How well is your workforce? Australia has been ranked 25th out of 25 comparator economies for work-life balance on a report into working lives by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). This suggests that workplace well-being in the Australia needs attention.
Long working hours in particular are a concern. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Director and CEO Barry Sandison said, “while we have made some inroads into achieving work-life balance, we are still among the bottom third of OECD countries when it comes to working long hours”.
Left unaddressed, long working hours can lead to health problems such as stress, burnout and eventually increased absences.
There are several factors that can affect employee well-being with workload being just one. World Well-being Week, which runs from 24 – 28 June, presents a great opportunity to check-in with employees and reassess the overall well-being and happiness levels of your staff.
Why is workplace well-being so important?
First, as an employer, you are legally obliged to ensure the health and safety of your staff. Failure to comply puts you and your business at risk.
Second, people work better when they are happy. Healthy working environments help people to develop, while engaged and happy workers are more likely to be committed and more productive.
Third, employees are often the frontline of your business and typically manage relationships with customers and suppliers. If employees are not at their best, your company image can suffer.
How to improve workplace well-being in your business
Workplace well-being is comprised of health, good work, happiness and welfare. So in order to assess the well-being of your workplace it is a good idea to start by assessing each of these areas.
From physical to mental health there are many ways in which you can manage and promote good health amongst your employees. Promoting telephone support services for emotional well-being, implementing a cycle to work scheme or holding training on stress management are some good starting points.
Good work looks at an employee’s ability to do their job well and reach their potential. Hiring the right people is crucial for good work to take place, and regular reviews or 121s keep track of performance. Review job descriptions regularly to make sure that additional workload has not crept in over time. Moreover, promoting an inclusive culture and providing accessible workstations make a difference day-to-day.
How engaged are your employees? This can be a good measure of happiness, as unhappy employees tend to be less interested in their work and can lack motivation. If you are concerned about morale, try organising a fun activity that promotes teamwork, or a schedule for engaging lunch-and-learn sessions.
One in four employees have mental health issues causing stress and anxiety. These concerns may not always be work related but can have an impact on work. Providing access to support can make a huge difference.
Best practice and policy
A well-being policy can show your commitment and dedication to employee well-being. It sets the tone for your organisational culture and can help to retain and attract the talent that your business needs to succeed. If you think your workplace well-being could do with an upgrade, get in touch with your local HR Dept today.