The Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), has recently launched Ireland's fifth National Workplace Wellbeing Day which will take place on Friday, 12th April 2019.
This is a great chance for employers to do something for the wellbeing of their staff - both those with fully fledged annual health and wellbeing programmes with many initiatives for all staff and even those that are just starting - big and small.
More than 700 companies took part in 2018. Any organisation from the public or private sector interested to participate can sign up at www.wellbeingday.ie
While wellbeing is for every day, it is good to mark the day.
Stress levels at work are increasing with 22 percent of employees in Ireland recently reported as stressed all or most of the time at work. Brain function reduces by up to 70 percent when people are stressed. People who are stressed have difficulty focussing. Given that seventy-five to ninety percent of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints, stress is causing serious problems all round.
Apart from focus and productivity, wellbeing is also good for staff retention and engagement. If you look after your staff, they will look after your customers.
Here are 7 things your organization can do to boost wellbeing and reduce staff stress:
1. Sign up and do something on April 12th to promote better health and wellbeing. Some employers are doing a "Lunchtime Mile" - which involves organizing a one-mile cycle, jog, run, walk or swim for employees in the vicinity of your workplace.
2. If you don't have a wellbeing programme, plan on launching one. There are so many things employers can do to empower and inspire employees to reduce their own stress, and boost wellbeing. Assess the wellbeing needs, goals and stress levels of your staff. Pilot activities and see what works.
3. Tackle work stresses seriously. While, this is different for each organization, much of work-related stress comes down to relationships. Problems get solved when people get along. They don't when they don't. If there are challenging and limiting dynamics in your teams, look at addressing them in the medium and long-term. There are many things employers can do to resolve problems and boost team wellbeing, performance, and effectiveness.
4. Support your staff to boost their wellbeing: at mental, physical, emotional, creative, financial and social levels. Talks on financial wellbeing or even things like making a will are very practical. An onsite gym or support for gym membership is popular. Parenting talks and talks on sleep are also popular. The best programme for your staff will vary depending on the profile, life stage, challenges and interests of your staff. There isn't a one size fits all solution. Something things work immediately. Others don't and interests change over time.
5. Flexible and remote working is a great boost to wellbeing and one of the most popular and appreciated initiatives across the board.
6. Offer meditation and mindfulness. This helps staff effectively manage their own stress as well as boosting focus, performance, and leadership.
7. There are many options - some with general application and others are industry specific. For example, in the hospitality sector, some employers offer laundering of staff uniforms to take that stress out of their day.
A recent Ibec study shows that 76% of employees say they believe there is a positive link between employees' health and wellbeing and company productivity.
Generally, anything that helps reduce employees' stress, boosts their wellbeing and promotes effective working, focus and team wellbeing is a potential for your staff wellbeing menu.