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Employee Wellbeing: A Holistic Approach

There is a lot of anxiety surrounding us. Everyone is striving daily to be better in their game. More so, the stress of the unknown or the unpredictable makes people anxious. Every time you sit down to relax, there is an underlying, unnerving feeling of someone stepping up their game, which might give them an edge over you. To a certain extent, this is a welcome stress as it keeps you attentive and alert at all times. It incites you to keep honing your skills. But it has a huge detrimental impact when it overpowers the better in you, when it paralyzes you.

Additionally, though mostly unintentional, the employees do get pulled into different directions, commitments, etc., all in the name of multitasking. In the race to exceed expectations, employees keep chasing incremental targets perennially. This does lead to an unavoidable feeling of being overwhelmed, over a period of time.

When such is the reality surrounding us, no doubt well-being has become a hot topic for discussion in the company boardrooms. As we talk about wellness, what fosters better stability and stress management is a holistic approach to the well-being of the employee. Well-being involves different dimensions such as physical, emotional, financial and social.

We should increasingly look at an integrated strategy on employee well-being, which takes into account the following aspects. Let us dive deep into these varied dimensions of well-being.

1. Physical Well-being: Safety and Physical Fitness

This entails understanding and managing one's health, adopting the proper preventive measures, enhancing health status as necessary, managing chronic conditions, navigating and recovering from an acute illness or unexpected injury, and successfully resuming peak functionality at home and at work. All of these aspects need to be necessarily to enhance the physical well-being of employees.

2. Emotional Well-being: Security and Cognitive Needs

This includes self-awareness, good mental health, resilience through stress management, coping with both positive and negative emotional triggers, managing life crises, and maintaining stability during illness or injury. Post-pandemic, this aspect has gained all the more importance, since the sudden censor of socializing and the casualties grieved by families have had far- reaching effects on the emotional well-being of humans.

3. Financial well-being:

Reaching financial security entails being able to successfully manage financial obligations and build a financial stability. Good financial well-being means having financial security and the knowledge and confidence to deal with financial issues or crises, as and when they arise. Very important to point out here would be the fact that employees don't require high salaries to enjoy positive

financial well-being. The employees should be taught to manage their finances well, invest prudently in multiple avenues and grow their investments manifold.

4. Social Well-being: Belongingness and Love

Employee social wellness is the connection employees have with their peers and leaders-their overall sense of belonging with their co-workers and the organization. It is a key indicator of an employee’s ability to be productive and satisfied at work. Taking care of this aspect would be a catalyst in securing the adhesion of the employee with the organization.

Today employers genuinely feel that employee well-being is extremely vital to an organization’s stability. It will boost financial success as well as talent retention, according to the numerous researches in this field. As business owners there is no denying the fact that people are your real assets and if you can take care of them, your business will thrive.

Just like physical well-being is a matter of practice, so is mental well-being. It is also highly influenced by the culture we thrive in. If we are surrounded by people who believe in the complete well-being of self as well as others, then it reinforces the enthusiasm and interest in working towards personal well-being. More personalized options are being given by organizations these days, where employees can select the well-being programs that are right for them from a menu, just like they choose health or retirement plans.

That’s why I feel that well-being is a very important point of discussion at any workplace. This would make a company an attractive employer. Organizations should take a look at their health and safety policies. It makes sound commercial sense to enhance the employees' health and well-being. The industry is the witness to the difference it can make to a business's bottom line and the effect it can have on staff morale and motivation. It offers everyone a "win-win" situation. Better health support benefits the workforce. Improved productivity and fewer absences are advantageous to businesses. And better public health benefits society.

While we cannot disagree on the growing importance of employee’s holistic well-being, being the most significant promoter of organizational well-being, we have miles to go in driving awareness around the same. There are cases where even the best policies failed to make the right impact because of the lack of awareness and the absence of a robust mechanism to implement and govern it.

Although the various difficulties that employees face might not initially seem related, they are all linked by the idea of well-being. Hence, implementing benefit programs in one location might not provide the desired results. Each factor interacts with one another, and will have an effect on how well a job is done. Regardless of the motive behind ignoring wellbeing at work, the outcomes are the same: the productivity declines and the employees get disengaged.

As an HR professional, I would like to go all out in marketing the thought around employee well- being, in addition to formulating policies about employee well-being. Cutting through the noise of competing messages is very crucial in this era of information overload. Steps in the right direction could be one or all of the following:

  1. Providing multiple avenues to reach out to the employees, e.g. seminars, roadshows, etc. and having them reach back to us, g. feedback, surveys, etc., would enable us to have open dialogues with them.
  2. Catering to the learning styles of the visual, kinesthetic, and or auditory learners, we need to have multimodal awareness programs.
  3. Having rewards and recognitions across processes, designed to award the initiatives taken by different teams towards enhancing the employee well-being.
  4. Making your most actively engaged employees the champions of the cause, and spot lighting them.

As rightly stated by Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Let us come together and bring in the change.


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