We’re living in an era where we’re almost always on the go, surrounded by loads of new information available to us everywhere, so it’s no surprise that we’re always thinking of what’s coming next. Due to the way things are, it can be difficult to take a moment for ourselves and check on what’s really going on with us. This exposure to a fast-changing work environment and the exposure to too much information combined with trying to exceed our limits no matter what can take a toll on our health as well. Both mental and physical.
In this article you’ll find out:
the most common factors that have a negative impact on your employees’ well-being
what’s the link between your employees' well-being and their productivity
what can be done to improve the well-being of your employees
Factors that can negatively impact the well-being of your employees
There are a lot of things that can have a negative effect on the well-being of your employees. Some examples of such factors are low salaries, a heavy workload, job insecurity, working long hours, unrealistic expectations, poor relationships with colleagues, and issues with direct managers. All these above-mentioned factors have, however, one thing in common - they lead to uncertainty and insecurity.
Unrealistic job expectations
Experiencing a situation when certain expectations were set, but then the reality turned out completely differently can put a lot of stress on us. How can we know what and who can we rely on and how can we make plans around other tasks and deadlines that we’re responsible for? It all starts with expectations and planning, so when this part fails, it follows all the following parts of the process failing as well.
Followed by wrongly set expectations, the problem of too heavy a workload can happen. This can have negative consequences on both our physical and mental health. Not only will we feel tired, overwhelmed, and not know what to start with, but it will always feel like we’re running against time.
In most cases, it’s not possible to tackle such a workload during normal working hours, so it will lead to working some extra ones. This pressure will then project into lack of energy, feeling tired, and being more irritable which will of course negatively impact the quality of work. In worse cases, such an unsustainable cycle can end up seriously deteriorating our health and preventing us from working altogether.
Not just the workload itself or the received tasks have an impact on our well-being, but it is also affected by the relationships we have with people around us. If we’re coming to work and every day there’s a tense atmosphere, then it, of course, impacts our well-being and therefore our performance as well. It doesn’t matter if the conflict is with colleagues or if there’s some issue between you and your direct manager, both of these cases make the workplace environment feel uncomfortable.
The last point that needs to be mentioned in this part is job insecurity. This can be caused by ever happening changes in employees or management structure. No one likes when there can come a negative surprise at any moment which will certainly not affect positively our well-being. Such changes and always feeling on the edge has us of course worried about our financial stability as well.
Try to see the situation from your employee's point of view and imagine how they feel in such unstable situations. By imagining these scenarios it helps you to be more understanding and it will be easier for you to come up with a practical plan for improvement of the current working environment.
Employee well-being and productivity
After mentioning all the most common factors that have a negative impact on the well-being of your employees, let’s focus on the connection between their well-being and their levels of productivity. They are closely linked together because one directly impacts the other. The productivity of your employees can be understood as the amount of output they produce for your company’s success. Productive employees by no surprise contribute more to your business’s success.
It’s not really surprising that taking care of mental and emotional well-being can avoid experiencing stress and burnout. In other words, focusing on well-being can be understood as creating a safe environment that supports employees. It puts emphasis on listening to your employees and solving issues in an appropriate and timely manner before they escalate. This can prevent the absence of employees due to poor health and that saves costs for your company.
Besides, that improved well-being correlates with higher levels of productivity and happiness among employees. For you and your company, it has the benefit of being seen as more profitable and efficient.
How to realistically improve employee well-being
Work-related stress and anxiety can be not only prevented by individuals’ efforts but also by the workplace itself. There’s a lot you can do for your employees’ well-being to ensure a good working environment for your people.
There are obviously many guides and articles with these tips. Some guides may tell you that a way how to reduce the stress in the office is to buy a ping pong table have a dog-friendly place or to even install basketball hoops. These small distractions may work in places where are all of the basic needs already covered. However, if you’re facing severe struggles in your workplace where the whole environment is toxic in a way buying a dartboard will certainly not happen to resolve this issue.
So what can be done?
We should look at it from the bigger picture and go back to basics. I’m pretty sure that you’re familiar with Maslow’s pyramid of hierarchy portraying human needs. At the bottom of it, you need to ensure your physiological needs, then you move to safety followed by love and belonging, later esteem and self-realization at last. The same concept is true for the work environment. When your employees are in survival mode, all they’re here for are the money and they don’t really care about their tasks or being a team player. In such a situation buying a ping pong table for your workplace will certainly not improve their satisfaction and work performance. The problem lies somewhere else.
What you need to tackle first is ensuring to remove uncertainty from the workplace and create a safe environment. That’s the key to improving employees’ well-being in a long run.
One of the basic ways how to improve your work environment is to create a place where your people feel trusted, respected, and listened to. Being open and honest about what’s going on and always working on promoting transparency will certainly help you with building a healthier work environment. Those who work in a transparent workplace, and value effective communication, also feel more satisfied and feel stronger integrity with their team. This makes the art of accountability easier as well as the overall team performance of your employees.
Flexible and remote working
Another way how to improve your employees’ well-being is to offer other options of working like having flexible and remote working schedules. This can remove the uncertainty of working parents who are trying to manage their family and work life at the same time. In other cases, people also avoid spending time in the morning and afternoon traffic and when they don’t experience this negative situation, their work morale is also better. These options give employees more control of how they work and they can make the most out of their productivity levels since everyone works differently.
Ask the public
You may have noticed that many people around you feel on the edge or on the verge of a breakdown and the atmosphere is tense. You want to somehow improve the situation, but don’t know where to start. Do a survey and ask your employees what would they like to improve. They see it the best from their experience and surely have a lot to say. Then you can analyze the results and focus on the most important areas for improvement.
Staff and workload
One of the obvious ways how to ensure the proper well-being of your employees is to properly calculate the amount of them and compare it with the size of the workload. It’s important to be realistic and not put too much workload on them. This way you can avoid creating unnecessary stress of unfulfilled deadlines and working long hours.
In some cases having a specialist can help resolve your issue. This can be a consultant on the work environment a discuss possible plans and strategies on what can be done to improve the situation. Another way how to take advantage of external help is to hire well-being and mental health specialists for your employees to ensure that they’re in professional hands and can seek out these services when needed. This can create a safe space for people who need it and they will feel more supported.
So here you have it. These are the 5 simple tips on how to improve the well-being of your employees. increase the certainty and security of your employees. All of the things are focused on contributing to the real key to having good well-being of your employees - having a safe and secure environment. By applying these tips you will see many benefits in the long run.
Maintaining the well-being of your employees can have a long-term positive effect on their productivity and it can improve their performance levels. There are many different types of advice on this topic, but the simplest and most effective one is to firstly build a safe and secure environment that prevents the creation of unnecessary stress. Now you know where to start to ensure your employees’ well-being from the starting point. From now on, it only gets better. You got this!