How can you help improve your employees’ well-being?

October 19, 2021

The demands of the workplace can be a significant source of stress for many U.S. workers, and research has found the design of work can have substantial effects on employee well-being and health, according to Harvard Business Review.

There are ways to redesign work to support well-being and yield long-term benefits for companies, such as improving worker health and job performance and reducing employee burnout.

Following are seven approaches to help improve employee health and well-being.

  1. Give workers more control over how they do their work. Research indicates high work demands coupled with low job control significantly increases health risks. Even small changes can make a difference in employee well-being; for example, offering employees more training so they can take on new tasks and solve more problems themselves.
  2. Allow employees more flexibility about when and where they work. Several studies have found giving workers more control over their work schedules improves their mental health. This can involve simply permitting varied starting and stopping times.
  3. Increase the stability of workers’ schedules. Erratic schedules make it hard for workers to manage their personal lives and family responsibilities. Greater stability can benefit companies and employees, leading to increased productivity and reduced stress.
  4. Provide employees with opportunities to solve workplace problems. Studies show employees who had opportunities to problem solve together exhibited decreased rates of burnout and were less likely to want to leave their jobs.
  5. Keep your company adequately staffed so workloads are reasonable. Research has found high work demands can take a substantial toll on employee health and well-being. Hiring additional staff may seem costly, but employers also pay a price when exhausted or ill employees burn out, are absent or quit.
  6. Encourage managers to support employees’ personal needs. Many employees are also caregivers for children or elderly parents and benefit from supervisors who support the daily challenges of balancing their work and personal lives. Studies show training programs for managers to increase family-supportive behaviors have led to higher job satisfaction and better job performance.
  7. Foster a sense of social belonging among employees. Create a work culture in which employees can develop supportive relationships with their co-workers. In a study of 911 dispatchers, supervisors sent one email a week prompting dispatchers to provide support to one another by sharing affirming stories about their work. Dispatchers who received the emails reported a significant decrease in burnout and were 50% less likely to quit.

Tags: Business | Workforce

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