There is proof that people who are engaged in their work, loving what they do and manage to keep a work-life balance, maintain better health. So how does one start to stay healthy in the workplace, and to ensure that your team does too?
A work environment that encourages well-being sees team members enjoying better physical health. Offering access to a gym, lunch-time team walks, fresh air, good nutrition and team-building that includes sport, is advisable. Better physical health translates into more energy and a positive mindset. What also provides a sense of well-being is when people are working with their strengths and feeling confident and “in the zone”. In addition if their competence equates to their challenges, there is a sense of homeostasis. Employees, who feel that they matter, make more of a contribution. That too provides an overall sense of well-being. If the organisation is large enough to warrant it, a facility like an on-site crèche could contribute to overall well-being, contentment and freedom.
It is in the interests of the leader to have staff who do not take sick leave unnecessarily. Absenteeism is counter-productive and costs the organisation. So does “presenteeism” (being at work whilst sick). What about employees who are present but not actively engaged in their work because they are stressed or tired? Research shows than on average only one third of a team is actively engaged.
Stress and exhaustion are bad for the individual, bad for the team and bad for business as a whole. Illness can decrease productivity and morale and of course ultimately profits. Why then, are companies not making more effort to ensure well-being? Well-being is a discipline that should be practised primarily by the leader. He should make healthy choices. One good choice could be to spend money on wellness in your business – guaranteed for every Rand spent you will get a good return on investment. In addition to tangible results, know that your work force will appreciate the support through the gesture of care.
Many wellness programmes are instituted when the leader personally suffers from illness. We live in a country rife with non-communicable diseases like heart disease and depression. In developing countries up to 15% of the population have depression and 80% of these people are left untreated. Surely both physical and emotional wellness is an entitlement, not a benefit?