Wellbeing has been a bit of a buzzword for some time now, so we thought it was appropriate to have a good look at exactly what is meant by the term and importantly, discuss how organisations can assess and potentially improve employee wellbeing.
Researchers have grappled for decades on how to define wellbeing. Over the years, definitions have included anything from the ability to achieve goals, a person feeling satisfied and happy, to the ability to flourish. One of the more popular definitions relates to a state of equilibrium in that wellbeing is more so a state of fluctuation that includes having good resources; the absence of fatigue; evenness of temper; freedom of movement or autonomy; and good relations with other people.
In recent years, organisations have become increasingly interested in wellbeing as research has demonstrated an association between wellbeing, employee engagement and productivity. And this makes reasonable sense: if a person is happy, satisfied, feels well supported and has access to appropriate resources, then they will be present more often and perform better when they are at work.
Many studies have also highlighted the importance of leadership on wellbeing as effective people leadership is associated with good management of mental health issues in the workplace, mitigation of stress resulting from job demand, reduced turnover and increased employee engagement.
From a company’s perspective, the key is trying to establish what is the best wellbeing framework to adopt; what components of a wellbeing strategy will provide the best return on investment and how to do this in a reasonably efficient way.
At Headway, we believe there are three (3) areas that organisations can focus on to improve the wellbeing of their workforce:
- Assess the overall culture and wellbeing of the organisation. This can be done in certain departments or within specific teams using robust methodology.
- Engage a training and coaching program that involves upskilling managers in people leadership positions.
- Engage with a service provider that takes in to account a holistic view of the individual. Support for the individual could entail counselling, coaching, dietetics advice, exercise plans or sleep intervention services. Ensure the provider is reputable and delivers evidence-based services.
If organisations take a multifaceted and pro-active approach to the mental health and wellbeing of their people, this will create a happier, safer and more productive workplace.