What is employee wellbeing?
Global Wellness Day is celebrated every year in June, but wellness is something worth considering every day, year round. Since many of us spend about 50 years of our lives working, employee wellbeing at work has a huge impact on our overall wellness and positive company culture. An important aspect of my role as the Global Employee Experience Manager at Mindspace is exactly about that. I have to bring various initiatives to the table to boost and improve employee health and wellbeing, and to implement them. And it’s worth it –the satisfaction of employees and their wellbeing are strongly connected to productivity.
Why is improving employee wellbeing so important?
So why is employee well-being important? When you as an employer focus on your employee wellbeing, you do yourself, your business, and your employees a massive favour. As we mentioned earlier, employee wellness is directly connected to productivity, which your bottom line will thank you for.
It’s also important to note that if you are not ensuring employee wellbeing you take the risk of producing workaholics which over time will harm everybody involved. In order to avoid employee burnout and other workplace problems, it’s important to build a company culture that has your employees best interest in mind, including addressing the limitations and challenges that arise when working in a shared office space like our Brooklyn coworking spaces, spaces in Wynwood or hybrid offices in London.
If we look at the big corporations in the big cities such as London or Berlin, or in the world in general, such as Google, Accenture, and Microsoft Corporation, they are leading on with a huge emphasis on workplace wellbeing and making sure that the work environment is the best that it could possibly be. Adopting a wellbeing program, offering healthy snacks or hosting small fitness challenges are small steps that most companies can adopt, at least from time to time. And it will be worth it!
Without any further ado, here are five different ways for how to improve employee wellbeing in the workplace:
#1 Show Your Employees the Appreciation That They Deserve
When employees feel important (which they are!), recognized and appreciated, it affects their wellbeing. It makes them feel welcome at work, and makes them come to the office with a smile. We dedicate two annual dates to remind our employees how much we appreciate them:
- Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated every year in March. It’s a great opportunity to have managers recognize their employees with a small gift and a thank you note.
- This past January, for the first time, Mindspace also celebrated Community Manager Appreciation Day. Our community managers are the face of the company, and the ones that hold direct contact with the members at our office spaces. They are one of the most vital components of Mindspace, and it’s important to remind them how much they matter.
#2 Listen to Your Employees
Mindspace is a growing company. And as we grow, and people with a variety of skills are recruited, our procedures need to be improved. Moreover, as a global company we need to understand how employees’ needs vary among different markets. We strive to put our employees at the center, and to create a direct communication channel between them and the management team.
We have several methods to stay in the loop regarding our employees’ satisfaction and motivation:
- Employee satisfaction survey – once a year we ask all our employees to complete an anonymous survey. We make sure the survey is easily accessible and user-friendly, with short, focused questions to encourage participation. We examine various aspects, such as how each employee perceives their role, do they get the right tools to perform their job, and whether they get support from their manager. We also check whether the employees feel satisfied with their job, and whether they see a connection between their role and the company’s business goals. Additionally, we shine a light on more personal angles such as work-life balance, social interaction, access to healthy food, personal development, and being part of the team on the social level. We also ask two open ended questions – since we really want to hear out the employees – what are we doing well, and what points should we improve.
- Global meeting – once a quarter we hold a global call with Mindspace CEO and Co-Founder Dan Zakai, to keep all employees informed and to provide the chance to ask questions.
- Round tables – we organize round table sessions between our employees – less than a dozen at a time – and Mindspace Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer Yotam Alroy. This way, employees get to ask questions, as well as provide their opinions and contribute from their experience to improve company processes.
#3 Make Employees Feel Connected
This year Mindspace launched its ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) initiative, led by Mindspace Director of Strategy and Corporate Development Aurelie Amidan, with the help of engaged employees. As part of our social responsibility, we want to add volunteer opportunities to our annual global plan. Getting employees involved increases their sense of belonging.
In addition, we put great emphasis on inclusion – during the recruitment process and afterwards. For instance, women make up over 70% of Mindspace employees, while 65% of all director roles and above are filled by women.
#4 Promote Physical Wellbeing
We encourage our employees to take part in the same wellness activities offered by our wellness program to Mindspace members, such as yoga or Pilates classes, as well exercising in the gym in the locations that have one. Two of the locations with a gym are our coworking space in Philadelphia and the Mindspace flex office space in Williamsburg. This way you can get your daily workout in, and get to work in no time. In addition, on-site showers at some of the locations encourage employees to commute to work by bicycle, enjoying the fresh air outdoors while exercising their muscles.
Covid was a time where companies better understood the importance of this type of initiatives, and we saw a lot of great employee wellbeing initiatives during Covid. Wellness programs and other schemes to help your employee recognition and comfortable work has been building since then, and there’s been a plethora of great wellbeing initiatives 2022 too.
Another great example of promoting physical wellbeing took place last October, when we dedicated an entire week to health. During this week we offered healthy meals and held a contest to see which Mindspace employee ran or walked the most steps.
We also held a global yoga session with Ly Senger, Mindspace Community Manager at Munich, Germany. Ly taught all our employees via Zoom how to practice yoga for less than 15 minutes a day, during the workday. In the simplest way possible, without the need of a mat or going to the studio, you can use your chair and desk to exercise your body, along with the appropriate breaths.
As October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we concluded the week with a lecture by a breast cancer survivor who shared her inspiring personal story. This was also a great part of how to improve employee wellbeing for us at Mindspace.
#5 Promote Mental Health
With the goal to make wellness readily accessible to all Mindspace employees, we partnered with Insight Timer , a mobile meditation app offering guided meditations, wellbeing courses and workplace wellness skills.
The app also allows employees of the same company to participate in meditation sessions as a group. Meditating for only five minutes a day, or reading an advice article about improving time management or sleep techniques, can help us in our personal lives and reduce stress; this correlates with our performance at work. Also, our mental health directly impacts our physical wellbeing, so being mindful of this when creating your own boost employee-strategy. You can even find further employee wellbeing research online to take your workplace culture and employee experience to the next level!