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Top Five Tips for Promoting Wellness at Work in 2023

January 10, 2023

Top five tips for promoting wellness at work in 2023


Workplace wellness is a hot topic these days, more so than ever before. And given the current shortage of qualified workers, it’s something employers need to take a much closer look at to make themselves more attractive to potential employees. But how do you go about cultivating staff well-being? Estelle Morin, a professor in HEC Montréal’s Department of Management, has five ideas to inspire you going forward.

To start, it is important to define what workplace wellness actually entails.

“It’s about the quality of your day-to-day life while you are on the clock,” says Morin. “Good physical and mental health are a crucial part of this, but so are the relationships with the people you work with: your peers, your managers, your customers and those at the very top of the organization. You should feel good about the job you do and the environment you work in. Workplace wellness is often equated with a feeling of fulfilment and accomplishment.”


1- Employees should feel healthy and safe

In Quebec, the Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety is clear: employers are responsible for safeguarding the physical and mental health of their employees. The act was overhauled in 2022 to address such psychosocial risks as abusive supervision and psychological harassment.

So the first step in promoting workplace wellness involves identifying physical, psychological and social risks, addressing them and reviewing them on a regular basis to nip any potential problems in the bud.


2- Employees should feel like their work matters

Morin explains that wellness at work is a shared responsibility: employers, employees and unions, where applicable, all play a part in the process.

“A lot of it is determined at the individual level. In addition to our lifestyle habits, we all have responsibilities that come with the kind of job we choose, the way we deal with things and our approach to overcoming the challenges we come up against. Developing our emotional intelligence is key to staying healthy and maintaining good work relationships.”

Managers also have an important role:

“Unlike what many employers might think, well-being goes beyond perks like staff lounges, fitness facilities, stress management classes, massage therapy and other techniques for coping with workplace stress,” says Morin. “It depends, first and foremost, on how workload is structured, which is decided at the management level. Unfortunately, many employers don’t examine how they manage workflow because that would call their core practices into question.”

In other words, promoting wellness means structuring employees’ work in a way that makes them feel useful and valued and that gives them opportunities to learn and grow.


3- Employees should have a say in how their job is done

Management also needs to do two important things: provide a clear and inspiring way forward, and support employees in accomplishing their tasks. This requires being able to explain the reasons behind corporate decisions and asking employees for their input on how to do their job efficiently and effectively.

“Their thoughts as to when, where and how they work should definitely be taken into consideration,” says Morin. “This is an opportunity to help them strike a better work-life balance and save their energy in order to channel it toward their wellness. The biggest problem these days is that people aren’t consulted about the decisions that ultimately affect them. They need to feel like they actually have a say.”


4- Healthy team dynamics are essential to employees’ well-being

The quality of on-the-job relationships is another factor that should be not overlooked.

“Management needs to facilitate collaboration to ensure teams are working at optimum performance,” says Morin. “This includes stepping in to manage interpersonal tensions before they escalate. Conflict usually arises when we are limited in our ability to communicate. Keeping relationships healthy is contingent on being able to talk candidly and broach sensitive topics.”


5- Employees need to have, and be able to apply, the right skills

When employees feel like they are qualified to do their job, they are happier. Providing them with the appropriate training so they can perform better is vital. Ongoing professional development is a great way of keeping employees’ skills fresh, especially when the new knowledge and skills they acquire can be put to use immediately in their day-to-day work.

As the new year begins, why not take these five factors into consideration as you plan for the months ahead and make good on your responsibilities toward the well-being of your employees and your teams?

Other ways to promote well-being at work1

- Cultivate integrity and goodwill.
- Encourage experimentation and learning.
- Develop reflective skills.
- Use humour.
- Set clear, engaging objectives.
- Foster team spirit.
- Provide organizational support.
- Delegate authority.
- Manage workload.
- Put flexible, hybrid work policies in place.
- Hold regular project check-in meetings.
- Respect work/life boundaries.

Taking things to the next level

Assess your well-being by considering to what extent you agree with the following statements:

- I enjoy what I do and feel engaged in my work.
- I have the skills and abilities to do the tasks that are important to me.
- I feel good about myself.
- I take action to have an immediate effect on other people’s job satisfaction.
- People respect me.
- The people I work with support me.
- The relationships I have with others are fulfilling.
- I feel optimistic about my future.
- My life has purpose and meaning.

Officevibe (three-month free trial available): Platform that gives employers insight into what their employees are thinking and feeling through surveys so they act on this critical feedback.

Healthy Minds @Work: Program that helps employees be calmer and more focused, develop healthier relationships with colleagues, gain perspective in workplace interactions and bring more meaning to work.

Estelle Morin’s courses at Executive Education HEC Montréal include:

Workplace Wellness and Stress Management
Certification in Organizational Development
Handling Toxic Personalities in the Workplace
Management Essentials
Emotional Intelligence and Leadership
Emotional Intelligence and Leadership — 2 days
Emotional Intelligence: Introduction


1 Diener, Ed, Derrick Wirtz, William Tov, Chu Kim-Prieto, Dong-won Choi, Shigehiro Oishi & Robert Biswas-Diener (2010). “New Well-being Measures: Short Scales to Assess Flourishing and Positive and Negative Feelings,” Social Indicators Research, Vol. 97, No. 2, pp. 143–156.

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