3 tips to support employee well-being and increase productivity


Udaiyan Jatar is the co-founder and chairman of Tecton.

Employee productivity is an increasingly thorny issue approaching crisis proportions – it is declining at the fastest rate in 40 years. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace Report, only 21% of employees are engaged and only 33% are thriving in their general wellbeing. The same survey shows that employee stress is at an all-time high: 44% say they experienced a lot of stress the previous day. To make matters worse, Employers’ healthcare costs are risingcausing more stress.

Instead of playing defensively, transform your approach by treating employees, including senior executives, as elite athletes. This may seem a bit extreme, but think about it for a moment: if someone is using all of their abilities to solve problems and manage complex relationships and projects, they are clearly putting a significant mental and physical effort into doing their job with excellence . A typical working day lasts about eight hours, almost four times that winning time at the Boston Marathon— so it’s not hard to see why an athlete’s mindset and stamina are needed in the workplace.

To help employees achieve high levels of mental, physical and emotional stamina, we need to take a holistic approach to inspire them and support their health. Here are three fundamental approaches to help you build an effective program that delivers peak performance in the workplace.


Purpose and alignment

Not only should you have a business goal that is clear and measurable, but it’s critical that each employee understands their role in achieving this goal. Too many organizations use purpose and mission statements as ornaments to decorate their walls and annual reports. They sound great, but ask the average employee, or unfortunately even a senior executive, and they probably won’t remember what it is or tell you that their day job has nothing to do with it. Correct this first.

Time and stress management

Employees who feel stressed and burnt out are more likely to struggle with mental health. According to McKinseyas many as 59% of people report at least one mental health challenge, and those people are twice as likely to feel disengaged at work and three times more likely to report low job satisfaction.

Forward-thinking employers can help by creating a flexible environment so employees can prioritize their mental health by making time for family and extracurricular hobbies.

Empowering employees to work when it suits them best can put them in the right frame of mind as they tackle business challenges. Work gets done and employees don’t feel tied down to their desks or devices.

This can be frightening for employers. They are afraid that employees will abuse this and slack off. On the contrary, when a company’s purpose is clear and translates into a clear division of roles at the individual level, employees often need to be encouraged to take vacations and reminded to turn off email notifications!

Power supply

Access to food and drink has long been an office perk that employers use to motivate their staff. However, these “benefits” can backfire. Take the midday slump, for example, a frequent response to stress. Many people reach for coffee or candy bars. Caffeine is a stimulant that temporarily increases focus while increasing heart rate and blood pressure. Then there’s the crash. What’s worse, it can reduce the amount of deep and regenerative sleep, even for people who claim caffeine doesn’t affect them, leaving them tired the next day.

Sweets and carbohydrate-rich snacks are worse. These can get one through a certain lull, but this too will be followed by a crash and several unproductive hours. Sugar also causes weight gain and can lead to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and other diseases, contributing to rising health costs and decreased productivity.

Giving employees food and drink shouldn’t just be a matter of ticking a box. Think more about what an employee wellness program looks like. Invest in your employees and treat them the same way a sports team treats its MVPs. According to Dr. Rick Bloomerthe dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Memphis, many companies are looking for nutritional sources that increase the well-being of their employees so they can be more focused, control their hunger and improve their sleep.

By giving your employees a clear purpose, a trusted environment and the right tools to do their jobs, you not only improve their productivity and value to your business, but also their overall quality of life.

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