Business today is anything but usual. In recent years, corporate competition has reached new heights. With increased competition comes the need to keep up, and many organisations expect employees to be available 24/7. Thanks to technology, they can be – but it means they’re never unplugging from work, which drives burn out, higher levels of stress, and other unhealthy repercussions for employees.
This is affecting all aspects of employees’ lives, including their engagement.
If your people are spread thin, there’s a slim chance they’re taking the time they need for healthy habits like exercise, sleep and eating right – which only makes them feel worse. In fact, stress is behind an estimated 60 to 90 percent of doctor visits, according to Harvard Business Review, and anxious employees are racking up $600 more than average in healthcare annually, costing companies over $300 billion each year.
When employees aren’t feeling great, they’re not bringing their best to work, meaning poorer productivity and lower engagement rates for you. With 70 percent of U.S. workers disengaged, according to Gallup, checked-out employees are driving a $300 billion price tag in lost productivity, the same source reports.
The bright side here, though, is that you can do something about it. Show employees a little love by supporting all aspects of their well-being – including their physical, mental and social health. By driving a deeper relationship with your people and supporting their health, you’ll set them up for success, boost business (like higher productivity and profitability, and lower absenteeism, turnover, and safety and quality incidents, according to Gallup), and improve company culture.
Here are three ways you can make it happen.
- Make health a no-brainer
If your company culture’s driven by weekly donut deliveries and happy hours, it’s going to be hard for employees to get and stay healthy. Instead, encourage employees to hit the pavement instead of the bar, and replace the pastries with nutritious snacks. A healthy company culture makes it easier for employees to stick with their wellness goals so they can feel great at work and home.
- Cheer them on
Show employees you care by supporting personal well-being and productivity goals and celebrating their daily wins. Whether that means a shout-out when they complete a big project before deadline, or offering financial rewards when they hit their activity goals within your corporate wellness program, a little encouragement goes a long way.
- Use technology for good
Today’s tech has made it easier than ever for employees to get work done. But if your employees are tethered to their devices round the clock, then tech may be to blame for their stress and disengagement. Encourage employees to unplug and make it clear you don’t expect they’ll respond to non-essential emails sent after their day’s done. You’ll help them relax and recharge so they can bring their best to work and focus on what matters.
Molding a healthier, more engaged, and productive workforce starts with small steps. Learn more about ways you can support employees’ and your company’s success by reading the survey report, “Win their hearts & minds: Show Employees You Care & Boost Engagement.”
Kaite Bonneville is Marketing Communications Manager at Virgin Pulse, where she leverages her personal passion for health and happiness to create compelling content about employee well-being and engagement. Outside of the office, Kaite spends her time mentoring a high school student, and recently trained for and completed her first half marathon.