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Not Just a Trend: The Enduring Importance of Workplace Well-Being

By Jacquelyn Adams

Over the past few years, there have been ongoing conversations about workplace culture… and those conversations seem to be here to stay. So, if you haven’t jumped on yet, it is time to stick out your thumb and jump on the bandwagon. No worries; even if there are bumps initially, you are in for a good ride. Prioritizing workplace well-being is essential in today’s fast-paced and often high-pressure work environments. This focus not only benefits employees but also has significant advantages for employers.

Employee Expectations and Statistics

Want to hear about a real-life example? Google, known for its innovative approach to employee well-being, offers programs like ‘Search Inside Yourself,’ which focuses on emotional intelligence training, mindfulness and wellness. Their proactive approach has led to increased employee satisfaction and productivity.

Gone are the days when salary and job title were the sole indicators of a successful career. Today’s workforce places a premium on workplace well-being, seeking environments that support their physical, mental and emotional health. This shift is backed by compelling statistics underscoring employees’ expectations and the tangible benefits of a well-being-focused workplace.

However according to Adam Grant, even with the growing data and literature on the subject, many executives are not meeting these employee expectations. In a tweet, he shared:

Benefits to Companies

Still, let’s be clear: this is not just a one-way street. When companies implement well-being initiatives, it also presents a strategic advantage for employers. Companies that prioritize staff well-being see this investment reflected in various aspects of their business. From enhanced productivity to financial savings, the benefits are quantifiable and significant, compelling companies to adopt well-being programs. It is the flip side of the statistics listed above.

  • Increased Productivity: Happy and healthy employees are more productive. They can focus better and demonstrate higher creativity.
  • Enhanced Reputation: Companies that care about employee well-being attract top talent and have a competitive edge.
  • Reduced Healthcare Costs: Investing in well-being can lower healthcare costs due to reduced chronic diseases and mental health issues.
  • Better Employee Retention: When employees feel cared for, they are more likely to stay, reducing the costs and disruption of turnover.

Concrete Examples for Improvement

Recognizing the importance of workplace well-being is one thing; implementing effective strategies is another. Both employers and employees have roles to play in fostering a healthy work environment. Below are some practical examples that can be adopted by companies and their workforce to enhance well-being in the workplace, creating a more positive, productive and sustainable work culture.

For Employers:

  • Flexible Working Arrangements: Offer flexible hours or remote work options to help employees balance work and personal life.
  • Mental Health Support: Provide access to mental health resources, such as counseling services or mental health days. (This includes not guilting people to take a day off or their lunch break out of the office.)
  • Health and Fitness Programs: Implement wellness programs that encourage/incentivize physical activity, healthy eating, and regular health check-ups. This could even include having healthy food options in the breakroom or vending machines instead of just junk.
  • Professional Development: Support continuous learning and career development to keep employees engaged and motivated. And then affirm employees when you see them working to improve themselves, especially in areas that are/were weaknesses.
  • Open Communication Culture: Foster an environment where employees feel safe to express concerns and ideas.

For Employees:

  • Work-Life Balance: Do not simply complain about what options you lack, but make the most of your resources. Take advantage of flexible work options to manage stress and prevent burnout. Too many people complain about limited vacations, but never use their days off. Participate in company-provided well-being programs and seek support when needed.
  • Continuous Learning: Engage in professional development opportunities to stay motivated and challenged. At least once a year, inform your employer of your progress and get their insights on the next steps.
  • Speak Up: Communicate needs and suggestions to employers for improving workplace well-being. It is hard, but it is worth it. And if you aren’t at a place where you can speak openly, plan to change that as soon as your situation allows.

Prioritizing workplace well-being is not just a trend — it’s a necessity. By investing in the holistic health of their employees, companies not only enhance individual lives but also boost their success and sustainability.


Jacquelyn Adams

Jacquelyn Adams, founder and CEO of Ristole, uses her column to delve into the wild world of leadership. Whether the article is about her days as a Peace Corp volunteer, exploring corporate training, or even grabbing lunch at Chipotle — she will come out with a story and her “top tips.” As she passionately believes in leveraging her platform to share others’ voices, her column welcomes guest bloggers to create a fuller and more diverse pool of experiences for her readership. So, welcome to “Lessons on Leadership” where you never know what the next article will hold: online networking advice, guidelines for creating a joyful workplace, or even puppies. Just keep reading to discover what’s next!

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