5 Ways to Take Care of Your Employees in the New Year

A happy employee is one that is engaged, productive, and a positive influence on other employees. If you are a business leader or corporate executive, you know that your employees are the foundation of your business – they carry out the most essential day-to-day tasks and projects that keep your business afloat. However, many employees feel stressed from heavy workloads, demanding bosses, and busy schedules. Although some aspects of employee happiness are out of a business leader’s control, there are things you can do this year to take care of your employees and show them that you care. As a result of your efforts, your employees will be happier, healthier, and more apt to be productive at work. 


The Effects of Corporate Wellness on Employees

When your employees return to work after the holidays and New Year, they may find it difficult to get back into the groove of working. This can lead to presenteeism – an issue where employees are physically at work but are not performing at optimal levels due to distractions, stressful circumstances, or low energy levels. Furthermore, evidence shows that employees who smoke, eat unhealthy foods, and don’t exercise regularly have higher rates of presenteeism versus employees who are in good health. On the other hand, employees who are happy, healthy, and valued in the workplace tend to be more motivated to perform better. 


If you’ve worked virtually any kind of job where you had a week or more off for the holiday season, you know how difficult it can be to go back to work. Instead of going about business as usual, make it a priority to take care of your employees and boost corporate wellness in 2020. Here are 5 ways you can boost corporate wellness and show your employees that you care. 


1. Encourage Mental Health Days & PTO

When you have a fever or serious illness, you probably don’t hesitate to call your doctor. However, when it comes to mental health, there is often a stigma that surrounds it. This stigma, unfortunately, prevents people from asking for help or taking off work to have a self-care day. If an employee is under a lot of stress or needs to take a day off, but refuses due to a heavy workload, he or she will likely become less productive and more irritable at work. Instead, encourage your employees to use their PTO to take a mental health day when needed. By encouraging employees to use PTO and take mental health days, you are making the gesture that you care about your employee’s well-being. 


2. Organize a Team Building Activity

When there is tension or dysfunction between employees, it can make people dread coming to work. However, having a positive, supportive corporate culture can make work more enjoyable. To boost collaboration and employee relationships, consider organizing a team-building activity for you and your employees to do together. Whether you and your team volunteer at a soup kitchen, do a fundraiser for an animal shelter, do an escape room, or an outdoor physical activity, team-building exercises are a great way to promote collaboration and friendliness among you and your staff.


3. Provide Healthy Snacks for the Office

A poor diet is linked to elevated health risks, low energy levels, decreased mental effectiveness, and reduced productivity. As the New Year rolls around, many people have resolutions to eat healthier and lose weight. Depending on the size of your business, consider getting healthy snacks catered to the office or grab some from the store yourself. When fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available, your employees will be more likely to opt for a healthy snack rather than a sugar-filled afternoon indulgement. Providing healthy office snacks can boost your workplace’s productivity and help your employees avoid that after-lunch slump. 


4. Celebrate Small Successes

It’s easy to let employees know when something isn’t being done correctly or to address a problem in the workplace. Sometimes, without even noticing, you might point out shortcomings more than you do successes. Often times, some leaders who are successful don’t share their successes with their team even though their team is the backbone of that success. Instead, make it a point to recognize individual achievements and celebrate company successes with your team. You can also make an extra effort to thank your employees and let them know how much their work is appreciated. Your employees will feel valued and be happy that someone recognizes a job well done. 


5. Keep Your Door Wide Open

Energy can be felt by and transferred from one person to the next. If you are a quiet, distant boss that is always locked away in his or her office, your employees won’t be able to connect with you and may isolate themselves at work – making for a less than ideal corporate culture. Instead, take care of yourself so that you are motivated and energized at work while keeping your door open – literally and metaphorically. Make sure your employees know that you are an open-minded person who is always there to listen to new ideas, respond to questions, and spend time helping each employee. After all, leadership has, by far, the largest and most direct effect on employee engagement, the success of the company, atmosphere, and overall corporate culture. Be the leader that you would want to have at your workplace. In 2020, focus on being available, supportive, and appreciative of your employees – you may be surprised by the positive effects it has on your company. 

by Kadermann

Kate has been sober for 4 years and is an advocate for long-term recovery. She has found writing to be an important part of the healing process as well as a way to help break the stigma that surrounds addiction. She is a hiking fanatic and a dog enthusiast.