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5 Elements Of Wellbeing At Work That Can Lead To A Thriving Culture

Written by: Albana Vrioni, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

It takes a thriving culture to make a thriving business a business that thrives today and in the long run. We were inspired by the findings of the latest research of Gallup on employee wellbeing, to offer a synthesized summary of the book “Wellbeing at Work How to build resilient and thriving teams” (J. Clifton, J. Harter) and a discussion on how increasing wellbeing at work can yield sustainable positive outcomes beyond the bottom line.

The study indicates that deep down an employee wants a good job that allows them to use their talents every day with a leader who encourages their development. However, only 36% of American workers are engaged, 61% have a greater chance of burnout, and 48% of stress. Validating employee mental health and wellness will soon become a necessity.


The quest for the best life quality guides decision-making. Each person wants to maximize their perception of the best possible life as well as their best day. Both contribute to mental health and optimized performance.


We can improve the performance culture at work, by increasing the level of commitment through the climate of trust that the leader inspires. With Covid-19 and the hybrid work modes, the dimensions of professional and personal life are brought closer together. For this we will have to manage the person as a whole: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.


And considering that 50% of our well-being is due to the environment and the decision we take, (epigenetics), hopes are high that better wellbeing and a healthier business can be achieved. Many employers have limited their focus on wellness to encouraging employees to eat healthily and exercise, rather than focusing on the element that matters most career wellbeing. For all the benefits that it offers, it’s time to look at employee wellbeing holistically.


Creating wellbeing at work has a quadruple effect it increases employee productivity and resilience, increases leadership consciousness, increases business resilience and outcomes, and increases society's wellbeing.


The study identified 5 elements of wellness, in order of importance:

  • Career wellbeing,

  • Social wellbeing,

  • Financial wellbeing,

  • Physical health well-being, and

  • Community wellbeing.

The 5 elements of wellbeing have been shown to have a synergistic effect – they are independent dimensions of life but also interdependent.


Career wellbeing


Engaged employees report a high level of joy and interest and a lower rate of stress and sadness compared to those less engaged.


Many employers have limited their focus on wellness to encourage employees to eat healthily and exercise rather than focus on the most important elements that contribute to workplace wellness – career wellbeing.


What employees dread most are encounters with abusive or indifferent managers, which cause emotional exhaustion and higher rates of active disengagement among their employees. We can solve this problem by dramatically upskilling managers to become highly effective coaches.


A study has shown that when employees perceive that their health and wellbeing at work are well managed within the company, the overall performance of this company increases by more than 2.5 times compared to a company that mismanages its dimensions. Creativity and innovation are also more present. The employees accomplish more productive hours, deliver better results, and feel a positive effect on their personal lives.


To increase career well-being, leaders are encouraged to:

  • Make sure everyone in the organization knows their strengths.

  • Remove abusive leaders.

  • Upskill managers to shift from boss to coach.

  • Make wellbeing part of career conversations.

Social wellbeing


Our lives are profoundly shaped by those we spent time with our identity and personal sense of meaning are largely defined by our closest relationships. Without intentional effort to socialize, isolation and loneliness become a big risk. Social isolation and chronic loneliness have a devastating effect on physical and mental health. Social wellbeing is woven into all other aspects of your life, and it changes how you interpret everything around you.


The importance of social dimension within the company is important. People are intrinsically motivated to do much more for their friends. Friendship at work increases the speed of execution and efficiency at work and thus brings more transparency to conversations. If the social environment at work is toxic or without face-to-face interactions, it affects employees' physical and mental health.


Studies have shown that the well-being of friends and colleagues is a better indicator of joy than the amount of money that is offered to employees. A good day at work for most people requires fulfilling connection with others. Social time in an organization builds the foundation of trust that the organization needs for agility. Although people have different needs and ways to socialize, every individual has the need to feel connected to others. This contributes to the level of engagement, performance, and wellbeing.


To increase social well-being leaders are encouraged to:

  • Include socializing in your onboarding program.

  • Talk to your employees and get to know them.

  • Find ways to integrate social well-being with other well-being goals.

  • Create a context that facilitates in-person interaction and a productive approach to socializing.

  • Help create clarity on the value of social capital.

Financial wellbeing


Only one in four Americans is financially secure. This means that the vast majority may have a predisposition for daily worries and stress. Money provides more choice and freedom which ultimately determines the quality of life. The notion of financial wellbeing refers to the notion of security.


Your employees can suffer from financial stress which ultimately affects their health and performance at work. Talking about money is the most avoided manager conversation. When it comes to helping employees feel satisfied with their compensation, an open conversation about pay philosophies, policies, and methods for determining pay is even more important than the actual amount of the salary.


Providing employees with financial advice and resources fosters engagement and demonstrates that you care about their wellbeing. To increase financial wellbeing leaders are encouraged to:

  • Provide financial planning, tracking, investing, and saving resources and tools.

  • Encourage long-term savings and retirement investments.

  • Train managers to have effective pay conversations with employees to improve perceptions of fairness.

  • Use team incentives.

  • Consider employee wellbeing in your overall compensation package.

  • Encourage giving to the community.

Physical wellbeing


Covid-19 shows that sub-optimal physical conditions can put your employees at risk. An ongoing assessment of your employees' physical wellbeing is critical to the overall health of your organization. This assessment includes sleep, nutrition, and exercise components.


Sleep is a reset button for mood and immunity. At least 7 hours of sleep, but less than 9 hours, is ideal. 40% of employees are outside this zone and therefore at risk. Good sleep improves employee creativity. The brain uses 20% of our energy and is the only organ that needs sleep to get rid of its waste.


Exercise improves mood, immunity, and learning. A little exercise can increase the level of joy and decrease the level of fatigue, improving the immune system and memory. Time spent outdoors in contact with light can reduce the risk of chronic disease. Physical inactivity is associated with obesity.

Nutrition is an important factor and must consist of as many natural and living foods as possible in order to allow the body to assimilate them better.


To increase physical well-being leaders are encouraged to:

  • Reinforce behaviors that have long-term benefits.

  • Make communicating the importance of physical well-being an expectation for managers.

  • Make sure your managers and employees have the facts, that support the selection of reliable advice.

Community wellbeing


Organizations that have a better reputation for their social responsibilities outperform others on financial indicators.


Employees have a greater sense of accomplishment when they feel part of something bigger than themselves. Meaningful work that makes society a better place to live is important for employee wellbeing. People want to know that their lives have an impact that goes beyond just working.


Altruism improves longevity. 9 out of 10 people report emotional gain from giving to others.


Employees want their organizations to be part of a larger mission than simply increasing profits and share value. Those who are thriving in community wellbeing feel safe and secure where they live. They have active lives and are more likely to be engaged at work and have more frequent social interactions.


To increase community wellbeing leaders are encouraged to:

  • Be aware of the community issues that are most important to your employees.

  • Encourage employees to choose community programs that are personally meaningful to them.

  • Give employees opportunities to share what they are doing in their community with coworkers and reward their involvement.

How can we use this insight to create a thriving culture and business? In our next article, we will discuss strategies and recommendations that you can apply right away.


Co-author: Alain Léo Landry CEO and founder de Wellnessfinances.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Albana Vrioni, Exexcutive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Albana Vrioni coaches and advises business leaders worldwide on Generative Leadership and Entrepreneurship supporting them re-imagine the future, see beyond what’s obvious, and reconcile conflicting truths and competing values. Having succeeded in critical transitions, Albana developed strategies on how to shift the mindset for creative achievement, boost resourcefulness, and manage one's energy to achieve what matters and thrive in changing the game.


Her mission: A thriving leader in each game changer.

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