Employee well-being is understandably under the spotlight at the moment. Not only did employees start to prioritize their own health during the most challenging parts of the pandemic, but they’ve also been much more keen to establish a better work-life balance.
Although employers naturally still expect employees to do the jobs they’re paid to do, there are plenty of steps they can take around those core duties to help employees feel happier and mentally healthier when they’re at work. To give you a starting point, here are ten ideas that are easy and quick to implement:
Mandate lunch breaks
The lines between work time and break time are often blurred, especially if employees tend to have their lunch at their desks, and this often means that they don’t get time to relax and unwind. Forcing employees to take a full hour’s break, where they don’t use any digital communications or participate in any meetings, gives them a chance to reset in the middle of the day.
Provide mental health support
It’s often difficult to know if people are struggling mentally, either because of stresses at work or difficulties in their personal lives. Knowing that they have someone to turn to at work can make a huge difference, so offering professional support for their mental health is a step with huge potential benefits further down the line.
Enable walking meetings
A good walk and some fresh air can revitalize the mind as well as the body, and it can add an extra burst of motivation and innovative thinking to meetings, too. If a meeting doesn’t require the use of a screen to view documents, then taking it outside the office and holding it on the move can be a welcome change of pace.
Recognize employee achievements
If an employee has made a valuable contribution to the business, or has reached a particular milestone, it can make them feel even better about themselves if that’s recognized. A programme that highlights achievements – whether they’re big or small – provides an organized vehicle for celebrating success.
Invest in development
Even the most experienced employees can still learn new skills, or refresh their existing ones, so that they can maximize their potential. Expanding opportunities for both personal and professional development can help them stay motivated by giving them something to work towards.
Allow flexibility in working hours
Employees increasingly want their work to fit around their personal lives, and not the other way round. Giving them some autonomy in when (and where) they work can help them achieve the work-life balance they want; a workspace management system can help ensure they have access to office space when they need it.
Start a sabbatical program
The chance to pursue other things in life, without the risk of leaving their job, can be enormously fulfilling for some people. A sabbatical program, where employees can take a guaranteed long break after a certain period of service, can be an extremely motivating incentive to work towards.
Helping those less fortunate or making a contribution to the community can be very rewarding for employees, or for a workforce as a whole. Giving employees the opportunity to volunteer their time, or to take part in charity initiatives, helps them feel that their working life is of greater value to the wider world.
Hold regular team-building events
Stronger working relationships can improve productivity and make for a more positive culture and atmosphere. Flexible space within your office can be used for building a collaborative culture and socialization that can forge those bonds, especially among employees that mainly work from home and don’t often see their co-workers in person.
Host inspirational talks
A fresh perspective on work and on life can be thought-provoking for employees, and can empower them to strive for greater things in their careers. Bringing in third-party speakers and thought leaders can provide employees with valuable food for thought, and these talks can be made accessible from the office, and from home for those working remotely.