their wellbeing seriously.
The same goes for occupational health and safety, including mental health. While this is meant to be in place for the benefit of both the employer and employee, it has, in some firms, become a mechanism to get staff back to working in roles or jobs that they don’t enjoy, rather than using it as a way to work with the employee to make it work better or everyone. It may be a simple matter of making a few adjustments, rather than wide-sweeping changes.
A company that has its eye on long term growth pays as much attention to what they’re doing with the people that they work with as the people they work for. It is possible to get a good balance of work and downtime, spent together, to encourage good communication skills which help to create a healthy working environment.
Team building activities may get the odd groan around the office, but team time spent together can help with the forming, storming, norming process so make a point of it when new staff join.