12 Employee Wellbeing Initiatives From HR Influencers to Implement in 2023
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.
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.
👉 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!