12 Employee Wellbeing Initiatives From HR Influencers to Implement in 2023

Improve employee wellbeing at work with these 12 initiatives.

Are you looking for ways to improve the employee experience and help your people thrive? Do you want to boost your employee retention and keep top talent? Implementing employee wellbeing initiatives will help companies improve these aspects and better navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the modern workplace. 

Statistics also support people's need to have wellbeing programs at work. According to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report, 16% of "quiet quitting" employees said they would change their wellbeing at their workplace to make it better.

People leaders and HR influencers worldwide are concentrating on developing original ways to support employee wellbeing at work. In this article, we present 12 cutting-edge employee wellbeing initiatives recommended by HR influencers that will significantly impact this year. Companies can foster engaged and motivated teams by incorporating these initiatives into their strategies.


What are employee wellbeing initiatives?

Employee wellbeing initiatives are actions companies take to foster a healthy and thriving workforce. These initiatives encompass a broad range of programs, policies, and practices designed to support employees' physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

These initiatives can take various forms, so companies should tailor them to address their people's specific needs and challenges. Some common examples include:

Physical health programs

These initiatives promote physical health through fitness challenges, on-site exercise facilities, nutrition counseling, and health screenings. They aim to encourage people to adopt healthier lifestyles and prevent health issues, ultimately reducing absenteeism and healthcare costs.

Mental health support

With the growing awareness of mental health issues, organizations are increasingly implementing initiatives that address the psychological wellbeing of their employees. These may include access to counseling services, stress management programs, and mindfulness training.

Work-life balance initiatives

Companies that recognize the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life implement policies and practices to support this lifestyle. These can include flexible work schedules, work-from-anywhere options, parental leave policies, and childcare assistance programs.

Professional development and training opportunities

Employee wellbeing is not solely confined to physical and mental health aspects. Organizations also understand the significance of nurturing employees' professional growth and providing opportunities for skill development. Career development resources, mentoring programs, and training workshops are examples of initiatives in this area.

Recognition programs

Acknowledging and appreciating employees' efforts and achievements are crucial to their overall wellbeing and job satisfaction. Recognition and rewards programs can be employee appreciation events, performance-based incentives, or peer recognition platforms.

Recognize your people with Kudos👉 Mirro is an employee recognition software where you can publicly recognize and celebrate people's achievements. If you want to implement an employee recognition program, Mirro will show you the way.

How to improve employee wellbeing: tips from HR influencers

Now that you know what employee wellbeing initiatives are, let's get down to the practical part. We've talked to 18 HR executives and influencers that shared their knowledge and tips so you can implement the best employee wellbeing strategy for your team.

1. Create a purpose-driven company culture

As Gianluca Rosania, Head of Talent Acquisition at Bitpanda, said: "wellbeing starts from culture." Nowadays, office perks like free food and beverages are nice, but more is needed to support your employees' wellbeing.

Gianluca Rosania Head of Talent Acquisition at Bitpanda
Wellbeing starts from culture. I always say, "Retention NOT relationship YES." Nowadays, it is not just about hiring people, buying pizzas, and giving them free fruit, waiting for them to be productive. Nowadays it is VERY IMPORTANT that people work for a PURPOSE and that they feel it every day. If we understand that the perspective has changed and now candidates and companies choose each other, we can think about employee wellbeing. You can only build something if you have your base settled.


People look for meaning and purpose in their work. They want to understand how they contribute to business success. In this regard, fostering a sense of purpose is vital to creating a culture of wellbeing, where people are happy, passionate about their work, and motivated to go above and beyond.

Raluca Gheorghes Agile Operations Thought Leader
Cultivating a thriving work environment is not merely about policies and procedures but also about fostering a shared sense of purpose, meaningful connections, and continuous growth.

2. Design a workplace that prioritizes diversity

Implementing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) initiatives should be one of your primary focuses when putting the basis of an employee wellbeing strategy. If their workplace doesn't reflect who they are, how can employees feel good about themselves and in line with their values? 

As Tara Furiani (also known as Not the HR Lady) told us, designing a workplace that prioritizes "cognitive diversity" requires a deep and genuine understanding of each individual on your team. This approach will provide the foundation for a healthier, more inclusive, and ultimately more effective workplace. 

Tara Furiani Author, Keynote Speaker, and former Chief People Officer
Design a holistic "workplace" that prioritizes cognitive diversity. This refers to the inclusion of different ways of thinking, processing information, and problem-solving. To elevate your team's wellbeing and experience, craft an environment that not only accommodates but embraces varied perspectives, thinking styles, and decision-making processes. Consider flexible work schedules or different project methodologies to accommodate different work rhythms. Make space for introverted and extroverted thinking styles in team meetings. Empower decision-making at all levels to leverage different perspectives.


The one-size-fits-all approach to work affects creativity, reduces job satisfaction, and can lead to burnout. Instead, creating an environment where employees feel seen, heard, and valued for their unique contributions will result in a more engaged and productive team.

3. Encourage a better work-life balance

Achieving a better work-life balance significantly improves one's health and wellbeing. We spend so much time at work, so finding harmony between professional and personal life is fundamental to one's wellness. Achieving this balance will make people happier, less stressed, and less prone to burnout. 

Steve Boese President & Co-founder at H3 HR Advisors
Flexibility is a primary way an organization can support and promote employee wellbeing. Offering employees flexibility and choice in where, when, and how they work can improve employee wellbeing in multiple ways. When employees feel empowered to take more control over their work schedules, locations, and methods, they can better manage their stress levels and fight burnout. Organizations that offer flexibility and work autonomy allow employees to reduce the stress of commuting and spend more time with their families, friends, hobbies, exercise, working in their community, and any other activities they value outside of work.


A balanced approach to work enables people to recharge, rejuvenate, and maintain a positive mindset, ultimately leading to greater engagement, creativity, and productivity. Flexibility at work can come up in many forms: hybrid work models, shortened hours, flexitime, providing generous leave time, or ensuring people have and take enough time off. As Steve Browne pointed out, leaders should not focus on where or when work is done, but on performance:

Steve Browne SHRM-SCP, Chief People Officer at LaRosa's, Inc.
When it comes to wellbeing, we're looking at how we can continue to provide flexibility in how and where work is being done. We're not focusing on location; we're focusing on performance. Also, we're making sure regular check-ins are happening throughout the organization so everyone has one-on-one time with others. We don't want anyone overlooked or missed.

4. Create a psychologically safe space

Another critical factor in promoting employee wellbeing is creating a psychologically safe space where people feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, opinions, and concerns without fear of judgment or retribution.

Psychological safety encourages open communication, promotes constructive feedback, and allows individuals to take risks and innovate without fearing failure. It provides a supportive framework where employees feel valued, heard, and understood.

Barbie Winterbottom CHRO Founder & CEO at The Business of HR
Their direct leader who provides psychological safety for the employee to ask questions, stretch their skills, and take calculated risks. When leaders hold boundaries to protect and support the employees, employees feel valued and secure and want to do their best work.


When employees feel psychologically safe, they are likelier to share their ideas, contribute to problem-solving, and actively participate in team dynamics. Encourage your people to discuss their attempts, why they failed, what they learned, and most importantly, what they might do differently. This contributes to psychological safety, making people more willing to take chances and point out issues.

Florentina Greger Chief Talent Experience Officer at Zitec
Authentic concern, attention to people's real needs, and creating a psychological safety space for them are aspects that employers should consider regardless of the field they operate in. Above all, let us not forget that we are humans, and we need support, especially in more difficult manage moments. As long as they feel that they're part of a community, feel respected, appreciated, and become a better version of themselves, people will achieve their work's desired performance and impact.

5. Recognize and reward your people

Recognizing your employees' contributions is essential for keeping them engaged, motivated, and happy. According to Gallup, only one in three people have received recognition or praise for their work in the past week.

Recognition is a powerful motivator, and its benefits can't be understated. By acknowledging employees' accomplishments, leaders and organizations show appreciation for their hard work, dedication, and unique contributions. Recognition can take various forms, such as verbal praise, public acknowledgment, awards, or even simple expressions of gratitude. 

Barbie Winterbottom CHRO Founder & CEO at The Business of HR
Feeling seen, heard, valued, and understood is incredibly important to people, both inside and outside of work. Ensuring employees have clear pathways to share ideas, concerns, and feedback and for employees to feel confident and safe when providing their feedback encourages all employees to open up, contribute at higher levels and feel connected to the organization's goals by participating at all levels.

6. Create a feedback-friendly culture

Creating a feedback-friendly culture is paramount for boosting employee wellbeing in the workplace. Feedback is a great tool for driving motivation, improving performance, and encouraging people to learn and grow. Jackye Clayton, VP of Talent Acquisition and DEIB at Textio, captured the significance of honest and actionable feedback in promoting employee wellness:

Jackye Clayton VP of Talent Acquisition and DEIB at Textio
Honest and actionable feedback is the often-overlooked secret sauce of employee wellness. It’s like that hidden ingredient that brings out the best flavors in a dish, taking it from mediocre to magnificent. When employees do not know what is expected of them or what is needed to climb up the ranks, you create a hostile culture of fear. It is this psychological unrest that can destroy any other wellness program you try to put in place. When companies encourage a culture of feedback, they establish a workplace where teammates are listened to, appreciated, and given a sense of empowerment. And this, my friends, leads to enhanced employee wellbeing.

7. Build healthy and trustworthy relationships with your team

People leaders should have faith in their team members and provide them with the tools and support to excel if they care about wellbeing. Trust is fundamental to building strong relationships and fostering a positive work environment. When leaders trust their employees, it creates a sense of autonomy, which allows people to tap into their full potential and capabilities.

Hanna Larsson Advisor, Consultant & Fractional Revenue Leader
To all the employers out there: Trust and enable your team. People are capable of so much more than you think.


A workplace that puts wellbeing at the forefront is based on mutual trust and respect. This is a crucial component of strong and sincere connections at work. Jon pointed out that companies must avoid hierarchical thinking and stop treating their people as resources.

Jon Ingham Analyst, Trainer, Keynote Speaker & Consultant on People & Digital Transformation
The most important factor, for me, is respect. Too many organizations still operate as if they were machines, subserviating people to operational requirements. Work must come first, and organizations will always need to take painful actions such as downsizing. Still, these activities can always be undertaken respectfully, remembering the people in the affected jobs. This lack of humanity is often put down to hierarchy, but I don't think that's the real problem. What we really need to avoid is hierarchical thinking – where managers treat people as resources rather than colleagues, working together to achieve business objectives. Where this is the case, no additional interventions will have much impact.

8. Promote transparency

We already discussed the importance of establishing trust and open communication when promoting employee wellbeing. People leaders can only create such an environment by prioritizing transparency and making an authentic experience from onboarding to exit.

Cristina Baghiu Agile People Coach & Digital Culture Manager
Companies should refrain from investing so much in employer branding but in what lies behind it: creating a real, honest, transparent employee experience, from recruitment, onboarding, and through to exit. 65% of the case studies for Agile HR practitioner certification that I oversee are about the onboarding process. It's a critical time to start creating value for your new colleague, team, and organization, which is what an agile organization is all about.


As Craig Fisher, Talent Acquisition Leader at TalentNet Media, told us, transparent practices ensure that employees are informed about important decisions, changes, and company goals, eliminating uncertainty. Once a candidate is hired, there shouldn't be any guessing games. Give your people what you promised, and the results will follow.

Craig Fisher Talent Acquisition Leader at TalentNet Media
Good organizations are transparent. I think job applicants should be treated as valued customers. The "candidate community" should be very similar to the "employee engagement" platform. There should be no surprises once an applicant is hired. You can't create a culture with technology. If you want to engage employees, make good on the company promise you sold them when they were hired: give them interesting work, reasonable pay, and good feedback.

9. Get to know your people

When talking to HR influencers about workplace wellbeing, treating employees as humans rather than resources was one of the answers that came up a lot. Especially in hybrid or remote settings, leaders need to get to know their employees personally. This is the only way to come up with wellbeing plans that will make an impact on your organization.

Jeff Frick Founder & Principal at Menlo Creek Media
Hybrid will differ for every company, every function within, and within functions. This is why I suggest getting to know your employee personally. Cancel some of the 'weekly status' meetings on the calendar, and replace them with more 1:1s with individual team members.


Magor Csibi, Head of Leadership and Organizational Culture Practice at Trend Consult Group, highlights the importance of understanding and addressing the individual needs of employees when investing in employee wellbeing. Rather than solely investing in elaborate programs, Csibi suggests that organizations should prioritize preventing demotivation and disengagement in the first place. His message is a reminder that small gestures of attention and consideration can significantly impact employee wellbeing and overall job satisfaction.

Magor Csibi Head of Leadership and Organizational Culture Practice at Trend Consult Group
I would advise paying attention to the requirements of the individuals who work in your firm before investing in sophisticated initiatives for employee wellbeing. It could be preferable to avoid demotivating people in the first place rather than trying to find ways to inspire them after they have already lost their drive. A little attention may go a long way.

10. Lead by example

As a people leader, you act as a role model for your team. Therefore, managers who care about employee wellbeing should embody a positive approach to their work and wellbeing. By demonstrating enthusiasm, resilience, and a healthy work-life balance, leaders inspire employees to prioritize their wellbeing.

Gemma Hislop HR Manager at Skale
Creating a strong culture of positive wellbeing comes from the top down. By demonstrating a healthy work/life balance, teams pick up on this and mirror the behavior.


Raluca Gheorghes also highlighted the importance of inspiring and leading by example. When leaders demonstrate the desired behaviors and values, they create a space where success is not only achieved but also celebrated. This fosters a culture of appreciation and recognition, where everyone feels valued for their contributions.

Raluca Gheorghes Agile Operations Thought Leader
When organizations prioritize employee wellbeing, uphold clear values, and provide direction, they lay the foundation for a workplace where individuals can flourish, collaborate, and make a positive impact. By inspiring and leading by example, we create a space where success is achieved, celebrated, and every individual feels valued, motivated, and empowered to contribute their best.


When managers create a culture where self-care is valued and encouraged, people feel empowered to take breaks, set boundaries, and engage in activities promoting mental and physical health.

Jess Miller-Merrell Chief Innovation Officer at Workology
I also think it's important to encourage employees to set healthy boundaries by turning off notifications on evenings and weekends. We can set an example for them by doing the same.

11. Support physical health

The talk around employee wellbeing started with physical fitness, and although today it means much more than that, physical health should still be considered a key part of these initiatives. Better health means increased happiness, creativity, mental clarity, and stress reduction. Some ideas organizations can implement to support their employees' health are fitness challenges, gym membership, daily stretches with the team, hosting walking meetings, etc.

Joey Price President & CEO at Jumpstart:HR
Every business needs employees who are doing well. If we want employees to be productive and profitable, we should encourage their health and wellness. There is a direct connection between them!

12. Come up with personalized wellbeing plans

Lastly, creating a personalized plan for employee wellbeing is paramount in today's diverse and dynamic workforce. Every individual has unique needs, preferences, and challenges; a one-size-fits-all approach to wellbeing is inadequate. By developing individualized plans, companies demonstrate their commitment to their people's holistic health and fulfillment.

William Tincup President of RecruitingDaily
One of the silver linings of COVID is that we (royal we) stopped for a hot minute and evaluated our lives and the lives of our employees. That's great. The hard miss for most HR practitioners is that we lazily consider wellbeing one-dimensional. It's not. Each of our employees needs personalized wellbeing plans, much like they need personalized upskilling plans. One size does NOT fit all. Rarely does. Pat yourself on the back for talking more openly about wellbeing but for the love of all things holy, evolve your programs to create wellbeing for ALL your employees (including executives).


The best approach is to survey your people to understand better their wellbeing and what they're missing. Wellbeing surveys can help you customize your initiatives and optimize them to create long-term value for employees and your organization.

How to improve your employee wellbeing strategy with Mirro

Forward-thinking companies that cherish their employees' wellbeing create a workplace culture that boosts productivity, keeps top talent on board, and encourages collaboration. 

While this article, packed with tips from HR leaders and influencers, serves as a great starting point, you can go further into your wellbeing initiatives with performance management software like Mirro.

Just imagine how powerful it would be to use Mirro and: 

  • Build the strong company culture you envision;
  • Offer an employee experience that gets people talking;
  • Keep everyone engaged in the workplace;
  • Help employees achieve a better work-life balance;
  • Recognize and reward employees for fostering a sense of belonging.

If you want to build a strong company culture that fosters employee wellbeing, try Mirro today. You'll notice the differences immediately!


Retain top talent & boost employee engagement with a single software solution.

Sign up for a demo