What you need to know about workplace wellness as a leader

As a leader in your organization, the status of your workforce wellbeing should be of equal importance to the status of your bottom line. In fact, the CDC continually reports that healthy employees are more productive—and more productive employees are more effective, directly impacting your bottom line.

As we move into 2021, with COVID-19 still affecting the entire world, the spotlight is shining even brighter on workplace wellness. Employees need leadership that invests in their wellbeing, both physical and mental, in order to perform their best on and off the clock.

If you’re not sure how to prioritize workplace wellness as a leader in your company, use these ideas to understand how you can play a role in creating a healthier company.

Understand what your employees want

What works for one employee may not serve another in the same way, so it’s important that you provide different avenues of support. To better understand the needs of your employees, begin with smart listening through surveys and focused conversations.

Employment experts at TD.org recommend the following best practices for surveying your employees:

  • Customize surveys for different employee groups and segments, relative to their responsibilities and roles.
  • Develop your questions and conversations to help define what improves engagement, performance, and wellbeing—understanding that each of these outcomes is distinct from one another.
  • Use variety in your approach and leverage different surveying methods to gather and analyze data.
  • Repeat your listening practice and gather information over time to determine the efficacy of your wellness programs.

With this new data, you can implement wellness programs and processes, and update benefits as needed, with a clear idea of what your employees actually want and need.

Focus on office cleanliness

Space has a direct impact on the people inside it. An office can either energize or deflate your workforce, and it’s vital to examine what factors can help or hurt the environment you create.

This is more important now than ever before. As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are hyper-aware of cleanliness and safety—meaning that keeping your office sanitized if you shift away from remote in 2021 should be a high priority on your list.

In a recent office cleaning survey of business owners and upper-level management, roughly 83 percent of respondents cited that their organization is putting a greater emphasis on cleaning and sanitation in the coming year and they’re implementing it in a few different ways:

  • 51% are installing additional hand sanitizer stanchions and pumps
  • 35% are taking employees’ temperatures
  • 34% are using both a CDC-approved cleaning company and standard janitorial services

Consider how you can prioritize office cleanliness to give employees peace of mind while keeping everyone safe.

Look at how wellness fits into your company culture

There’s a key connection between culture and workplace wellness. The initiatives you build to support your employees will often correlate and impact your efforts to maintain a strong company culture — and strong company culture is a very good thing for your organization. As Meghan M. Biro, Founder and CEO of TalentCulture, explains:

“The tie between corporate success and improved employee health and well-being is evident, and that’s a win-win that will take your company culture to a whole new level. Businesses that promote a culture of wellness will have a competitive edge.”

Consider how you can build employee wellness into your culture with fun challenges, employee benefits, and mental health policies that all support employees in staying healthy.

Prioritize health benefits to impact the bottom line

Healthcare and employee benefits are a critical element of any wellness initiative. In collaboration with your HR department, it’s critical that you, as a leader, focus on providing options for your employees that are carefully selected against quality coverage and what your employees actually need.

Research has shown that the more robust your wellness offerings, the more your company will save in health care payments—citing roughly six dollars in savings per one dollar invested. Health benefits are even more important in the pandemic-era workplace, so don’t ignore this piece.

Focus on workplace wellness as a leader

A comprehensive wellness program takes time—and effort—to develop. Don’t feel like you need to have it all figured out right away. Instead, start small and use existing programs and tools to help establish initial systems.

Don’t be afraid to engage the support of outside professional organizations to maintain office environment safety, conduct employee surveys, and gather feedback on your current programs. Ultimately, when your team feels valued, they’re more healthy and productive, which will improve your recruitment, retention, and overall business performance. Build a brighter future for your organization starting with wellness.