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Emotional Health in the Workplace: How Happy is Your Workforce?

emotional health, happy employees, employee well-being, emotional well-being, workplace wellnessThe Emotional Health of Your Employees

When you hear the term employee health, what first comes to mind? For most business leaders its things like health risks, tobacco use, physical activity, weight management and productivity. Employee happiness and emotional health are usually not on the radar. In all my years in this business, it’s never been the first thing to come up in a planning meeting or consultation with a new client or employer. We speak to many leaders who recognize that their employees aren’t healthy, healthcare costs are up and company culture needs to change. Something we don’t hear? ‘I’m concerned about my employee’s happiness’ or ‘I really want to make the largest impact on morale’.

Who can blame you as an employer or decision maker? If you are providing income, a safe place to work, health benefits or job security, why wouldn’t employees be happy? There are many pain points in business that employers must consider. Our goal is to help you understand why focusing on whole-person wellness is a must. An unhealthy or an unhappy workplace environment is bad for the bottom line. Studies show that those in unhealthy work environments tend to gain more weight, have more healthcare appointments, and have higher rates of absenteeism. Stress from work can impact their family life, mental health, and even increase risks for chronic illnesses and heart attacks. Physical and emotional health are extremely interrelated. It’s smart business to factor emotional health into the design of your workplace wellness program.

Why Should Emotional Health be on Your Mind?

The emotional health of your workplace is important to the success of your organization. Employees are the most important part of your business. Don’t underestimate the value of their well-being. Their happiness and perception of their work role will effect their engagement and commitment to their work. Did you know?

  •  Indeed’s 2015 Talent Attraction Study, revealed that 71% of those currently employed were actively seeking new jobs.
  • According to a 2014 Gallup Study, less than 1/3 of Americans are happy with their jobs. Nearly half of your workforce could be ‘checked-out.’

Job stress remains a costly problem to both employers and employees. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):

  • 25% to 33% of workers report high job stress.
  • The number of workers who fear job loss has doubled in the last decade.
  • Disability claims, morale problems, and higher health care costs associated with work stress have increased.

How does this affect your bottom line?  The American Psychological Association offers these observations:

  • 80% to 90% of all industrial accidents are likely related to personal problems and employees’ inability to handle stress.
  • In a 3-year study of a large corporation, 60% of absences were found due to psychological problems.

Support Emotional Health and Job Satisfaction in the Workplace:emotional health, happy employees, employee well-being, emotional well-being, workplace wellness

 

What separates engaged and excited employees from the majority of Americans? A healthy work environment is key to happier and healthier employees. Work toward this with our three C’s to a healthy work environment:

Be COMMITTED to your employees. Commit to a healthy work environment, one that supports good emotional health. Make the needs of your employees as important as the needs of your business. Support employees in making healthy lifestyle choices. An employee at work for twelve hours with no access to healthy food will find it hard to make needed nutritional changes. The employee not supported in taking relaxation or activity breaks at work will struggle with work-life balance. Regardless of the income or benefits you offer, you can’t expect a healthy, productive workforce in an unhealthy work environment.

CREATE purpose for everyone in your organization. It is important for business leaders to articulate a purpose that transcends the day-to-day tasks of the work world.  Clearly state this in a way that will help the employees see that their efforts can make a positive difference. This can be very challenging for companies with diverse job positions. A well communicated wellness program can keep all employees connected. Create a company goal and purpose for your wellness program and communicate this effectively. Work together as a whole, with each person doing their part, to create a healthier workforce. Recognize jobs well done and give recognition in all areas of your company. This will keep your employees connected to the larger purpose or vision.

CONTROL stress. Stress in the workplace is unavoidable. Success and productivity require a certain amount of pressure. Even the most balanced and calm workplace settings will experience variables that create added stress. You can’t always control changes in technology or work flow systems, employee turnover and project deadlines. This is why consistent, regular programming that promotes and enhances stress management skills is so important. Don’t wait until your employees seem overworked or burnt out to offer stress management resources. The best time to encourage this is before a stressful event takes place. Center your wellness program around building resilience and practicing coping skills as a continued lifestyle habit. Prevention is key in employee engagement and burnout. Once your employees have ‘checked out’ it’s hard to get them excited about checking back in.

SB Wellness Group is Your Partner in Health

A healthy workplace is one where individuals feel valued and supported, provides a positive environment and shows respect for other aspects of a person’s life. If you’re uncertain as to whether your workplace is on the path to wellness, take our ‘Pathway to Wellness Assessment’ and schedule a free follow-up consultation. We can help you get on the right track to a healthier workplace that supports both the physical and emotional health of your employees.

workplace wellness, sb wellness groupShelly Beall is founder and owner of SB Wellness Group. For more than 20 years, SB Wellness has helped businesses develop customized solutions for wellness programs . From planning and implementation to screening and reporting, we orchestrate each stage of the wellness development process from start to finish. Find out more at sbwellness.com or sign up for our Workplace Well-Being Insider designed to keep employers and directors up-to-date about the latest in employee health news and workplace wellness programming.

 

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