High turnover is an issue in any job market — especially in the medical field where time and training really can’t be wasted. It’s critical to understand what’s causing the turnover.
The 2016 Well-Being and Engagement Report, by Limeade, surveyed 1,276 U.S. employees, and found an overwhelming 91% with high well-being are less likely to leave a job than those with lower well-being. Limeade’s new study proves just how pertinent it is for employers to place a higher priority on employee well-being in order to improve productivity, engagement, and loyalty.
Here’s what you need to know about employee well-being to make it reach the top of your to-do list.
What is employee well-being?
Many employers confuse an employee’s wellness with their well-being, which is the first obstacle getting in the way of how companies approach well-being. The Limeade report defines well-being as, “a state of optimal health, happiness, and purpose.” So, while wellness is a portion of well-being, it isn’t the complete picture.
Employee well-being is, more specifically, the experience employees have with work and how they measure their life because of it — fulfilling, satisfying, or sometimes, unfortunately, neither. Companies that provide employees with benefits like gym memberships to sum up their employee well-being strategy are actually only focusing on a small piece of the puzzle.
Some businesses are catching onto the well-being trend and are offering unlimited time off, game rooms, free meals, and an array of other benefits. But these flashy perks are useless if employers don’t understand and address the root of the issues impacting employee well-being.
How to improve employee well-being
The key starting point to employee well-being begins with the relationship between leaders and employees. Employees need to open up and let leaders know what they’re feeling, and what they need to be at the height of their own well-being. On the other hand, leaders need to truly listen to this feedback. Managers need to let their team know they understand how important health — both mental and physical — is to the company.
On a scale of one to 10, employees rated their lives inside work below a six, according to O.C. Tanner’s November 2015 The Impact of Employee Well-Beingstudy of 2,363 employees. Most would attribute this low number to stress in the office. This stress can stem from feeling overworked, a lack of breaks, and also dealing with workplace social situations.
Schedule a time during the day when employees understand they are expected to step away from their work in order to spend some time on themselves. If in a physical office, offer a quiet place where everyone knows they can go to have a few minutes of peace.
Bring in a mindfulness coach, or download a script, to teach the team how to focus on the moment and breathe naturally. For those who don’t find meditation relaxing, encourage them to use this time to take a brisk walk to find refreshment.
Healthcare employees spend their days interacting with people. Whether it’s directly taking care of patients, fielding sales calls, or handling office duties, this constant communication can prove exhausting. For those in positions who can afford it, allow a time during the day when it’s acceptable to unplug, and not be available. Some professionals can’t be unavailable during the working day, so compromise with a work schedule that gives a day or two off from interacting.
If you don’t already view employees as the most important asset to your company, now is the time to start. According to the O.C. Tanner report, employers who have begun focusing on employee well-being are noticing more motivated employees, and turnover rates are decreasing drastically.
Furthermore, O.C. Tanner found that companies are seeing healthcare costs decrease because employees are feeling healthier both inside and outside of the office.
Finding innovative ways to enhance employee well-being will increase employee happiness, and create a more productive and motivated workforce in your organization.