4 Awesome Ways to Improve Employees’ Wellbeing

Human Resources leaders and business managers share their top recommendations on the things that any organization can do to keep their employees happy and motivated.

colleagues in office, woman in focus

In this series on Human Resources, we delve into current issues that HR managers encounter. These include tackling common workplace obstacles like keeping employees engaged and motivated. Each day, findcourses.com is visited by numerous training purchasers, including HR and learning teams, seeking the best courses for their requirements. With our extensive research and experience, we are well-placed to provide valuable perspectives on these issues.


Human resources professionals often need to balance employees' needs against their organizations' objectives. In our article 5 Top Tips to Balance Company Goals With Employees’ Wellbeing we share tips from HR insiders on how to walk this fine line.

When we asked HR managers and business leaders how they navigate this balance, we received so many great tips about promoting employees’ welfare that we decided to dedicate an entire article to it. We have compiled all of their expert advice into the following four top tips on keeping your people happy and motivated. Read on and start today!


1. Speak to employees regularly

One of the top recommendations we received is to talk to your employees regularly about what they need.

Adam P. Gordon, Co-Founder of the Time Off Tracking, Automation and Compliance Platform, PTO Genius advocates proactive communication. Not only does this help you connect with your employees more regularly, but it will help you identify issues before they become problems. 

Gordon says, “If you don’t know an issue exists, there is no way to fix it". He recommends that leaders "build in a regular calendar of outreach to your team. This could include having them fill out a survey about balance-related factors such as hours worked, scheduling, support for working parents. By soliciting feedback, you can manage the areas of needed improvement and enact solutions before they fester for too long.” 

Furthermore, the book Cracking Health Costs cites a study that shows a clear relationship between low well-being and higher hospitalization and emergency room admission. For each one-point positive difference in well-being, employees were 2.2% less likely to have an admission, 1.7% less likely to have an ER visit, and 1% less likely to incur any healthcare cost. For those who incur healthcare costs, each one-point positive difference in well-being was associated with a 1% lower cost.

Thus, Cal Martin - who has counseled hundreds of top executives at Fortune 500 companies on customer satisfaction, employee engagement and wellbeing, is spot on when he says - “it is absolutely worth proactively investing in employee wellbeing rather than trying to manage the expenses reactively. Healthier employees means a healthier bottom line.”

2. Offer support for your employees’ physical and mental health

Todd Ramlin, Manager of Cable Compare, an experienced search site for the best internet and TV providers in the United States of America, believes that “Healthy employees make for a healthy business.” Ramlin adds, “The healthier an employee is the more productive they can be so insurance and wellness programs are great tools for meeting business goals while looking out for the welfare of your people.”

Likewise, Emily Connery, Head of People and Talent at People Operations Platform, ChartHop, highlights the importance of supporting mental health at the workplace. Connery says, “We need to support our employees holistically because we care about them and because happy, supported, and rested people perform better. Due to this overdue realization, mental health and the proverbial couch are shedding their stigma and getting the spotlight. This means investing in new well-being benefits like meditation apps and counseling services. It also means allowing your business to pause for things like mental health days or even weeks.”

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), one in four Americans has had a serious mental illness. The financial impact of poor mental wellbeing is staggering - research estimates that workplace stressors cost the United States approximately $180 billion annually.

Furthermore, Korn Ferry Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI) reported that "42% of employees of leaders who consistently show three or fewer ESCI competencies plan to stay for at least five years. That number jumps to 53% for leaders with four to seven ESCI strengths and to 69% for leaders with eight or more ESCI strengths" proving that leaders who show emotional intelligence keep their employees longer. 

To help mitigate the mental health costs to your business, leaders can invest in emotional intelligence training to help the team deal with stress healthily.



3. Empower your employees

When your people understand your company goals and feel engaged in terms of how they are contributing to the business’s success, they are more likely to feel motivated.

On the flip side, as Matt Erhard, Managing Partner at Summit Search Group, observes - “one of the biggest engagement killers is when employees feel undervalued or taken advantage of.” Erhard gives an example of this, “If you have a large project that needs overtime, ask for volunteers rather than assigning these extra shifts - it can make a big difference in how employees feel about putting in that extra time.


Robert Half, the world's largest specialized talent solutions and business consulting firm, identifies a sense of empowerment as one of six key factors that contributes to employees’ happiness at work. Employees who feel free at work are 2.7 times more likely to be happy than those who don’t. Robert Half notes that giving your team as much agency as possible can improve their happiness in several ways:

  • Team members build confidence when they realize they can make the right decisions.

  • Employees have more say in developing skills that they can use to further their careers and contribute to the company.

  • Empowered team members feel more comfortable questioning the status quo, thereby helping to create an organizational culture that is more open to new ideas.

4. Treat employees fairly and as individuals

Treating each person as an individual may seem obvious because we each have unique needs and talents. Nevertheless, in the bid to apply company-wide policies, managers may sometimes lose sight of the fact that people are likely to be working under different individual circumstances.

“It is our responsibility to understand each employee,” says Ralph Severson, business owner of accredited pro remodeling company, Flooring Masters. “They must be treated as the individuals that they are. While one employee may love working 60 hours per week, another will burn out after a few weeks of this. If an employee does a great jobbut is not at all interested in the conference you wanted to take them to, don’t push them into it," he says. With over 30 years of experience, Severson advises that leaders "let people be who they are, but within reason. It's still a business.”

Jake Penney, Head of HR at custom-made blinds retailer, English Blinds, reminds employers that while they need to “recognize that different individuals have different welfare needs,” they must also ensure they are “consistent and fair in their application of support." which supports Robert Half’s claims that fairness and respect are together the second main drivers of employee happiness.

In conclusion, there are several proven ways to improve employee well-being. You can reach out to employees regularly and take practical measures to support their physical and mental health. Be cautious of the way you treat each employee. Unfair treatment - whether real or perceived - can turn a happy and motivated employee into one who is skeptical and disengaged. And finally, remember that empowered employees are likely to be happier employees. 

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Carol Pang

Content Manager for findcourses.com (more)
Carol Pang, Content Manager at findcourses.com, is dedicated to developing tailored and impactful content that meets the diverse needs of learners of professional courses. Her enthusiasm extends to delving into data, where she drives the creation of Course trends reports and Learning and Development reports, providing valuable insights to users. With a multifaceted professional background spanning financial analysis, market research, and consulting, Carol's ability to synthesize insights from different sectors enriches her content creation, making it both engaging and informed by a comprehensive understanding of various domains. (less)

About

Carol Pang, Content Manager at findcourses.com, is dedicated to developing tailored and impactful content that meets the diverse needs of learners of professional courses. Her enthusiasm extends to delving into data, where she drives the creation of Course trends reports and Learning and Development reports, providing valuable insights to users. With a multifaceted professional background spanning financial analysis, market research, and consulting, Carol's ability to synthesize insights from different sectors enriches her content creation, making it both engaging and informed by a comprehensive understanding of various domains.

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