In the milieu of achieving a higher business turnover, organisations often ignore the health and wellness of their employees – qualities that will take both of them ahead in the professional game. That affects productivity and hampers both of them from reaching their optimal potential.
On World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28th April), let’s discuss how employers can invest in the health and well-being of their employees.
1. Offering Sabbaticals
Now, that would be a huge leap forward because the term “sabbatical” is still so alien to us. A gap year taken right after school isn’t a one-off decision but a common practice among all pass-outs in a lot of countries. The same translates to work life as well. A sabbatical from work enables employees to take their minds off hectic schedules, and start their work life on a clean slate or rethink what they want to do professionally. However, in India, most of us don’t relate to the concept of a sabbatical, and leave implementing the same in our lives.
Apart from workplaces not being open to this idea, there is also a fear among employees that stem from the possible rejection at prospective workplaces in the future, as a result of not being able to convince them about the reason behind taking time off from work. Hence, making employees entitled to a sabbatical leave would be a great step towards giving their mental health precedence over work, for a change.
2. Having Period WFH
A boon for the working menstruating population. From being a society that refused to recognise periods as a very normal bodily function that a significant part of the population experience every month to making period leaves and period Work-From-Home a reality, we have indeed come a long way. There are a handful of organisations that are taking note of it and implementing the same as a part of their company policy. And they’ve been making all the shor-sharabba on the media in the last couple of years for all the right reasons. Even though we are far away from seeing period WFH becoming legalised, this trend at least encourages other employers to mull over its importance in their work culture – a revolutionary step nonetheless.
3. Tying Up With An Insurance Provider
Making employees entitled to a health insurance policy is akin to investing towards their well-being. While employees spend a significant part of their lives being gainfully employed, whether they are physically present at the workplace or are working from home, the onus lies on employers to ensure that they are in good health, physically and mentally. Not only on humanitarian grounds but also because employees staying at the top of their health is likely to ensure that they contribute their best towards the growth and success of the organisation where they are employed.
4. Avoid Micromanaging
Micromanaging and training are polar opposites. Training refers to acquainting new employees to the job profile they have been recruited for, introducing them to responsibilities that are expected from them, and helping them navigate through the do’s and don’ts. In contrast, micromanaging can be defined as constant follow-ups that often border on dictating to junior teammates through every work deadline and the nitty-gritty of the job. That leaves little or no breathing space for employees, restricting them from focusing on the tasks at hand, compromising on the quality of work and affecting mental health. It’s a loose-loose situation not only for employees but also for the organisation.
5. Fostering Mental Health Breaks During Lunch Hour
Your lunch break is so much more than refuelling your bodies with the energy they need to keep going till snack time. It is also the right time to replenish your mind, and boost your mental health for you to go back feeling stronger. After you’re done with lunch, take some time out to indulge in activities that help you refresh your mind. A change of space does wonders in giving you a break from being restricted within the four walls of your workplace. If your workspace has a game room, there’s nothing like it, if you’re interested in them that is. Otherwise, take a stroll with your colleague-turned-friends or search for a cosy corner where you can read, listen to music, or catch up on that TV show no OTT you’re totally crushing on. Anything that helps you relax, keep calm, and start afresh.
6. Having Open-Door HR Policies
The HR department is there for a reason. And although they are mostly viewed as those who are responsible for recruitment, and arranging fun activities on Fridays and on special occasions, they do so much more than that. Among these responsibilities, open-door policies should also be an integral part of the work culture. Employees should be encouraged to and should feel comfortable in approaching HR in discussing any work-related concerns. That would make them feel that their voices are being heard and that the organisation makes an active effort to sort out their problems. This, in turn, promotes a feeling of well-being among them, making them want to give their best to the company.
7. Mandating Minimum Days Of Leave Per Year Per Employee
It is often not a part of the Indian work culture to encourage employees to take leave, although a few of them are waking up to the immense benefits of doing so. But making a certain number of days every year compulsory for every employee to go on leave works wonders for their overall health. That the employers are invested in their health and wellness impresses employees enough to want to give their all. It creates a safe and positive working environment that both the employees and employers will benefit from.
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