There has been a growing focus on the importance of workplace wellbeing in recent years, and I for one applaud it.
As an organisational psychologist with over 25 years’ experience, I can confirm that the research backs up what many of us have long suspected: workplace wellbeing has far reaching benefits, for:
And society as a whole.
At the end of the day however, the world of commerce is driven by profit.
So while those in management or executive positions might understand that workplace wellbeing is important in a warm and fuzzy way, if they want to implement it, they need the cold hard facts.
Does workplace wellbeing improve the bottom line?
We know that companies and organisations which invest in workplace wellbeing, see tangible benefits in productivity and a lower staff turnover. When you consider that it costs approximately six months’ salary to recruit and train a new team member, lower staff turnover definitely has a huge cost benefit attached to it.
A recent study revealed that Australians believe that the number one contributing factor to workplace wellbeing is: a pleasant work environment.
The Importance of a Pleasant Workplace Environment
It’s not necessarily about bean bags and ping pong tables, as famously associated with companies like Google and Facebook.
So what does a pleasant workplace environment mean?
The best people to ask are your colleagues and staff what they think it means!
Does it mean:
The physical working environment – ie an office with plenty of light and greenery, a lack of clutter, maybe a comfy couch or two?
A flexible workplace – one where employees know they can take a day off to nurse a sick child, or to start or finish earlier for a personal appointment if required – without negative repercussions?
A workplace with a great team spirit, and a warm and friendly atmosphere where it’s okay to laugh out loud at times?
Once you know what a pleasant environment means for the people in YOUR workplace, I encourage you to get creative!
Ideas to Promote Workplace Wellbeing
Here are some examples of how others are promoting a pleasant environment and workplace wellbeing:
One employer I know gave each staff member a Fitbit for Christmas last year. Not only was it a gift of some value, making the staff feel appreciated – they then started the New Year with a bit of friendly competition to increase their levels of physical activity each day.
Another company stops work and meets in the board room for nibbles at 4pm each Friday, so people can relax and socialise, and ease in to the weekend.
One large government organization arranged for a mobile masseuse to be onsite for one day a week, providing five minute neck and shoulder massages to employees at their desks (if they wanted it) for a vastly subsidised price.
PepsiCo introduced “One Simple Thing”, a program which encouraged employees to talk to their managers about one simple thing that could provide them with a better work/life balance. Employees could choose to adjust their start or finish times, extend lunch breaks, etc.
The research is clear – implementing workplace wellbeing strategies will make your organisation or department a nicer place to be – AND it can also give you that competitive edge!
If you are looking for ideas on how you can foster workplace wellbeing, I would love to help. At Peter Doyle Coaching I offer a range of services designed to help inspirational leaders like you to achieve peak potential – from themselves, and those they work with – I invite you to get in touch today.
Or perhaps you would first just love to gauge how you are currently tracking along your own path to becoming an Extraordinary, Inspirational, Next Generational Leader: then please click here to utilise our free self-rating questionnaire!
McCarthy, G., Almeida, S. & Ahrens, J. (2011). Understanding employee well-being practices in Australian organizations. International Journal of Health, Wellness & Society, 1 (1), 181-198.