Employee Wellbeing & Its Connection to Motivation
Old-fashioned workplace mindsets can sometimes encourage employees to push themselves as a means of showing that they’re working hard. In this perception, factors like skipping lunch, sleeping less and allowing workers to fully immerse themselves into their work proves that they’re more dedicated to their job role. However, in an age governed by the COVID-19 pandemic where more employees are finding themselves in work-from-home setups, caring for staff wellbeing is emerging as a key way of ensuring a more sustainable level of motivation and productivity.
The pandemic has shown that remote work doesn’t turn workforces into layabouts. In fact, the prevalence of ‘microbreaks’ from employees in working-from-home (WFH) setups fell for 95% of employees since the arrival of lockdown measures. Further to this, four-in-five workers have reportedly experienced some form of musculoskeletal pain since transitioning to home-based offices.
We’re a world that’s obsessed with the concept of hustling our way to success. Despite the common belief that the best way for businesses to prosper is through an efficient workforce, failing to care for employee wellbeing can lead to severe adverse effects for both worker and company alike. The best indicator of a productive, well-functioning employee is one who’s happy, well-rested, and seeing their basic physical and emotional needs met.
Employees perform best when they’re able to focus on their health, perhaps counterintuitively, this can even be the case if it involves sacrificing a level of productivity in the process. Employees who have their well-being looked after by employers tend to take fewer sick days, spend more time engaged in work and produce better quality output than their fatigued counterparts.
The links between wellbeing and employee motivation are significant. With 42% of workers claiming that adverse health conditions affected their output, it’s clear that businesses need to do more to ensure that their employees are well looked after. With this in mind, let’s explore some of the leading ways that companies are actively ensuring the wellbeing of their staff:
The Importance of Mental Health Support
Common mental health issues can involve stress, depression and anxiety, and it’s imperative that employees know that they can find help and support for their problems from within the company.
Establishing a company-wide mental health plan that’s clearly communicated to everybody within the business. It’s also key to encourage open and positive communication around the topic of mental health to remove any stigmas that can be associated with the subject.
Here we can see that a fundamental breakdown in understanding is occurring between employers and employees. Many of the most significant things that employees want from their managers is associated with positive mental health. Feeling involved and knowing that they can find help for their personal problems are essential in helping employees to understand that they’re supported.
Your company mental health plan must also include manager training. All managers should be capable of spotting the first signs of potential issues and offer support in an efficient manner. Additionally, employees need training to ensure that they have the tools to cope if they begin to develop symptoms of mental difficulty.
With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to more feelings of social isolation, introducing a more comprehensive company-wide mental support system is vital in ensuring that your employees remain happy and subsequently motivated every time they log on - whether it happens to be in a physical office or remotely.
Establish More Avenues for Communication
If your employees are working remotely, be sure to connect with them frequently and encourage them to connect with one another. The brilliant thing about modern technology is that they can make us feel much better connected with each other even if we happen to be interacting from opposite sides of the world.
From email to Zoom calls, there are plenty of ways to keep in touch with your team. The impact of regular video calls with remote employees can boost morale - while resolving any lingering queries and remind all employees of the collective effort they play in fulfilling company goals. After all, 98% of the WFH workforce have used video calling and conference services to attend virtual meetings - so this is a great way of instilling a greater sense of belonging that will pave the way for motivation.
Particularly for owners managing remote businesses, it’s vital to aim to cover all the communication angles. In some cases, you could be the primary point of contact for many of your staff in terms of their working life and personal life. Another effective way of leveraging better communication is by setting up a buddy system within your team - with each employee showcasing a different area of expertise. This means that if a business leader is unable to take a query, troubleshoot or offer advice, a buddy can be primed to help out.
Connecting Fitness to Wellbeing
The pandemic has forced many employees - whether they’re working remotely or not - to spend more time indoors. If your office is able to offer remote fitness programs then it’s a great way to keep workers physically healthy. If you’re unable to offer such a setup, there are plenty of cost-effective ways to encourage your employees to exercise.
Some businesses utilise walking meetings, encourage employees to take the stairs in the office, or hold weekly step-count contests with various prizes up for grabs. Subsidised gym memberships can be another option if you’re capable of establishing a partnership - and it opens up the opportunity to offer workers the chance to leave work an hour early each week to get a workout in, for instance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to act more decisively in establishing better care for employee wellbeing. By looking after worker mental health and physical health, it offers a platform for your staff to become much more motivated and productive in their output. By establishing effective communication methods and both physical and mental health-focused programs for workers to participate in, you can ensure that your business is at the progressive forefront of the recovery from the health crisis.