How to promote wellness in the workplace and actually get results
The Reality of Workplace Wellness
Employee gift incentives and Lunch & Learns are some common exercises that HR managers and team leaders put together to promote workplace wellness. Organizing workplace celebrations and creating an open minded environment should show benefits of creating more loyal and engaged employees. However, the common problem with introducing a workplace wellness program is falling off the bandwagon.
As client needs and the busy season takes over, the mind wanders to focusing exclusively on keeping project calendars on track and maintaining employee self service protocols. Team exercises like practicing mindfulness and meditating keep getting pushed for meetings and brainstorms. But is there any direct correlation between workplace wellness ideas and work engagement?
Published by Frontiers in Psychology, a study analyzing data from 311 employees investigated the relationship between employee mindfulness and work engagement, as well as the effect on recovery levels. As defined by the study, mindfulness is the "attention to the present, with awareness and non-judgmental processing" and work engagement is the “positive, fulfilling work-related mental state characterized by vitality, dedication and concentration."
The results of the study found that mindfulness in the workplace, especially among teams, makes employees accept and not waste additional resources to deal with negative things. Individuals need resources to achieve a good recovery level. Recovery saves more energy and resources, allowing employees to pay more attention to their work. By investing time into a workplace wellness calendar and creating space for mindfulness exercises, the benefits of mindfulness include:
- Reduced stress
- Faster problem solving skills
- Less conflicts and challenges
- Better uses of company resources
How to Integrate Wellness into Company Culture
Whether your team is just starting out or already have some wellness practices outlined, here is how to solidify mindfulness and work engagement through the five wellness tips for the workplace through connection, preparedness, rest, and acknowledgement.
According to Forbes, the benefits of socialization in the workplace include happiness, higher energy levels, and an increase in respect. As a boss or team supervisor, create a space for social time that allows for employees to decompress and come together.
Having a specific Zoom meeting or a Slack channel that employees can discuss the weekend or send each other messages of kudos will foster alliances and relationships that employees can call on to streamline work. Also, plan a special team building exercise or celebration hour on a regular cadence that allows for more shy employees to confidently participate and creates something for all employees to look forward to.
The most important piece to lowering workplace stress and raising workplace engagement is making sure teams have access to all the tools and resources they need to complete a project. By fostering open communication, employees are able to freely ask for help or ask questions that could potentially remove roadblocks.
Creating a resource center with detailed briefs or having an organized file drive that teams can access from anywhere will increase productivity and motivation. Employees, who feel in control of their work and supported in their needs, will not have negative emotions like panic, anxiety, or despair affect their mental state.
A good night of sleep can do wonders, but having a nonstop day of emails, Zoom calls, and notifications can leave team members feeling drained and in need of more serious forms of relaxation. By allowing staff members to take breaks to scroll through social media or to handle personal errands, they come back feeling ready to conquer their to-do list and are free from distractions.
Breaks also allow employees to hit pause and come back to a project when they feel best prepared and in the right headspace to tackle a challenge with a new outlook or creative solution. By removing the pressure to be constantly on and available at a moment's notice, this allows teams to share their specific needs and for those to be respected, which increases emotional intelligence and awareness.
Rewarding your employees through employee recognition gifts is a great strategy to retain employees and add something of value to their life through outside of the office. Gift ideas that go beyond the typical gift cards and gift set are experiences like a subscription to a mindfulness app, a digital movie download, or a cooking class that teaches them a yummy new skill. Sometimes a nice gift box of sweet treats, their favorite coffee, or a new plant for their desk speaks volumes and shows kindness and that you care.
Also, introducing a regular calendar of opportunities to celebrate success in the workplace can include social media holidays like Clean Off Your Desk Day and National Compliment Day or a timeline of company get-togethers for all departments. Even employees conquering small achievements, like a new employee celebrating six months at their position or a team achieving their KPIs, can benefit from a positive message or a shoutout in the company newsletter to bolster their confidence and to recognize their hard work.
Learn more about how SmartGift can help to engage team members, employees, and customers here.