Holistic Wellbeing for a High Performing Company

In today’s fast-paced modern world, the concept of wellbeing has transcended far beyond mere physical health. Holistic wellbeing, which encompasses emotional, mental, physical, and even spiritual factors, has emerged as a cornerstone of a fulfilling life. As this understanding deepens, its significance within the workplace has also gained prominence. Employers are increasingly realising that fostering holistic wellbeing among employees is not just a nice gesture but a strategic imperative that reaps both individual and organisational benefits.

Holistic wellbeing acknowledges that humans are complex beings whose wellbeing is intricately intertwined with various facets of life. It recognises that true wellbeing is achieved when all the different components of our lives are in harmony, creating a sense of balance, purpose, and contentment.

holistic work

The modern workplace has undergone a paradigm shift in its approach to employee wellbeing. As I mentioned in my blog post a few weeks ago, the days of considering work as solely a means of earning a living are gone. This means employers must now recognise and take responsibility for nurturing a holistic wellbeing approach within the workplace if they want to support their teams effectively but also benefit from an investment that yields considerable returns.

The CIPD’s Health and Wellbeing at Work Survey (2022) examines the practices that organisations have put in place to support people’s health at work. In total, 804 organisations responded, covering more than 4.3 million employees. The results found that around 51% of organisations adopt a strategic approach when it comes to employee wellbeing, which leads to notable positive outcomes on both individual and organisational levels. While mental health, a major cause of long-term absence, is the primary focus of health and wellbeing efforts, organisations are also addressing their values, social interactions, job quality (like work-life balance and job design), and physical health to varying degrees. 

Financial wellbeing remains an area that is often overlooked. There is also noticeable diversity in how organisations incorporate tailored wellbeing programs for specific groups or concerns, such as addressing grief, suicide prevention, chronic health conditions, and healthy sleep habits, despite the rise in prevalence we are seeing in all these areas. Still, relatively few organisations provide resources for issues like menstrual health and men’s health, and most alarmingly, nearly 1/5 (19% of organisations) are not actively engaged in any efforts to enhance employee health and wellbeing.

So with this in mind, what are the benefits of holistic wellbeing at work?

  1. Enhanced Performance and Productivity: Employees who feel emotionally and mentally supported are more engaged, creative, and productive. When they experience a sense of purpose and belonging, they are motivated to excel in their roles.
  2. Reduced Stress and Burnout: Chronic stress and burnout are rampant in today’s work environment. By addressing the emotional and mental wellbeing of employees, employers can mitigate these issues, leading to lower turnover rates and reduced absenteeism.
  3. Improved Team Dynamics: A workplace that values holistic wellbeing fosters a positive work culture. Stronger interpersonal relationships and effective communication contribute to better collaboration among teams.
  4. Attracting and Retaining Talent: In a competitive job market, prospective employees are drawn to organisations that prioritise their overall wellbeing. Existing employees are more likely to stay with a company that demonstrates genuine concern for their holistic needs.
  5. Your individuals deserve to be happy and healthy.

 

What can employers do?

  1. Lead by Example: We put this one first as we believe this to be the most critical step. Leadership plays a crucial role in promoting holistic wellbeing. When leaders prioritise their wellbeing and demonstrate a balanced approach to work, it sets a positive example for the entire organisation.
  2. Show empathy: With the lines blurred between work and home, we must take a human-centric approach and understand that everyone has personal circumstances they must attend to outside of their jobs. If companies do not recognise or, more importantly, help employees address their personal issues, their stress in trying to attain work-life balance will likely increase and negatively impact their ability to be productive.
  3. Promote Balance: Anyone who has suffered burnout will know, it is not a badge of honour. Tying into the above point, ensures employees can maintain boundaries between work and personal life. Discourage heavy work during times that disturb their personal lives, giving flexibility in work hours, remote work options, and generous holiday policies can contribute to a healthier work-life balance.
  4. Show Support: With an emphasis on one-on-one time, enabling managers to “check-in” with their employees regularly to gauge their mental health and provide support if needed. Note this will also require a lot of work on how to better support your management teams.
  5. Offer Diverse Services: Develop wellness initiatives and EAPs that cater to various dimensions of wellbeing, such as mental health workshops, movement classes, mindfulness sessions, and financial wellbeing support. Make sure you are offering services that your teams are actually engaging with.
  6. Provide Learning and Growth Opportunities: Personal and professional development opportunities contribute to a sense of purpose. Support employees’ aspirations through training, mentorship, and avenues for skill enhancement.
  7. Foster Inclusive and Supportive Environments: Create an inclusive workplace where all employees feel valued and respected. Implement policies that address harassment, discrimination, and promote diversity.
  8. Encourage Open Communication: Establish a culture of open dialogue where employees feel comfortable discussing their challenges, seeking help, and providing feedback.
  9. Recognise and Reward Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate employees’ achievements and contributions. Recognition boosts morale and reinforces a positive sense of self-worth.

 

Long-term culture is made up of short-term and everyday action and holistic wellbeing is no longer a peripheral concern within the workplace; it is a fundamental component that contributes to the overall success and sustainability of an organisation. By embracing and actioning a culture that prioritises holistic wellbeing, employers acknowledge the multifaceted nature of their employees’ lives and contribute to their performance positively. As companies continue to evolve, those that prioritise employee wellbeing will undoubtedly emerge as leaders in fostering a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce.

Check out today’s newsletter for our 10 top tips to improve your holistic health as an individual (click here)

Bianca, Co-Founder @ HumanOS 🌅

References:

CIPD (2022). Survey report HEALTH AND WELLBEING AT WORK 2022 in partnership with. [online] Available at: https://www.cipd.org/globalassets/media/comms/news/ahealth-wellbeing-work-report-2022_tcm18-108440.pdf.