If you're like most people, your workplace isn't exactly a joyful haven of rest and relaxation. Indeed, most would agree that they have stressful jobs and workplaces that don't do enough to promote employee wellness.
However, progressive organizations around the world are beginning to understand the importance of employee wellbeing. They now know that improving workplace wellness isn't just a nice thing to do for employees—it helps the company bottom line in numerous ways, such as increased job satisfaction, productivity and morale, in addition to reducing turnover, absenteeism and presenteeism (coming to work sick)*.
The American Psychological Association cites five components of a psychologically healthy workplace. I’ve laid them out below, along with practical ways to implement them. If your workplace doesn't have anything of this sort, don't despair; through the cooperation of employees throughout your organization, it may be possible to create helpful programs that make a notable impact on office morale and organizational health.
1. Employee Involvement
All too often, workers feel controlled and powerless at their jobs, resulting in apathy and a lack of commitment to their organization. The superior alternative for employers is to make employees feel more involved in decision making and autonomous while performing their jobs.
Make It Better: Help workers feel competent and at least partially in charge of their own work responsibilities. This can be done through self-managed work teams, employee taskforces or monthly suggestion meetings.
2. Work-Life Balance
Many American workers would agree that their work-life balance is tipping too far toward the office. If employees are forced to neglect responsibilities at home, the quality of their professional work will inevitably suffer.
Make It Better: Employers have ample opportunities to reach out to overburdened employees. Common ways to do so are through flextime, childcare, eldercare and financial management assistance.
*Grawitch, M. J., Gottschalk, M., & Munz, D. C. (2006). The path to a healthy workplace: A critical review linking healthy workplace practices, employee well-being, and organizational improvements. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 58, 129-147.
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