Insights / happy and healthy workplaces

Building a culture of wellbeing at work

By renae hanvin

June 1 2023

A happy and healthy workplace is one where employees feel safe, valued, and supported by their employer. Employers play an important role in the emotional and physical resilience of their employees, so it’s important to know how to keep your people well in the workplace.

Managing stress

No matter what size your business is, all enterprises have their stressful elements – whether it’s a customer-facing role or a high-risk task – and that’s why managing stress is so critical.

Training staff in managing stress and building their own resilience is a great first step. By developing coping skills and outlets for their feelings, employees will feel more confident and able to do their work.

Diet, exercise, and positive thinking all play a role in managing stress, so offering activities such as meditation and yoga can be helpful, as well as encouraging healthy eating and a good night’s sleep.

Keep in mind a lot of people suffer from stress and anxiety when they feel overwhelmed in their job or ill-equipped to carry it out, so on-the-job training and mentoring are also important approaches to helping people cope.

Positive culture

The culture of a workplace is personified by the shared values, beliefs, goals, and character of the people who work there.

A good workplace culture is one in which employees have access to the right kind of training and support, clear communication, and good work-life balance.

Flexibility at work – working around employee needs – is also increasingly considered to be a key feature of a healthy workplace culture. Flexibility may include staggering start and finish times, working compressed hours, working from different locations including home, and working part-time.

But it’s not just hours – flexibility could include the ability to move around within a business and try new things, job-sharing, or being supported to take a lengthy sabbatical or career break.

Being responsive to employee needs can help them find work-life balance, increase job satisfaction and retention, and reduce stress levels.

Building skills

You can help your people develop and build their emotional and physical resilience by modelling healthy behaviours such as:

  • Setting boundaries around time and availability, so employees can relax outside of work
  • Having good policies and procedures in place to take the guesswork out of situations
  • Offering regular training to educate and empower staff
  • And developing a healthy workplace culture by modelling resilient behaviours, such as:
    • Being positive at work
    • Recognising and managing stress levels
    • Sharing a sense of purpose
    • Fostering support networks – family, friends, colleagues

Businesses that prioritise resilience will not only have happier and healthier employees, they will enjoy a strong workplace culture that pays dividends in greater efficiency, productivity and staff retention.


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