25 Mar

How To Improve Corporate Wellbeing And Increase Employee Engagement

Employee engagement in the workplace is essential to manage turnover, absence and boost performance.

But with over 50% of the US workforce not considering themselves engaged in their jobs and 17% feeling actively disengaged, the stark reality is that more needs to be done to increase engagement. Perhaps instead of encouraging employees to work longer hours or expecting them to use various electronic devices to be constantly available, more employers should be investing in corporate wellness schemes to aid mental and physical wellbeing.

Companies may fail to understand employee engagement, and it is common to carry out annual employee engagement surveys to understand the real issues relating to engagement, or disengagement, rather than the presumed issues. Such survey results then allow companies to highlight the positive feedback to employees and create strategies and objectives to improve on the less favourable areas. They help to understand what is actually going on with engagement rather than speculation.

 

Simple Ways To Improve Engagement

There are various ways in which companies, whether they are global giants or small businesses, can aid engagement by focusing on corporate wellness. Employers cannot make smokers quit or force employees to eat healthily, but there are ways in which corporate wellness can be weaved into a company. Although it may not be practical to open a gym in the workplace, companies can often agree subsidized corporate rates with local gyms. There may also be a focus on healthy eating with canteens offering subsidized healthy food or fruit offered in the workplace to encourage healthy living. There many other ways in which a company can offer, small but effective, wellness perks.

Alternatively, companies can encourage those with physical hobbies to organize clubs at work. Running clubs during lunch hours or sponsored team sports encourage fitness, teamwork, a shared interest outside of the workplace and promote health benefits. The inKin Social Fitness App is a perfect way to allow teams in the workplace to work together to improve their health and wellness. It allows teams to see how many calories they have burned, or how many steps they have walked, over a set period of time. Employees can share their fitness tips and teams can even compete against each other, combining wellness with work.

Whatever the focus of the engagement approach, wellness schemes in the workplace should improve employee mental or physical health, which in turn should reduce absence and turnover and aid commitment, job performance and teamwork. The schemes don't have to be expensive or complicated, but if an employee sees that a company in investing is their wellbeing it's a big step towards improving engagement.

 

Communication Is Key

If companies have a wellness program, or even if they just often some wellness perks, then it’s essential to ensure that the employees are actually aware of them. There’s no point trying to improve engagement through wellness if employees aren’t aware of the gym subsidy or the fact that the company will contribute if an employee completes a charity run. Communication is vital, and with emails, intranets and various other workplace communication forums, there is no excuse for a lack of communication.

 

What Can Employees Do?

There tends to be a huge focus on how the employer can aid engagement and what they can introduce into the company to encourage optimal engagement, but what can the employees do? Employees, whether they hold a management role or not, can ensure effective communication with their team, colleagues and managers to ensure they are getting what they require from their job and employer. That’s not to say that if employees complain about their pay they will receive an increase, but if they need more support, more feedback, more responsibility or more flexibility, then they need to speak to their manager. Openness and transparency in the workplace can go a long way to aiding job satisfaction. 

In addition, it doesn’t just have to be the responsibility of the company or the HR team to implement wellness into the workplace. Employees can use the inKin Social Fitness App and set up the team competitions and introduce their colleagues to the app. Also, if employees have good ideas about how to improve wellness in the workplace, and hopefully in turn engagement, then creating a culture where suggestions and ideas are encouraged should allow the creativity to flow.

It’s also important for managers and team leaders to take responsibility for engagement within their teams. If the company has carried out an employee satisfaction survey, it is important that the results are shared with their team and action plans are created. Team building events can help to further explore and understand a team, what is driving them and how they can function optimally. Team building events allow the team to work collectively to discuss roles, engagement and personalities and can be organised around budget and objectives.

 

Photo Credit: Musicworxinc

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