Trying to complete a project or task at work when feeling unwell, tired, stressed, or unhappy can be challenging. Those feelings can also disrupt team culture as they negatively affect how a person interacts with others. With the global pandemic in its second year, we are seeing more and more people struggling with these feelings. So, how do you address your employees' physical, mental, emotional, and social needs? Incorporating wellness into your employee engagement strategies and using an engagement platform like Inspirus® Connects, are two ways to accomplish this.
Social Connections Combat Workplace Loneliness
According to Forbes, “work relationships have a strong influence on employee health, happiness and job satisfaction.” When you feel connected to the people you work with, you in turn feel connected to the company you work for. As companies consider extending, or more permanently, adopting a remote or hybrid work environment, the risk of workplace loneliness increases. Reaching out to your employees or team members to ask how they are doing or feeling can go a long way to making someone feel like they are cared about and important. In our 2021 Trends & Forecasts report, we noted that “organizations that make an effort to show compassion and provide flexibility to their employees will see a subsequent increase in the care and dedication that these employees give to their work and to the organization.” It makes sense that taking a genuine interest in how someone is doing will result in a greater sense of belonging, and increase engagement and work output.
A good way to combat workplace loneliness is to provide a way for your employees to communicate and interact with each other. Creating a company-wide or department-specific Teams channel for people to chat, share info, or ask questions is one way to do that. You may also want to encourage video conferences, verses audio only calls, so that your employees can see each other and feel that additional connection to one another.
Additionally, you can create connections between your employees by providing an employee engagement platform that incorporates a social component. Celebrating service milestones, special occasions or achievements, sharing them with others by making them public, and interacting with posts — via like and comment — brings recognition to the forefront on your employee’s minds, makes it easy for them to do, and further contributes to team culture.
Wellness Education and Activities
In our blog post, A Healthy Workforce is a Motivated Workforce, we talk about how the success and productivity of a workforce go hand in hand with the health of its employees… that’s why making employee health and wellness a priority can motivate your workforce. Using an employee engagement platform to socialize articles or company news about wellness initiatives and activities is an easy and efficient way to get the word out. With Inspirus® Connects, you can use the Spotlights feature to do just that. You can post information about a smoking cessation webinar, share an article with tips on how to get more sleep, or provide details about a company-wide mental health day off. You can take it a step further and award points to those who participate in your company’s wellness initiatives. If points are not your thing, maybe consider providing wellness-related gifts to participants.
When thinking about the types of rewards or gifts you want employees to receive from your company, looking at your company culture and your multigenerational workforce are great places to start, but why stop there? If wellness is one of your company initiates, think about including wellness related gifts in your service award catalog and rewards mall— where employees can redeem points they’ve earned for merchandise. A water bottle, yoga set, under desk elliptical, or even a gift card to a spa are all great options to incorporate wellness into your awards and gifts offering.
Make it Fun
To minimize workplace stress, try to ditch the thought of “all work and no play” and replace it with “work hard, play hard”. According to Forbes, “employees feel engaged when work feels more like a community and less like a factory.” This is why team building is important. By implementing a fun and user-friendly platform like Inspirus® Connects, you can encourage employee engagement activities within your organization while also providing a place for your employees to have fun celebrating and recognizing each other.
Ideas for Wellness Activities and Challenges:
“Drop the Pop” Water Drinking Challenge – set a goal and have participants record how much water they are drinking each day.
Host a 6-week Fitness Program – hire a local fitness instructor or gym to lead each workout. You can even include remote employees via video conference.
“Counting Sheep” – have participants record their sleep habits to identify what may be helping or hindering better sleep.
Walking Challenge – have participants record how many steps they are taking a day and reward those with top numbers with recognition points. Maybe even provide some step trackers for participants to use for the challenge.
Mindful Monday – encourage teams or departments to set aside a small amount of time in their weekly meetings to share positive or thoughtful moments with the team. Maybe even ask for each person’s “two words of the day” that convey how they are feeling about the coming week.
Happy Hour – host an in-person or virtual happy hour to help your employees or team members socialize with each other outside of work.
Topics: wellness, employee wellness programs, engagement technology