Employee wellbeing is a concept that describes an individual’s physical, emotional, and mental health.
It focuses on creating a workplace environment that encourages and supports employees to maintain a balance between work and personal life, as well as feeling safe, respected, and supported in their roles. It also involves providing employees with resources and support to ensure their physical and mental health needs are met.
Depression is one of the most prevalent conditions experienced by employees in the workplace. According to the World Health Organisation, 27% of South Africans suffer from depression. It is also estimated that employee absenteeism due to depression costs the South African economy approximately R19 billion a year.
According to Kathrine Bekker-Smith, a certified Heal Your Life and NLP Coach and HR professional, “It is very clear that a working environment that does not support their employees’ emotional well-being has a negative impact on our country as a whole.”
Therefore, it is imperative that companies change their culture by investing in their employees’ emotional well-being. It is about bringing the human connection back into our work environments.
Here are 5 things your company can start implementing today to create a positive environment for your employees:
- Encourage breaks throughout the day – breaks help to reduce stress and improve focus and productivity.
- Offer flexible work schedules – flexible work schedules encourage employees to manage their work-life balance in a way that works for them.
- Provide mental health resources – it is important that employers raise awareness around mental health and the impact of not addressing one’s mental health. Encourage open dialogue. Provide employees with access to mental health resources such as counselling, support groups, or resources to help with stress management.
- Encourage social connections – encouraging employees to connect with their peers and build relationships can help to reduce feelings of isolation and improve mental well-being.
- Prioritize work-life balance – encourage employees to focus on their work-life balance by setting limits on work hours and providing paid time off.
Kathrine Bekker-Smith is a certified Heal Your Life and NLP Coach and HR professional with over 20 years of corporate experience working with large multinationals in strategic HR roles both in South Africa and internationally. She is passionate about unlocking potential and sparking creativity, fostering collaboration, and energising individuals, teams, and organisations.
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