Ways You Can Develop a Healthy Work Environment for Your Employees

Almost all business leaders realize that the happier and healthier your team is, the better they will perform. And of course, great performance by employees means that your company grows and succeeds more easily.

However, too many leaders don’t put a lot of thought or planning into their work environment. They let it be whatever it is – which is often something not conducive to high productivity and engaged work. 

The good news is that you can create a work environment where your employees are healthy and happy. Here’s what you need to know. 

Provide a Sense of Mission For Everyone

Too many company mission statements are a mish-mash of corporate-speak that doesn’t really mean anything to anyone. It goes on the wall, but it isn’t lived out day-to-day. But your business can be different.

People’s lives at work are greatly enriched if they feel that they are doing something meaningful. It gives them a sense of ownership and encourages them to do their best work. Pay alone doesn’t encourage creativity and engagement. Mission-driven workers are 54% more likely to stay for five years at a company and 30% more likely to become high performers. 

Making your mission the front and center of every day isn’t just good for employees, either – it’s essential to a successful organization. The mission makes your team cohesive.

Patagonia is a great example of this. They have an explicit mission to be a steward of the planet and among other initiatives, don’t make metal pitons that are hammered into rock. Their clothing is made from organic cotton. And it doesn’t stop there. Their headquarters welcomes employees’ children and the company allows surfing breaks, flexible schedules, and volunteering sabbaticals. 

The result? A successful company, 4% turnover, and 9,000 applicants for new openings. 

Pretty impressive!

Offer Health and Wellness Resources

A company that wants a truly healthy and happy environment will offer the resources to make it happen. 

A big part of this is allowing workers time off when they’re ill, and encouraging them to treat their illness rather than being a “hero” and coming to work sick. Using a natural treatment method such as CBD can help employees battle a number of cold and flu symptoms at once, such as aches and pains, fatigue, and even nausea.

You can also offer workplace wellness programs. Wellness programs encourage healthy behaviors, give options for treating problems, and encourage employees to be consistent in their health efforts. 

As a result, your company will save a significant amount of money. The average financial return on these programs is $3.27 in health savings for every dollar spent, along with $5.82 for every dollar spent in lower absenteeism. 

Employees appreciate these programs, both for the impact on health and on the overall culture of the company. In fact, 87% consider these options when choosing an employer.

If you want a happier, healthier workforce, consider offering a variety of health-related programs employees can take advantage of. This may include health educators, counselors, and even massage therapists. Health educators and counselors can provide in-depth education on preventive care employees can engage in to keep themselves in tip-top shape. These educational programs often teach lifestyle changes and choices such as diet or exercise programs or meditation techniques.

Don’t Overlook Mental Health

Americans are among the most stressed populations in the world, and nearly half feel worried on a regular basis. Helping your employees handle these pressures is important. Some of the cause is work stress, but many Americans also feel stressed about finances, their health, and their families. 

Offering access to confidential mental health programs like an Employee Assistance Program can also make a big difference. You can also encourage the use of technology, like mobile apps, to monitor and improve mental health.

Be sure you don’t stigmatize or punish employees — officially or unofficially — who take advantage of these programs. Otherwise, you’re working against the health and happiness you’re spending money to provide.

When you prioritize physical and mental health in the workplace, you’re sending a message that your employees matter and aren’t just a worker to you. You see them as people, and that’s important for a healthy work environment.

Give Consistent Praise and Recognition

Not receiving praise and recognition for good work is a consistent complaint among employees. Too many workplaces focus on correcting mistakes and overlook when people do a good job. It’s simply expected.

Unfortunately, not giving praise and recognition puts your employees on the fast track to leaving the company. Being unappreciated is the number one reason employees look for other jobs. 

Make a plan and include recognition as a regular part of the workday. Whether it’s encouraging employees to brag on each other or getting a thank you from a manager, your staff needs to feel appreciated. Be sure to solicit feedback from your employees on a variety of things — did your team deploy a new product?  How did it go? Have you implemented that new recognition program? What’s working and what isn’t? Great bosses ask for feedback and put it into practice. It’s yet another way to recognize your employees’ contributions.

Healthy and Happy Workers Matter

Why should you bother with employee health and happiness? Because it matters to your business and your bottom line. Companies with happy employees outperform competitors by 20%. Plus, when your employees are happier it impacts how they do their job.

Unhappy employees telegraph their attitude to customers. So do happy ones. So if you want excellent customer service, you want to have a happy, healthy staff.

You’ll also save significant money on health costs, turnover, and absenteeism when your team is healthier and happier. 

Most of all, you’ll be treating employees as what they are – real people who really matter. That, alone, is plenty of reason to invest in a healthy work environment.

These 5 Statistics Reveal the Real Truth About Employee Recognition

Employee recognition is a very effective method for improving employee motivation, engagement, productivity and job satisfaction. It’s a fact.

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The truth about employee recognition

In a time of war for talent, employees have the power to choose their employer. Losing your top talent to your competitors can be detrimental for your business.

This is why many employers invest a lot of time, money and effort to improve their employee experience. They are doing their best to keep their employees happy and satisfied. For example, most companies these days try to provide fancy perks and benefits, implement an employee wellness program, etc.

But the question is how effective are all of their efforts? What do employees really care about?

Is it really true that a simple act of saying praise to your employees can improve your company’s bottom line by keeping your best employees?

I won’t say a word. The following statistics speak for themselves.

Top 5 employee recognition statistics

Statistic #1: Half of the U.S. employees are unsatisfied with their job

The Conference Board’s latest survey on job satisfaction has found that only 51% of employees feel overall satisfied with their job. This survey gauged approximately 1,500 employed individuals, who together comprise a snapshot of the U.S. workforce.

Statistic #2: Half of the U.S. employees are considering a new job

Half of U.S. employees are watching the job market or actively looking for a job, based on findings from a new Gallup Workforce Panel study. Results are based on a Gallup Panel Web study completed by 13,008 U.S. adults who are demographically representative of the U.S. adult population.

Statistic #3: The main reason why employees leave their jobs is a lack of recognition

The main reasons why employees leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated, according to Gallup’ research.

Statistic #4: Employees aren’t recognized (enough) for their work

According to Gallup’s analysis, only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days.

Even more, Gallup Poll shows that 65% of employees haven’t received any form of recognition for good work in the last year!

Statistic #5: Employees want praise, not money

According to Officevibe’s recent study, 82% of employees think it’s better to give someone praise than a gift.

In a recent Gallup workplace survey, employees were asked what types of recognition were the most memorable for them. Respondents emphasized 5 methods in particular – and money isn’t the only (or the top) form of recognition employees prefer. Most employees prefer employee recognition in the form of:

  1. Public recognition or acknowledgment via an award or a certificate
  2. Private recognition from a boss, peer or customer
  3. Receiving or obtaining a high level of achievement through evaluations or reviews
  4. Promotion or increase in the scope of work or responsibility to show trust
  5. Monetary awards such as a trip, prize or pay increase

Bonus statistic: High cost of turnover

Total costs associated with a turnover range from 90% to 200% of an employee’s annual salary, according to a report from the Center for American Progress.