Surveys and research from around the world have demonstrated that helping the people in your organisation to increase their resilience and manage their work-life balance will be one of the most vital workplace tools and investments you can make as a team leader.
That’s because your employees are whole people, not just “workers;” so the better they feel and the better their whole lives are going, the better they will perform at work. This translates into a direct financial benefit to the company.
Business leaders increasingly view employee wellness programs as an investment in human capital rather than unnecessary spending.
Here are the key areas that are influenced by employee wellness:
Employees who practice wellness and exercise regularly have 27% lower absenteeism than their peers.1
62% of business leaders feel this is the top priority for employee wellness programs because it enables employees to produce a higher quantity of work.
Better Job Performance
Workers with healthier diets were 25% more likely to have higher job performance, meaning the work they produced was higher quality.
Follow Industry Leaders
Look to industry leaders for an example. Google, one of Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to work for, receives high marks for employee satisfaction due to their wellness policies, which include a free healthy gourmet lunch and dinner, sauna, gym, massage therapy, fitness classes, and more.
At Google, work and wellness go hand in hand, but you don’t have to up-end your business and budget to make meaningful changes. What you do need is to have full buy-in from your senior leadership.
Start at the Top
Behaviour change starts at the top, and your team will be impressed if ‘the boss’ or even ‘their boss’ is ‘walking their talk’. According to Arianna Huffington, who recently stepped into the corporate wellness niche:
"It's important to intervene upstream, where the stress and burnout are created...Along with great plans to prioritise wellness, companies need the culture shift to be modelled at the top."
The easiest way to get started on this path is to share with your team what the leaders in your company are personally doing to improve their productivity through living a healthier life at work and at home.
How To Lead By Example:
- Carry (and use!) a water bottle Recommended water intake is 0.033 of water per day for every kilogram of body weight. Using a water bottle makes it easy to keep track of your water intake throughout the day – and it saves waste from smaller cups that are used once and sent to the landfill. (I’m loving #WarOnWaste right now) Among other benefits, staying hydrated maximises physical performance, increases energy levels, brain function, and mood, prevents and treats headaches, helps other medical problems, and speeds weight loss. What an easy way to set a healthy example!
- Have healthy food delivered to the officeEating habits have a significant impact on employee productivity—sometimes even more than exercise habits or smoking.3 So banish the afternoon slump by having nutritious food available.The bonus benefits are that employees will be able to socialise together, which improves office relationships, and you’ll be a hero for facilitating it.
- Discuss the exercise/movement/leisure activities that you engage inExercise is a great way to reduce stress, and it leads to better health and fewer missed days off work.4 Talking about what you do encourages others to join in as it fosters broader relationships among co-workers.
"People may doubt what you say, but they believe what you do." Lewis Cass
A healthy, happy, productive team can be the competitive edge in your business, so investing in them is definitely a wise business strategy.
Long-term behaviour change does not happen overnight, but by starting small and initiating some wellness strategies, you will be on the road to improving the productivity, energy and focus of your people.