How to celebrate your employees this new year

Did you know that one in three employees has suffered or is currently suffering from a diagnosed mental health condition? Most of them are unwilling to speak openly about what they are going through. They may not want their employer to look at them as weak or as if they aren’t capable of doing their job properly. By being open and supportive about mental health in organisations fewer people will be worried to come forward and ask for the support they may need.

Forty five percent of employees who responded to a workplace mental health study admitted that they have considered leaving their job due to stress. This statistic alone makes it vital that organisations and employers are able to create and maintain a working environment where stress is at a minimum. Mental health not only impacts your employees’ health and happiness, but also affects their productivity and effectiveness at work as a whole. Focusing on this issue is good for both employees, companies and society as a whole. Taking care of your employees will not only increase retention, but also improve productivity and quality of work. It is not always just tight deadlines and a heavy workload that can trigger common mental health conditions. Feeling undervalued, taken for granted or not being able to trust your employer can also play a role. Here are 4 healthy ways you can support and celebrate your employees building team spirit and engagement.  

Team building days: Whether your company consists of 2 or 20,000 employees, you can plan an event or activity surrounding team-work. If the company is large, this can be done by regions or across different sectors of the company. Team building exercises have many benefits including improving professional relations, understanding and cooperation among staff and team members. It also contributes towards employee motivation and building trust among employees, which results in higher productivity. There are a whole range of things you can do for your team building day including rock climbing, rafting, trust walks, paintballing and more! Anything you would do with your friends which involves team work and maybe even a little competition can be turned into team building! It’s important to remember to step outside of your roles, during the exercise you should all be equal, not superior and inferior. It is a good idea to plan this on a work day as employee days off should be for friends, family and relaxation!  

Nature: Nature has been proven to be effective for mental well being. There are 2 options when it comes to nature and employee mental health, inside or outside! Biophilic design may sound complex and expensive, but it’s just involving natural elements in your office or workplace, such as plants or having windows that open to let in natural light. Biophilic design can promote good mental health and well being showing an increase in concentration and productivity, and a decrease in stress at work. In terms of educational environments, rates of learning can increase up to 25% if there are natural aspects involved in the design of the learning environment. Biophilic design is not only beneficial for mental health, but also for physical health. Alternatively, rather than filling your office with nature, why not just invest in a garden for your staff (if available) or place a few benches outside for your staff to have their lunch on in Summer! According to the BBC, interacting with nature on a regular basis can help people suffering from physical illness or mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, to improve their symptoms when done alongside their regular medical treatment.

Monthly gym memberships: While this may not seem like a usual benefit to offer, it is becoming more common among different organisations. Employee Benefits found that 27% of employers offer gym memberships as a company perk. There are many benefits of gym memberships including reducing absenteeism. Working out can reduce stress in some people and reduce the risk of all kinds of chronic illnesses. Given that stress is a leading cause for sick days, it is vital to improve employees' stress levels. Exercise can also reduce your risk of anxiety and depression as much as 30% as well as improving your sleep quality and mood.This also means that colleagues are able to work out together, which may improve their bond and trust which links back to the first idea of team building. 

Public display of recognition: Given that lack of praise and feeling undervalued can impact employee mental health, you need to ensure recognition is being given when it is deserved! It is nice to let them know they are doing a good job, but it is even better to show it! Invest in a whiteboard, chalkboard or even just stick a piece of paper on the wall to write individual/team accomplishments on to let the company, visitors and staff know that this individual or team has done well! By giving the well-deserved compliment, this can increase employee motivation and determination to do well so they also get praise! This will also help them to realise their value and give them the confidence they need to succeed in their job role. If you can’t do this, at least remember to thank them for all of their hard work. Just think, where would you be without all of your employees?

To find out how to maintain a work/life balance click here

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Sam GlassComment