How To Encourage Employee Self Care

How To Encourage Employee Self CareMany people were looking forward to this year, as it served as a fresh start after the horror that was 2020. Last year brought untold hardships to millions of people’s lives, including those who lost their jobs or found themselves suddenly having to work from home.

On the other hand, employees who are essential workers have had to deal with the stress of keeping up with demand while trying to avoid falling ill. It’s safe to say that circumstances haven’t been ideal all round, and everyone needs to find the time to prioritize taking care of themselves.

While self-care has been in fashion for a while, many people don’t know what it is, or how to practice it.

Why We Need Self-Care

A number of studies have shown that self-care can reduce stress levels and lead to a better quality of life—something that today’s workforce craves. People work long hours, and then return home to either a stressed partner, rowdy children, a slew of other responsibilities, or all of the above. Without individuals taking responsibility for their wellbeing, a downhill slide can begin on all fronts.

Self-Care At Work

One obvious obstacle to self-care is lack of time. However, if people are able to integrate self-care into their workday, alleviating this issue is a major possibility. Not only that, but having an understanding employer could allow people to practice self-care at home with the knowledge that their workplace recognizes them as individuals with needs.

10 Ways to Encourage Employees to Focus on Self-Care

A Ten-Point Plan Of Action For Employers

Before embarking on a self-care strategy, employers need to find out what stressors their workers are facing. Once they have this information, they can begin to address them head on. With that in mind, we have ten suggestions to help businesses take care of their workers’ wellbeing.

  1. Provide Regular Supervision And Constructive Feedback

Research into the role of self-care in an academic environment has shown that balancing the demands of performing well with looking after oneself is in itself stressful. By scheduling time to interact with employees, an employer can create a safe space for workers to speak about their worries. This isn’t an opportunity to dole out unconstructive criticism, but rather a way to make people feel heard. When employees feel listened to, they’re more likely to ask for help before situations escalate into a crisis.

  1. Ensure Adequate Lunch And Tea Breaks

Eating well is a vital aspect of self-care, but sadly, many workplaces make this a challenge. Knowing that you have a guaranteed break during the day can help workers relax and focus on the task at hand. Even better, provide food on-site that is healthy and nutritious. Busy employees tend to fall into a fast food trap, whether it’s in the form of a takeaway, or just whatever was easily available when they left for work. They leave work exhausted and end up struggling to cook for themselves. Having better options at work can alleviate the pressure a little and lead to healthier diet choices.

  1. Have A Water Cooler

This might sound ridiculously simple, but hydration is the most basic ingredient to staying healthy. Unfortunately, it’s so easily overlooked. Employees might binge on caffeine to get through the day’s demands, which only results in them being jittery and restless. Having fresh, cold water at hand can make it a little easier for workers to drink something that won’t leave them feeling frazzled or struggling to focus.

  1. Incentivize Self-Care

In business, overworking usually receives praise, but research has proven that burning the candle at both ends leads to reduced productivity instead. Consider a system where being active or participating in meditation sessions result in a reward—maybe an extra day of leave after reaching a certain milestone. Having healthier employees will more than make up for someone being off for a day.

  1. Allow Staff To Say No

This doesn’t mean letting your employees walk all over you. Healthy boundaries are an integral part of self-care, and that involves being direct when a task feels unachievable. Allowing employees to speak up when something’s not sitting right with them will improve communication and allow both employer and employees to have clear boundaries and expectations of one another.

  1. Create A Support Network

There are a multitude of ways to offer emotional support to workers, including providing good health insurance plans, having meditation classes, or providing counseling. Providing opportunities like these has proven to reduce sick leave absenteeism by over 25%.

  1. Integrate Self-Care Activities Into the Workday

Using work time to relax might sound counterintuitive at first. On the contrary, giving employees a set slot for meditation or another type of mindfulness practice prepares them for the day more effectively than having them roll out of their cars into the office with only a cup of coffee to wake them up.

  1. Don’t Let Employees Take Work Home With Them

Working all hours of the day and night has been somewhat glamorized, but it’s clear there are few, if any, long-term benefits. Allowing employees to leave work at work will cut down on stress, which is a huge contributor to absenteeism and loss of productivity.

  1. Make Work A Comfortable Environment

This sounds a bit obvious at first, but we can’t help but overemphasize the impact of a calm, pleasant work environment. This could include having adequate lighting (preferably from a natural source), plants, ergonomic chairs and desks, and wireless keyboard and mouse set-ups for ease of use. You can also allow employees to personalize their workstations.

  1. Encourage Regular Breaks From The Screen

Staring at a computer for 8 hours can be disorienting and can leave you feeling drained. Don’t cultivate a workplace atmosphere of fear among your employees; being too scared to leave their desks will result in added stress and loss of concentration. Allowing people to get up and walk around—within reason, of course—will encourage workers to refresh every now and then.

At The End Of The Day

Old-fashioned ideas of work—strict timekeeping and authoritarian bosses—simply don’t cut it anymore. Implementing strategies to encourage self-care will improve productivity, and help employees feel good about being at work—a sadly uncommon sentiment over the past few years.

Read Related Posts ⁄