In Australia, under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, employers must minimize the risk of any psychological threats or safety within the organization. The psychological hazards cause stress, generally when a work-related demand exceeds the ability to cope.
Safe Work Australia estimates that the stress factor costs more than $10 billion a year for Australian companies.
There is another research from 2016 that suggests that almost $10.88 billion cost is due to reduced productivity attributed to mental health issues in Australia. Among that, more than $6 billion was due to Presentism (Present in office, but not productive), and around $5 billion was for Absenteeism of employees.
The Gap Between Demand and Fulfilment
However, a recent study from Forbes stated that 50% of organisations offer flexibility in work schedules. Still, the percentage is lower in the case of other well-beings’ employees wished for.
The study further shows that around 70% of the employees want telecommuting, whereas only 28% of the organizations offer it. 60% of employees wish to have mental health support, and 21% of the organizations provide it.
What Do We Understand by Employee Well-being?
Employee happiness, employee engagement, employee satisfaction, and employee experience are considered under employee well-being.
For many people, the current COVID-19 pandemic situation has increased the psychological hazards within the workspace due to poor environmental conditions, extreme workloads, discrimination in the workspace, and more importantly the fear of losing the job.
This unprecedented time has shown us that addressing employee well-being is no anymore an option, but it is an absolute must.
7 Dimensions of Employee Well-being
According to PROWELL , a comprehensive workplace analytics, the seven dimensions of employee well-being are:
The recent crisis somehow impacts all the dimensions. Employees' physical health is at risk because most of them are currently unable to maintain their health routine under the prevailing circumstances. Social well-being is mostly affected due to social distancing and lack of social outings. Most importantly, mental health has also been damaged due to fear, uncertainty, and multiple other reasons.
Company Output: 5 Measures to Consider
Even before the current situation, one of the most critical workplace imperatives of 2017 in Australia was rapidly emerging well-being, as more companies appreciated the links between efficiency and wellness.
Many are now adopting a new approach that looks at the problem not just from a risk perspective, but as an integral component of a high-performing workforce. In this blog, we will try to highlight some of the measures that can be taken to address the employee well-being program and increase productivity.
1. Well-being Survey Questions
Before starting with an employee well-being program, an organization should prepare a survey questionnaire to understand the needs, fears, problems, and concerns of employees because it is essential to reach the root of the problem before trying to solve it.
The questions should be directed to deliver the best results. Some sample questions are:
- Does your manager care for your well-being?
- Do you believe that your company prioritizes employee well-being?
- What are your thoughts on work-life balance while working here?
- Is there room for any improvement? If so, can you suggest a few points?
2. Design a Well-being Program Based on Feedbacks
After collecting the responses, the employer should design the well-being program based on the needs. For example, if an employee’s stress is hampering their productivity, the well-being program should focus on providing some stress-relief benefits.
It is always more effective to plan the well-being program based on feedback instead of assumptions.
3. Launch the Program and Promote it
Once the well-being program is prepared, it is time to launch it and make every employee aware of it. If it is a company with a limited workforce, creating awareness is not a tough job. However, if the workforce size is larger, then the employer needs to find out the most used platform (Email, Intranet, etc.) to launch the program to reach out to a vast audience.
Once launched, the organization should promote it to build awareness. The program should be relevant to attract more employees to participate. For example, suppose an organization has branches in the USA and Australia. In that case, only one set of a well-being program is not going to work, because the culture and the mindset of employees are different in each country.
4. Recognise Employees Who Take Part in the Program
Employees tend to feel more encouraged and motivated when their voice is heard. Continuous encouragement to take part in the well-being program is crucial. Employees who are frequently taking part in the program should be awarded or recognized in front of the whole office to encourage and inspire others.
5. Communication from the Leader/Management
Employees look up to the leaders. The leaders should be easily approachable and have the power to convince other employees to take part in well-being programs for their growth.
Also, every organization should communicate with the employees to convey company-related news and updates. This practice will build transparency and trust. For example, suppose an organisation decides to incorporate a National Criminal History Check policy amongst its employees. In that case, the management should convey the message that the organization chooses to promote a safe working environment more seriously.
Talking about including the police check policy within the organization, KONCHECK can help in implementing the same. Being an accredited body of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), it provides customized solutions for organizations by seamlessly processing police checks. It is a 100% online process with a turnaround time of 1-2 business days in 70% of the cases.