How a healthy workplace looks at the psychosocial state of a workforce
A healthy workplace is essential for every successful company, but it can be challenging for many organizations to achieve. Yet, despite the difficulty, companies continue to strive for a healthy workplace both physically and virtually. This is especially important in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing demand for employee-centric workplaces.
But what does a healthy workplace actually bring in? Below, we enumerate what makes a healthy workplace and its positive changes for companies and employees.
Defining a Healthy Workplace
A healthy workplace is a setup where employees, managers, and leaders openly communicate and collaborate on a shared vision of improving the health, safety, and well-being of all members of the organization. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy workplace provides physical, psychological, social, and organizational conditions that protect and promote the health and safety of all workers of a company. A healthy workplace is the ideal place to work in.
There are many ways on how to improve the state of the workplace. The most common is improving the physical work environment. Offering a physical workspace where employees feel comfortable and productive is a good step to a healthy workplace. Companies should make sure that they offer the best space layout and up-to-date equipment for employees and leaders working both on-site and remotely to optimize their work routine and keep them satisfied.
A healthy workplace also looks at the psychosocial state of a workforce. Focusing on the physical aspect of a workplace can only do so much and giving importance to the psychosocial well-being of employees can provide better positive results when it comes to productivity, motivation, engagement, and loyalty. Having programs, activities, and policies in place that promote healthy habits and community building while protecting workers from work toxicity help in improving the mental health state of employees.
10 benefits of a healthy workplace
- Improved health and well-being
The most significant and most obvious benefit of a healthy workplace is the improvement of the workforce’s health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, many have struggled with their mental health, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic which saw many adjustments to work and home life. Companies need to prioritize the psychological and physical health of the employees.
- Greater productivity and performance
A business can increase productivity when employees are healthy and happy in the workforce. When a company invests in creating a healthy workplace that prioritizes the needs of employees, it maintains the employee’s excitement to work and contribute to the company and personal goals – pushing themselves to do better every time. As a result, companies will see an improvement in the performance of their employees as well as the quality output they make.
- Improved corporate image
When employees are satisfied with the company culture and healthy workplace of a company, it leads to an improvement in the organization’s corporate image. Having a healthy workplace shows how the company is serious about taking care of their employees, which is a factor that job applicants look for. It makes the company stand out from the rest of its competitors and helps attract a diverse and talented pool of candidates.
It also attracts more clients. Employees in a healthy workplace are more productive, which results in higher quality output. As a result, customers and clients will prefer the products and services of that business, bringing in higher profits that could go into improving the wellbeing of employees.
- Increased job satisfaction
Seeing employees happy with the workplace is one of the significant benefits of a healthy workplace. When a workplace caters to the needs and wants of an employee, they are less likely to burn out and lose interest in their work. When this happens, the need for employees to find other opportunities elsewhere lessens and turnover rates of the company decrease.
- Greater work development and learning opportunities
Employees feel appreciated when their work environment allows them to explore their capabilities and skills in their work. Because of this, employees are excited to learn and try new things that could improve and add to their knowledge and expertise. It is up to the employers to match employees’ needs and provide growth and development opportunities such as opening promotional roles to all employees interested and offering educational workshops to expand their knowledge and skills on particular topics.
- Improved employee morale
Having a healthy workplace helps employees feel safe, heard, and comfortable enough to freely work and express their creativity without feeling judged. When an employee is buried in work without any time to take a break, they can quickly burn out and lose morale. A healthy workplace sees employees’ happiness increase and motivation to continue working.
- Lower absenteeism rates
A company that neglects to care for its employees will see a rise in absenteeism and tardiness. This is due to employees not caring for themselves in unhealthy work environments and getting sick or not going to work.
Companies who take the time to cultivate a healthy workplace will see fewer health and sickness instances, lowering the number of absenteeism and tardiness
- Increased employee engagement
A healthy workplace naturally increases employee engagement in the workforce. When an employee is engaged, there is higher productivity rate, greater loyalty, better retention rates, and enhanced customer experiences. Acknowledging employees’ work through shout-outs and rewards can make employees feel appreciated and seen. This, in turn, increases their comfort and trust in the company and boosts their engagement.
- Lower turnover rate
Employee retention is a serious issue companies face, especially now, where employees are more comfortable in exploring other opportunities. Employees who are happy with their company’s work environment will be less likely to leave for another company.
When turnover rates are low, it helps companies lower costs and additional effort that constant hiring, training, and on boarding brings. In addition, when employees feel supported, appreciated, and engaged, they are more committed to their employer and doing their best work.
- Lower workers’ compensation premiums
Having a healthy workplace sees employees satisfied, motivated, and healthy. In effect, companies will see a reduction in claimed workers’ compensation premiums. Although it is still vital for companies to offer workers’ compensation premiums, the deduction of the claims allows employers to explore lower workers’ compensation premiums that still fit the needs of employees but helps companies save money that they can direct to other wellness programs.
It is the responsibility of the employers to have better workplace
A healthy workplace does more than just making a company look good in the eyes of employees and customers. Cultivating a healthy workplace improves the lives of the members of the organization as it allows them to work at their best state physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
Companies need to understand that employees – although the main beneficiary of the healthy workplace – cannot achieve this alone. It is up to the companies to start the conversation of health and well-being with employees and from there, understand what employees are looking for to help boost their satisfaction and motivation. Keeping an open communication with the workforce and including them in improving the work environment helps guide companies in creating a healthy workplace.
Source: Corporate Wellness Online
The Wellness Council of South Africa (WELLCOSA) is the leading respected resource in Africa for creating, implementing and sustaining successful healthy workplaces. It benchmark companies existing wellness programmes against industry best practices and provides recognition as a Healthy Workplace nationally and internationally.
Is your Company ready to be recognised as a Healthy Workplace in South Africa? Stand out from the crowd and show the public you care about your employees! More info: www.wellcosa.org