The power of employee wellness – Part 1

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By Calisha K Spencer, Human Resources Practitioner

Ask any HR professional about their top workplace concerns and you’re likely to hear about the stress associated with sick leaves, unexpected call-outs, or resignations. The immediate worry often revolves around the logistics of recruitment and performance management, with the underlying reasons for these absences taking a backseat.

However, it’s crucial to recognise that while occasional absenteeism is inevitable, it’s the duty of HR and personnel departments to implement robust strategies that promote a sustainable work environment. This is achieved by fostering wellbeing and trust among employees who are, without a doubt, an organisation’s most valuable assets.

Prioritising employee wellness is not just a moral imperative; it’s a business strategy that leads to heightened performance, productivity, and inclusivity. It encompasses providing resources for physical and mental health, advocating for work-life balance, and supporting initiatives that allow individuals to flourish both in their personal and professional lives.

In my tenure as an HR practitioner across various companies, my approach has been simple yet effective: know your people. This philosophy, combined with my passion for nurturing positive workplace cultures and making office engagements enjoyable, has been the cornerstone of my success.

Here are some of the strategies I’ve implemented:

Personal development initiatives: Linking rewards to activities that encourage personal growth, such as exercise challenges, health monitoring devices, outdoor yoga sessions, and more.

Birthday club: Creating a culture of celebration for each employee’s special day, reinforcing their sense of belonging.

Coffee and bush-tea meetings: Adopting a modern, casual meeting style that invites inclusivity—my “bring yuh cup and come” initiative has been a particular favourite.

Mindfulness day: Designating time and space for meditation, allowing employees to step away from their desks and into tranquillity.

Work from home day: Providing the option for remote work to boost focus and productivity.

Giving back day: Advocating for a company-supported day of community service, enabling employees to contribute to a non-profit organisation of their choice.

In our previous discussion on emotional intelligence, we explored how small adjustments can significantly enhance our cognitive abilities. Building on that foundation, the next part of this series will delve into practical steps organisations can take to integrate these principles into their daily operations, ensuring a workforce that is not only skilled but also emotionally intelligent and resilient.

Stay tuned for part two, where we’ll uncover the transformative impact of a well-rounded wellness programme on both employees and the organisation as a whole.

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