Why Taking Care of Your People is Taking Care of Business

By Emily Bissel

Key Highlights

  • Employee wellbeing is important for a healthy, productive, and loyal workforce
  • Wellbeing encompasses emotional, mental, and social aspects of a job
  • Signs of emotional suffering in the workplace include changes in behavior, withdrawal from social interactions, expressions of hopelessness, physical symptoms related to stress, and increased absenteeism
  • Cultivating healthy habits of well-being, such as regular physical activity, mindfulness and stress management techniques, and healthy eating, is essential
  • Employee wellbeing has a large impact on productivity, retention, profitability, company image, and workplace atmosphere
  • Employers can promote employee wellbeing through support, resources, and initiatives such as wellness programs and opportunities for growth and development


We spend most of our lives at work. If your team isn't feeling fulfilled and healthy, it's time to step in! If you fail to create a great workplace for your employees, they could start looking elsewhere, and your business could lose its appeal to new hires, who often prioritize happiness over salary and perks.

It's likely that you've spent a lot of time and effort creating your company's vision, brand, and technology. But you don’t want to overlook the most important element of your business… your people! What can you do to improve their wellbeing?


The Importance of Employee Wellbeing

Having a nice break room and comfy chairs isn't enough to ensure employee well-being. People need to feel valued and supported at work, both mentally and emotionally.

Openness and support in the workplace make all the difference when it comes to mental health. Not only is it good for employees, but it is also good for business. A study by the American Psychological Association found that companies that focus on employee well-being grow their revenue 3.5 times faster than those that do not.

The importance of physical health shouldn't be overlooked either. Employees who are active, eat well, and get enough sleep reduce healthcare costs and increase productivity. Fast Company reports that happy employees are even 12% more productive.

In the end, investing in your employees' well-being is an investment in your company's future. And that's a win-win for everyone.


The True Cost of Poor Employee Well-Being

Ever wonder about the real price tag on poor employee well-being? It goes way beyond just feeling down. Think about all those sick days, the dip in job performance, and the burnout that leads employees to jump ship. Here's a quick rundown of what it can really cost:


  • 75% of medical costs accrued mostly due to preventable conditions
  • $20 million of additional lost opportunity for every 10,000 workers due to struggling or suffering employees
  • $322 billion of turnover and lost productivity cost globally due to employee burnout
  • 15% to 20% of total payroll in voluntary turnover costs, on average, due to burnout


The good news? Your organization has the power to turn things around. By taking steps to boost employee well-being, you're not just saving money—you're investing in a happier, healthier, and more productive team.


Recognizing the Signs of Emotional Suffering in the Workplace

Recognizing when coworkers are struggling emotionally is super important for keeping everyone feeling supported at work. Here are some signs to look out for and ways you can help:


  1. Changes in Behavior or Performance: If you notice someone's productivity slipping or their work quality dropping, it could be a sign they're going through a tough time. Maybe they seem more distracted or disengaged lately. Offering a listening ear or suggesting stress management resources could make a big difference.
  2. Withdrawal from Social Interactions: Is someone suddenly avoiding team lunches or skipping out on after-work gatherings? They might be feeling disconnected or overwhelmed. Encouraging team bonding activities or simply checking in to see how they're doing can help them feel more supported.
  3. Expressions of Hopelessness or Overwhelm: If a coworker often seems down or talks about feeling hopeless, they could be struggling with their mental health. Showing empathy and offering resources for managing stress can show them they're not alone.
  4. Physical Symptoms Related to Stress: Headaches, fatigue, and other physical signs of stress shouldn't be ignored. Encouraging self-care practices and offering flexibility with work schedules can help alleviate these symptoms. Let employees know mental health days are okay.
  5. Increased Absenteeism: More sick days or arriving late to work frequently might indicate someone is going through a rough patch emotionally. Being understanding and offering support can help them feel more comfortable opening up about what they're going through.


By recognizing these signs and offering support, you can create a workplace where everyone feels valued and supported in taking care of their mental health.


“The biggest concern for any organization should be when their most passionate people become quiet.” — Tim McClure


4 Ways to Deal With Burnout at Work

Ever feel like you're living in a world that never sleeps? It's easy to get caught up in the hustle culture where it seems like we're always expected to be available. But this can lead to burnout—a feeling of total exhaustion and a drop in job performance.

So, how do you deal with it? Here are some simple steps to help you manage stress and create a healthier work environment:


Focus on What You Can Control: Talk to your team about workload and stress levels. Open communication can lead to practical solutions, like adjusting workload or getting extra support.

💛 Inclusivv Tip: Work on mindset and communication skills. Consider taking a Facilitator Training to lead with empathy and confidence.


Find Time for Yourself: Make time for things you love outside of work, whether it's a hobby, exercise, or hanging out with friends. These activities are crucial for your emotional and physical well-being. Regular exercise can really help reduce stress and boost your mood, so find something you enjoy and make it part of your routine.

💛 Inclusivv Tip: Schedule regular "me-time" to recharge and reconnect with yourself.

Set Boundaries: It's important to set clear limits on your work hours and protect your personal time. Make sure you have time to rest and do things unrelated to work.

💛 Inclusivv Tip: Create a post-work routine to help you transition from work mode to relaxation mode.

Connect with Your Team: Having meaningful conversations with your colleagues can make a big difference. Even just spending an hour a month talking about important topics can create a happier and more inclusive workplace.

💛 Inclusivv Tip: Consider joining one of our Membership tracks to help your team have more meaningful connections.


The Six Dimensions of Wellness and Habits To Help Improve Them

Daily habits can improve your six dimensions of wellness—physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, and social—which are proven to help you become your best self, personally and professionally.

We've got some helpful habits to help you get started on your journey to a happier, healthier you. And to make it stick, we suggest starting with just two habits at a time. Stick with them for at least 21 days—they say that's how long it takes to make a habit stick! And why not share your goals with a colleague? It'll help you both stay on track.


Physical Well-being:

Physical well-being is your most fundamental source of energy. Your body's like a car—it needs good fuel to run smoothly. And sleep, exercise, and nutrition are the gas.

Habits to Improve Physical Well-being:

  • Bike to work
  • Stand up during meetings
  • Take short walks during breaks
  • Snack on high protein foods to stay energized
  • Schedule a workout in your calendar and make it happen
  • Stretch every hour to reduce stiffness and improve circulation
  • Commit to getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night


Sleep is probably Inclusivv’s favorite habit! Ever heard of Google's "nap pods"? They're not just cool to look at, they're an investment in employee well-being. By prioritizing quality sleep, Google saw a significant drop in absenteeism and an increase in employee satisfaction. And it's no surprise—research shows that if you don’t get enough sleep, your ability to learn new things drops by 40%!


Emotional Well-being:

Your emotional well-being is all about checking in with yourself and making sure you're in a good headspace. It's fueled by things like empathy, gratitude, and compassion.

Habits to Improve Emotional Well-being:

  • Have a daily laugh with your team
  • Start a gratitude journal to focus on the positives
  • Get to know your colleagues so your brain can shift focus for a bit
  • Practice deep breathing exercises to reduce stress and anxiety
  • Give the people you’re meeting with your full, focused attention
  • Spend your day experiencing the different workspaces around you
  • Show appreciation for a coworker who helped you on a project or offered support


Mental Well-being:

Ever feel like your brain is running a million miles a minute? Mental well-being is all about keeping your mind in check and staying focused throughout the day. It's like having a mental to-do list and knowing how to tackle it without getting overwhelmed.

Habits to Improve Mental Well-being:

  • Dedicate time for daily learning
  • Set specific times to manage your email
  • Respect and protect personal time by blocking your calendar
  • Break big tasks into smaller, more manageable ones
  • Take short breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge
  • Practice mindfulness techniques to stay focused and present
  • Lead with an open mind and assume positive intent


Spiritual Well-being:

What gives your life meaning and purpose? Spiritual well-being is your source of motivation and meaning in and outside of work that is aligned with your individual core values and purpose.

Habits to Improve Spiritual Well-being:

  • Be intentional about your daily goals
  • Journal about your core values and beliefs
  • Set aside time for meditation or reflection each day
  • Spend time in nature to reconnect with yourself and the world around you
  • Think about activities that will help you grow, personally and professionally
  • Understand what’s important to you and use it to filter opportunities and tasks
  • Reflect on one area of your work or personal life when you want to make an impact


Financial Well-being:

Money matters! Financial well-being is about feeling secure in your finances and knowing how to budget for both the present and the future. It's like having a roadmap for your financial journey—knowing where you're headed and how to get there. Pay equity is also important. Pay people what they should be paid.

Habits to Improve Financial Well-being:

  • Set a budget for your monthly expenses and stick to it
  • Start a savings account for emergencies or future goals
  • Reduce monthly spending by rethinking some purchases
  • Talk to your manager about financial benefits your company offers
  • Seek advice from a financial advisor to help plan for your financial future


Two-thirds of employees who are struggling financially report at least one sign of poor mental health that could affect their ability to function at work. These include loss of sleep, poor concentration, and reduced motivation. — Mental Health at Work


Social Well-being:

Social well-being is your ability to develop and sustain relationships at all levels — personally and professionally, in person or virtually— and how you make an impact in your community and beyond.

Gallup research found something they call “the benefits of the water cooler.” Even though socializing may seem like it would decrease workplace productivity, Gallup found that socializing at work is actually good for business. Among those with thriving social well-being, 49% were thriving in their careers. The study also found that employees who say they have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their work.

But this isn’t even the most interesting part. Gallup reported that to have a thriving day, people need six hours of social time. Few organizations would condone unstructured social time on company dime, but employers can promote social well-being programs and development opportunities that can produce important business results. Inclusivv Membership does just that!

Habits to Improve Social Well-being:

  • Schedule regular catch-ups with coworkers
  • Join clubs or groups with shared interests to meet new people
  • Introduce yourself to other colleagues you don’t work with often
  • Volunteer in your community to give back and connect with others
  • Thank a coworker with a quick email or handwritten note to show your appreciation


Beginners Guide to Enhancing Employee Wellbeing

Enhancing employee well-being is an important part of creating a healthy and productive work environment. Employers can take several steps to promote employee well-being and create a holistic workplace that nurtures the overall health and happiness of employees. Here's what you can do:


Step One: Make the case

First up, you need to get your organization ready for wellbeing initiatives. Start by making a strong case for why it’s worth investing in employee wellbeing. Talk about the benefits of wellness programs and how they can make your team happier and more productive.

Here’s a stat to help you get started: For every dollar spent on mental health support, you get four dollars back in improved health and productivity, according to the World Health Organization.

It’s also important to get your leaders on board. Teach them why employee wellbeing matters and how it can boost the whole team. Once they understand and feel involved, they’ll be more likely to support the program.


Step Two: Understand employee needs

The next step is to figure out how your team members are doing and what they need to thrive. This can be done in different ways, like doing a well-being check.

A well-being check means getting info about your team's physical, mental, and emotional health, and how they feel about their work setup. You can do this through surveys, interviews, or focus groups. 

Why is it so important to listen to your people? Because there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to well-being. You might think you’re supporting your team’s physical and mental health by providing yoga classes, but if they’d rather be going for a walk or meditating, you’re not going to be making as much of an impact as you may have wanted. Don’t guess on people’s behalf. Ask them and let them help you to help create a better culture that fosters better well-being for everyone! 


Step Three: Develop a program

Once you’ve figured out how your team is doing and what they need, it’s time to build a wellbeing program that fits the bill.

This program should consider the specific challenges and preferences of your employees. Think about offering a mix of activities that cover physical, mental, and emotional health. From stress-busting workshops to calming mindfulness sessions or monthly community conversations, there are plenty of options.

It’s super important to involve your team in this process. Get their input and feedback to make sure the program matches their needs and preferences. After all, it’s all about making sure everyone feels supported and cared for.


Step Four: Provide resources to employees

Giving your team the resources and support they need is key to boosting their wellbeing. They need tools and systems that can help them feel their best physically, mentally, and emotionally.

You can provide all sorts of resources, like gym facilities, workshops on wellness, or access to therapists. This helps your team take proactive steps toward feeling great. And don’t forget about Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that offer confidential counseling and support for any issues they might face, whether personal or work-related.

But it’s not just about what you provide—it’s also about the environment you create. Supportive managers and colleagues play a big role here. They do this by keeping communication open, encouraging a healthy work-life balance, and giving everyone chances to connect socially at work.


Step Five: Communicate clearly and implement the program

Now it’s time to put the program into action, and that means making sure everyone knows about it.

Clear communication is key here. Tell your team all about the program—what it’s about, what goals it aims to achieve, and all the benefits it offers. You can spread the word through different channels like team meetings, emails, or a special website just for the wellness program.

Make sure to use language that’s welcoming and caring, emphasizing how much the organization values everyone’s well-being and is committed to supporting it.


Step Six: Continuously improve

Now, for the final touch: keep an eye on things, gather feedback, and keep improving the program.

That means regularly checking how well the program is working, listening to what your team has to say, and making any tweaks needed to make sure it's a success.



Frequently Asked Questions

How can managers promote well-being among remote workers?

Managers can promote wellbeing among remote workers by providing clear expectations and guidelines for remote work, encouraging regular communication and virtual team-building activities, and supporting work-life balance. Managers need to check in regularly with remote workers, provide opportunities for social connection, and support their mental and physical health.


How can I communicate my burnout to colleagues and supervisors without negatively affecting my career?

Approach the conversation with your supervisor or colleagues from a problem-solving perspective. Be honest by sharing your experiences openly and suggesting solutions or support you need. Approach it as a problem to solve together. Focus on your experience by talking about how burnout is affecting your work and well-being. Sharing your perspective helps others understand what you're going through. Remember you're not alone; many people experience burnout, so don't feel ashamed to bring it up. It shows your dedication to your job and your own well-being.


What are 3 common workplace well-being problems?

Three common problems in the workplace include poor communication, inadequate work-life balance, and limited opportunities for growth. 

  1. Poor communication can lead to higher stress, decreased morale, and lack of trust. 
  2. Lack of work-life balance can lead to burnout, less productivity, and even health issues.
  3. Limited growth opportunities can cause employee dissatisfaction and higher levels of staff turnover, as employees feel stagnant and unmotivated in their roles.

Tags: Mental Health, Well-Being, Empathy

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