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.
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.
Morin explains that wellness at work is a shared responsibility: employers, employees and unions, where applicable, all play a part in the process.
Managers also have an important role:
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.
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.
The quality of on-the-job relationships is another factor that should be not overlooked.
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?
- 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.
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
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.