How to Encourage Health and Well-Being in the Workplace
Jackie Thompson|August 3rd, 2021
After more than a year of remote work, employers are unveiling plans to send employees back to the physical workplace. It’s not uncommon to hear employees discuss their plans to go back to work—phrasing that perhaps doesn’t give enough credit to the hard work that’s been accomplished remotely. The reality is productivity during the pandemic remained stable, or even grew, in many cases. In fact, 94% percent of 800 employers surveyed by Mercer said that productivity was the same as or higher than it was before the pandemic. Though productivity hasn’t suffered over the last year, employee burnout is higher than ever.
Just months before the pandemic began, Limeade surveyed employees and found that 42% of its workers were experiencing burnout. A few months into the pandemic, it surveyed employees again and the number jumped to 72%. A considerable (but not surprising) spike. Although the rollout of vaccines in recent months has generated hope, the stress and anxiety that workers have felt over the last year hasn’t decreased.
Put simply, employees are worn out. The length of the pandemic—paired with the stress of good news quickly followed by bad news—has exhausted workers. National Wellness Month, a month dedicated to self-care, managing stress, and promoting healthy routines, couldn’t come at a better time. The question is, how can you as an employer help workers focus on their mental health and well-being in a time that still feels stressful to so many? We have some tips.
Establish Clear Work Boundaries
Whether your employees are working from the office, at home, or a hybrid of both, boundaries are critical to avoiding burnout. Ask your employees to set work boundaries by mentally marking the end of their workdays. Sure, there will always be projects that require extra hours, but a standard work week should have a clear beginning and end.
For remote employees who work from home, the line between work and home is even more blurred. Go out of your way to notice if any of your employees are regularly sending late-night emails or working through the weekend. If you notice a trend, schedule a meeting to talk through their workload.
Celebrate Employee Achievements and Team Wins
There are so many ways to express your appreciation—and doing so is more important than ever. According to a survey conducted by OnePoll, more than 74% of employees indicated that their mental health is tied to how well they feel appreciated at work. The next time you have an employee who goes above and beyond, or your team hits a quarterly goal, celebrate the win and acknowledge their hard work in a meaningful way.
Recognize the achievement publicly—whether it’s in an email, during a department meeting, or through a tool like Slack or Microsoft Teams.
Offer a bonus or raise to recognize wins that are especially impactful
Invite employees to take an additional PTO day
Treat your team to dinner or cater lunch at the office
Coordinate a personalized thank-you letter from your leadership team
Invite employees to sign up for a conference or certificate to build new skills
Organize a wine tasting or happy hour
Give Employees Time to Recharge
Paid time off (PTO) is a popular workplace benefit. In fact, it outranks dental coverage, vision coverage, and 401(k) plans as a favorite benefit in the United States, according to a study by Zenefits. The question is, how much time is enough time?
10 days is the average number of PTO for a private sector employee who has completed one year of service. However, in a year unlike any other, more and more companies are adjusting their policies to give employees enough time to recharge. LinkedIn employees, for example, were given an additional paid week off this year.
“We wanted to make sure we could give them something really valuable, and what we think is most valuable right now is time for all of us to collectively walk away,” said Teuila Hanson, LinkedIn’s chief people officer.
Offering PTO is a great first step, but it’s also important to make sure your employees feel comfortable using it. Help your team unplug, recharge, and avoid burnout by reminding them to use their PTO. Here at Tango Card, we offer employees unlimited paid time off—and we also encourage them to use it.
Create an Employee Wellness Program
Employee wellness programs are popular. Among large companies—those with 200 or more employees—81% offered some type of workplace wellness program in 2020, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. These programs are intended to encourage employee health and wellness on an ongoing basis.
Ongoing wellness programs can be organized and managed internally or through providers that offer platforms to help manage and administer them. Curious where to start when it comes to wellness platforms? These providers offer a variety of options to help you incentivize employee wellness with our gift cards. You can also use Rewards Genius—our free, self-serve web portal—to order, send, and track rewards in one easy place.
If you’re interested in learning how you can incentivize employee wellness at your company, we offer a variety of resources and information on the topic. Our team is also available to answer questions. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Jackie is originally from Oregon but has been calling Washington home for the last five years. She is a Marketing Specialist at Tango Card where she spends her days sharing the positive impact gift cards can have on businesses. When she isn’t writing, Jackie can be found exploring Seattle, chasing around her two-year-old son, or hanging out with her husband and sweet dog, Coco.