The unique challenges of 2020 cast something of a new light on an area already important to many companies: employee wellness and health. With many gyms and offices closed, thousands of working professionals saw their routines disrupted or their outlets for stress relief eliminated. And while some of these elements have returned as we begin 2021, others are changed for the foreseeable future – our “new normal.” As businesses commit to employee health and wellness, here are 4 thoughts we believe stand out:
With so many facets of our lives disrupted, work remained a constant for many. And while it’s common sense to assume healthy, happy employees perform better overall, we may underestimate the role that work itself can play in that health and happiness. Creating opportunities for employees to engage with their own wellness as a part of their regular work routine can be a game-changer, especially in tumultuous times. This is why we believe that physical and mental wellness initiatives should move high up the priority list for all of us in 2021. Create new programs, revitalize existing ones, solicit feedback, and recognize your employees’ successes.
It’s All About Balance
“Work-life balance” has become a critical component to employee morale, performance, recruitment, and retention in recent years. The idea that one’s work is, of course, important but should not dominate one’s entire life makes sense to all of us. Burnout creates turnover; turnover creates cost. This is a simple enough equation, but there are so many more layers.
Employees that feel both satisfied with their work and with the time they take for themselves or their families can bring that positivity with them to the workplace. And when work plays a lead role in promoting that balance, everyone wins. Making it a business priority to promote both physical and mental wellness for employees, through initiatives and programs – and recognition for participating in them – can go a long way to ensuring your team is engaged, happy, and balanced.
Focus on Your Remote Workforce
As we plan our strategies for employee physical and emotional wellness – perhaps the most important new question we must all ask is whether we are including our remote workforces in a meaningful way. For many businesses in 2021, the very idea of a remote workforce is less than a year old. Before that, it may have just been a few team members, or a day here or a day there.
For many employees, remote work is new to them. And while some have adjusted beautifully, others may be struggling with the change or see it as a disruption they hope is temporary. And so it’s absolutely critical to not just “consider” your remote employees in your employee wellness initiatives, but to prioritize them. These initiatives can help you build community, especially if your workforce is split between home and the office, and they can make a significant impact on those who may be struggling to adjust.
Implementing physical and mental wellness initiatives offers so many benefits for your workforce, regardless of where they are or how they’re adjusting. Recognizing those employees for engaging with their own wellness in and outside of work takes these initiatives’ value to the next level.
For starters, incorporating recognition and rewards to these initiatives makes a clear statement that your company is invested. And for employees who may be on the fence about participating, recognition could be the incentive they need to jump in. Health and wellness can and should be an important part of any successful recognition strategy. By adding this personal component to a performance-driven recognition program, it both helps to solidify your company’s culture of recognition and allows your team to apply the same valuable strategy to their own personal growth.