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15 Inspiring Workplace wellbeing Initiatives that Make a Difference

Posted by:

Paulyne

January 17, 2023

Are you looking for a way to help your team members thrive? Would you like to collaborate with an engaged, motivated, happy, and healthy workforce? Do you want to lower your employee turnover and attract talent? Then, implementing workplace wellbeing initiatives should be part of your business strategy. The benefits of wellness at work improve all of these aspects and many more. 

We are entering a new era in the world of work. In 2021, 52% of American professionals experienced moderate levels of burnout, in 2022, this percentage reached 59%1. As work depression keeps increasing, wellbeing becomes a priority for younger generations of workers. Work flexibility, people-first leadership, work-life balance, purpose, DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), recognition… There are many ways to tackle this fundamental aspect of your business. Here are 15 inspiring employee wellness ideas to develop a positive work environment and improve the mental health of your coworkers.

1. Start implementing your workplace wellbeing initiatives by facilitating sports activities

Moving and doing sports is essential to stay physically and mentally healthy. Therefore, our first workplace wellbeing recommendation is to facilitate practicing physical activities. Many options are possible. You can either: 

  • Start a partnership with the sports clubs around your office to encourage your employees to do sports.
  • Create teams within your workforce and meet once a week to play soccer, basketball, volleyball, or whatever your workers fancy.
  • Bring sports to the workplace by offering yoga classes during lunch breaks, for example.

Most importantly, make it easy for your coworkers to practice sports regularly and maintain good health.

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2. Support both physical and mental health through the company’s benefits

Making sure your employees have access to quality healthcare is essential. Mental and psychological health is as important as physical health. An employee who feels burnt out might also encounter physical problems such as an eating disorder, for example. The same goes the other way around. Chronic back pain can impact mental and psychological health. A healthy and happy workforce means fewer people with sick notes or absences. 

3. Offer flexible work arrangements to encourage a better work-life balance

Work-life balance is one of the top priorities for Millennials and Gen Z. To fulfil this need and enable them to have a healthy relationship with their work, allowing flexible work arrangements is fundamental. From hybrid work to compressed hours and flexitime, working flexibly can take many forms. Collect your employees’ feedback, discuss what would help them to feel more balanced in their lives, and create your own model! You can get inspired by what other companies are doing. But remember, you should always adjust to your workforce and your business. What works for some might not work for others and vice versa. 

4. Train leaders to apply a people-first management style

Poor management is one of the main reasons employees quit their job. According to a study from GoodHire2, 82% of U.S. workers declare they would potentially quit their job because of a bad manager. This includes micromanagement, lack of recognition, absence of transparent communication, no genuine connection, and the list goes on. Leaders play a huge role in employee satisfaction, happiness, and wellbeing. Thus, encouraging your employees with leadership positions to attend training about positive management and employee wellbeing is vital. 

 

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Sports team huddled
Team of colleagues playing a sport.

5. Put DEI initiatives at the top of your employee wellness ideas list

We have just published an article about the benefits of diversity in the workplace. Not only diversity but also DEI initiatives, in general, are a core pillar of employee wellness. How can workers feel good and aligned with their values if their work environment doesn’t reflect who they are? Having a diverse workforce, fair treatment of all your team members, and an inclusive culture for those of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, and ethnicities is a must.

6. Organize corporate events and team-building activities

How often does your team get the chance to have a casual conversation? Do they know each other? Can they create sincere relationships and even friendships? Building genuine relationships with colleagues contributes to improving mental health at work. To break the ice, encourage team building, or give them the chance to spend some time together, organizing corporate events and team-building activities is a great idea. These moments can undoubtedly boost employee morale and happiness.

7. Conduct employee wellness surveys regularly

Introducing more workplace wellbeing initiatives is fantastic! However, you need to know if they deliver the expected results. To do so, we recommend you conduct employee wellness surveys regularly. Not too often, as it may bother your workers, but once every three months is a good ratio, for example. This allows you to have a better understanding of your employees level of wellbeing and how to enhance it. The questionnaire should include open questions to have a clear overview of your areas of improvement.

8. Focus on boosting workplace connection

Workplace connection plays a major part in how your employees feel toward their work. Here, we are not only talking about the affinity they have for their teammates but we are also referring to the bond they have with their job and the company. Experiencing  workplace connection means your coworkers know their job, their colleagues, and their organization are aligned with their values and expectations. Feeling this way boosts positive feelings and reduces the risk of burnout.

 

👋 Do you want to prevent work depression from happening in your workforce? Check out the most common symptoms of workplace burnout.

 

Group of people sitting on floor listening to speaker
Team-building event

9. Redesign the office space to enhance employee wellbeing

Changing your office design might not be your first idea when implementing workplace wellbeing initiatives, but it does have a real impact on the health of your team members. An uncomfortable chair can quickly create back and neck pain. Unsuitable lighting not only harms vision but can also negatively impact the mood of your workers. Poorly designed workspaces, like ones with too many collaborative areas and not enough single quiet desks, can lead to stress and frustration. Rethinking your workplace layout and design according to your employees’ needs is a crucial step for improving their wellbeing.

10. Make sabbatical part of your workplace wellbeing ideas

First, make sure your coworkers take their annual paid leave. Postponing holidays is quite tempting when there is a lot of work to do and they feel it is never the right time. But this is counterproductive. People get stressed, less efficient, and become physically and mentally tired. Second, to further promote your employees’ wellbeing, you can also grant sabbaticals. A few weeks or months away from work is a great opportunity for them to refocus, switch off, learn new skills, and experience new adventures. Your workers will come back recharged and ready to rock!

11. Set clear goals to achieve with your team 

Working for an organization without knowing its goals is frustrating and demotivating. Your team members need to have a clear idea about your expectations and your objectives. Achieving these targets depends on being transparent in your communication and setting clear goals with your team. It is vital to keep their motivation high and avoid any feelings of frustration or disappointment. 

12. Create a healthy and trustworthy relationship with your staff

Trust matters a lot in a work environment. Not only do employees need to trust each other but they also have to feel trusted by their leader and vice versa. This is a key element for healthy and genuine relationships at work. Creating this atmosphere at work is essential for your staff to feel comfortable speaking up instead of bottling up concerns. It smoothes collaborations, reinforces connections, and makes it easier to express concerns when they rise.

 

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cork board with sticky notes and goals
Board with company goals

13. Recognize and reward your employees’ efforts

If your employees work hard to make your business thrive, showing appreciation for their efforts is fundamental for keeping them engaged, motivated, and happy.  They won’t go out of their way to meet your expectations and reach goals if they start to feel frustrated, unhappy, and unmotivated. Regularly thanking your team members and rewarding them for their efforts and engagement is one of the basic practices to foster employee wellbeing. 

14. Provide your workers with healthy meal options

Food and nutrition are crucial for physical health. To help your workers with their eating habits, introduce healthier meal choices in the office cafeteria:

  • Promote local and organic products;
  • Improve the number of vegetarian and vegan options;
  • Reduce the junk food offer;
  • Place fruits and healthy snacks baskets around the office;
  • Put water fountains in common areas.

The cherry on top, besides improving your employees’ health, eating healthier can also increase their performance as they feel better and more energized3.

15. Know and meet your employees’ expectations

Although some workplace wellbeing initiatives are just logical and make sense for every workforce, knowing what your team members need is also something to consider. According to your industry and their position, they may have some specific expectations. While some people manage to relax and recenter with meditation, others fancy a 10 km run to feel better and to kick off their next tasks. Remembering to not take your staff for granted and instead, constantly trying to understand how you can improve their life at work should be at the top of your list.

 

Employee wellness ideas are endless. But the most important thing to remember is to always put yourself in the shoes of your workers and focus on how to enhance their physical and psychological health. As mentioned in this list of workplace wellbeing initiatives, a top priority for people today is to have a more flexible work schedule. With its workspace management software, deskbird helps you meet your team’s expectations in terms of work flexibility. Request a free demo of the deskbird app to discover user-friendly features to embrace hybrid work. 

 

1. 2022–2023 Aflac Workforces Report.

2. Horrible Bosses: Are American Workers Quitting Their Jobs Or Quitting Their Managers?, GoodHire.

3. Healthy Eating at Work, Canadian Centre Of Occupational Health and Safety.

Paulyne

Content Creator

15 Inspiring Workplace wellbeing Initiatives that Make a Difference