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9 Ways To Create A Healthy Work Environment To Improve Employee Health

10 min read
Last Updated on 18 April, 2024

“If there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I’m going wherever they value loyalty the most.” - Dwight Schrute, The Office.

As an employer, you scrutinize and handpick your employees with maximum potential who can meet your revenue goals. On the other hand, nowadays, employees look for and desire to be a part of an organization with a healthy work environment.

Therefore, creating a healthy workplace is essential if you want to retain your employees and minimize the turnover rate. Establishing a healthy work environment helps keep your employees motivated and productive.

You can achieve this through the following:

  • providing clear goals and objectives

  • offering rewards and recognition for their hard work and loyalty

  • creating a supportive and collaborative environment

According to the Gitnux market data report 2024, 72% of employees have left their jobs due to a toxic work environment, and 51% of employees plan to leave their current job due to a toxic work environment.

If you are looking for tips on creating a healthy work environment, then you have landed on the right blog. I have curated this blog which will cover all about creating a healthy workplace for employees.

What is meant by a healthy work environment?

Group of employees making conversation at a healthy work environment
A healthy work environment means a workplace that encourages open communication and collaboration. Additionally, a healthy workplace has a positive culture supporting all the dimensions of wellness for employees.

An ideal healthy work environment is one where employees feel excited and motivated to work dedicatedly.

Here are the basic signs of what a healthy work environment looks like:

  • Employees are excited to attend the office and work.

  • Employees are encouraged to share their input at work without any hesitation.

  • Employees respect each other at the workplace without being forced.

  • The workplace understands employees may have a bad day sometimes. And taking some time off from work is completely normal.

  • The company offers wellness programs to promote a healthy lifestyle and work-life balance.

  • Employees are regularly recognized and receive appreciation for their work.

What Makes a Work Environment Unhealthy?

Employee feeling stressed at work

1. Long work hours without breaks:

As an employer, you must make a viable workspace for employees to work productively and retain them. Giving employees an undesirable deadline to deliver work induces unwanted stress.

You may think putting them under pressure will get work done sooner. In the long run, it will lead to burnout among employees, reducing productivity.

2. Poor communication and lack of trust:

Many employees complain of miscommunication on the part of the management. In such cases, the work delivery doesn't match the requirements and gets sent back for rework.

Another factor that makes a workspace unhealthy is the lack of trust between employees and the management. Once a job is assigned to an employee, they should be at liberty to complete the task in their own way.

Micromanagement will only lead to frustration and demotivation. This, in turn, impacts their ability to work diligently.

3. Workplace bullying and harassment:

Employee getting bullied at work
A survey suggests that 75 percent of employees have experienced workplace bullying. Out of this, 19.7 percent are American workers. Workplace bullying often begins as a snide remark from one coworker to another. This can quickly escalate and become more serious, leading to a hostile work environment.

Companies should take proactive steps to prevent bullying and harassment. This includes creating policies that protect employees from being bullied or harassed and offering workshops on handling such situations.

4. Office politics and gossip:

Employee distresed due to office gossip
Gossiping is an inevitable human behavior. The foremost impression of gossip in everyone’s eyes is negative. In most cases, office gossip creates tension and anxiety among employees.

Yet, some employers suggest some gossip tends to create a sense of camaraderie among co-workers. However, companies should drop subtle hints to employees about maintaining a boundary when it comes to gossiping.

Companies should discourage gossip and create an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. It is worth mentioning employers cannot directly impose a no-gossip policy in the workplace.

Work environments have many factors that affect the well-being of workers. How well an employee engages with these factors decides how enjoyable it is to work. How long they will stay in the job also depends on these factors.

Employers must consider these points to assess their work environment. Once it is properly assessed, necessary adjustments can be made.

Now, let’s look at the nine ways employers can create a healthy work environment.

9 Ways to create a healthy work environment

1. Improve Office Ergonomics

Employees working in an ergonomic space
Employees spend 8 to 9 hours of their day in the office. How they spend their time working throughout the day. So, employers must provide desks and chairs to support their employees’ posture and movement. Maintaining workplace ergonomics is a tiny step towards building a healthy work environment.

A healthy workplace also has proper lighting and air circulation. Additionally, employers should encourage employees to take regular breaks throughout the day. In doing so, employees get to recharge and refresh themselves. Further, this builds a positive bond with their management.

2. Create transparent management and policies

Every employee wants to work where the management is clear about its ambitions. Violated management principles and inefficient use of resources affect an organization's bottom line.

Employees also expect an honest relationship between the management and all its workers. So it is crucial to have well-set guidelines to build trust and strong bonding.

Hire the right people, establish open communication channels. Keep the employees updated about the company policies. Make every one of them feel valued and inclusive. All these are the big ticks in the box for employees' preferred workplace dynamics.

3. Promote friendly and flexible working conditions

No one wants to work in an intimidating workplace. It has a direct impact on productivity. Employees' mental health improves when they work in a comfortable workplace.

Keep a tab on your employees' mental wellness and provide flexible working hours . Create a friendly and supportive work culture. Incorporate Activity-based working. It has reported benefits of productivity and improved confidence amongst employees.

4. Conduct Recreational activities

Sometimes working in the routine can be nerve-racking for employees. Recreational activities are the best way to unplug from daily office chores.

Conduct fun activities and games. It can promote team bonding and give a more enjoyable work experience to the employees. It is a very effective way to keep the office environment mellow and comfortable. It also helps in de-stressing the employees.

5. Promote collaboration at work

An ideal workplace is one where the employees can work together and maintain synergy. Working together is something that needs to be done proactively. Assign projects for employees to work in groups and complete a task.

Working together on a project allows employees to learn each other’s temperament and values. This instills a collaborative spirit and builds trust among the employees. It also fosters camaraderie, as the employees are required to deliver a task on time.

6. Encourage healthy communication among co-workers

Communication is the foundation stone of any healthy and effective work environment. All employees in an office are like family. And for a healthy family, all members must be on the same page. Proper communication is a critical key that will unlock success for an organization.

Provide employees with a well-structured and easy layout to express themselves. They must not hesitate to share their thoughts, feelings, and observations. Ask your employees to be empathetic and help new colleagues to adjust smoothly.

Additionally, you can hold departmental meetings for employees to share their views and ideas without judgment.

7. Encourage and set an example of a healthy lifestyle

Promoting a healthy lifestyle is a great initiative to create a healthier work environment. Employers taking a step to improve their employees’ lifestyle assures employees that their wellness is important. This has a positive impact on their perception of the organization and management.

Incorporate a suitable corporate wellness program that will target all dimensions of wellness. To encourage participation, incentivize and recognize your employees at the end of every wellness challenge.

Pro-tip for employers and HRs: The best way to encourage wellness among employees is to take part in the wellness challenges actively.

8. Provide a healthy competitive environment for individual growth

Everyone wants an opportunity to learn and improve their skills. Middlesex University's Institute for Work-Based Learning reports that 56% of HR Managers consider training as a business enabler. Employees prefer to work for a company providing regular training for career development.

Encourage your employees to grow and improve themselves. It not only helps in engagement but also boosts retention rates. It ensures the efficient use of resources.

Employees can adapt to handle more complex tasks. Upscale the business as employees become more advanced and adaptive.

  • Incorporate both hard and soft skills training.

  • Provide opportunities for personal and professional development.

  • Give employees a monthly allowance to spend on training.

  • Create mentor programs.

  • Encourage your employees to take part in wellness programs.

A confident employee contributes immensely to create a positive work environment.

9. Reward your employees

Employee receives recognition at work
People are less likely to work hard if their achievements go unnoticed. An unrecognized employee will have no excitement and happiness in the workplace. Reward your employees from time to time to make them feel valued. Use the reward system by following the below methods-

Bonuses: Employees usually respond to financial incentives as a reward for outstanding performance.

Perks: Perks aren't financial, but employers use them to reward employees. Half days, get-togethers, and social activities encourage employees and make them feel acknowledged.

Workplace amenities– Amenities like a gym can encourage employees to be regular at work. They no longer need to compromise on their wellness goals in pursuit of their job demands.


Maintaining and Promoting a Healthy Work Environment

Creating a healthy work environment is one thing, but maintaining it is equally important if you want the culture to sustain in the long run.

Here are some points you should consider to maintain and promote a healthy workplace.

1. Regular monitoring and assessment:

After setting up and enforcing the plan to create a healthy workplace, assessing your strategy is crucial. This will help you to understand if you want to build a sustainable workplace.

To start off, gauge employee satisfaction, carry out anonymous surveys to learn their opinions and impact on their work life.

Hold monthly meetings where your employees and you can address related concerns. Celebrate when you and your employees meet the little milestones of wellness challenges.

2. Openness to feedback and change:

Employees giving feedback to management
You should be open to feedback your employees will share during the assessment sessions. Always be ready to take the feedback constructively and tweak your strategy accordingly.

3. Strong leadership commitment:

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” - John C. Maxwell

As I mentioned in the blog, you must equally participate in the wellness initiative and lead by example. The zeal of employees to participate in wellness activities depends on how the management works.

4. Continuous learning and development:

Invest in training your employees, provide resources for mental and physical well-being, and encourage personal growth. Offer interactive workshops that will help employees safeguard their well-being.

How are workplaces becoming healthier?

Group of happy employees in a healthy work environment
Organizations from around the world are actively embracing and promoting the concept of workplace wellness. This increased demand has led the wellness industry to reach an annual growth of $8.5 trillion by 2027.

Here are examples of two companies that are working to make their workplaces healthy:

BAE Systems Ordnance Systems, Inc.:

In an effort to minimize healthcare costs, BAE Systems, which produces high-end explosive products for the US Army, introduced wellness benefits. The outcome was they saw a significant decrease in employee medical claims, an increase in employee productivity, and about 42 percent reduced health risks.

First Citizens National Bank:

A financial institution based in Tennessee aimed to instill healthy habits in their employees. The organization introduced several initiatives, such as wellness-oriented competitions, smoke cessation classes, and online Pilates.

They incorporated their annual incentives system with the wellness initiative to motivate employee participation. The organization saw an impressive 94 percent employee participation rate.

Make The Workplace A Better Place With Vantage Fit

Vantage fit apps user interface
Vantage Fit is your one-stop solution for all your workplace wellness worries and needs. It is an AI-powered platform that offers a variety of solutions for HR to promote employee wellness seamlessly in their organization.

You will find all the basic and essential features such as a step tracker, nutrition tracker, sleep tracker, HR dashboard for HRs to study their employees’ wellness progress, and more. HRs can create customized wellness programs or roll out pre-designed wellness challenges to motivate employees to stay fit.

To boost motivation, Vantage Fit offers incentivization, which employees can earn on completing the challenges.

To learn more about us, schedule a demo with us today.

Final Words

A healthy working environment benefits the business in the long run. An employee working in a healthy workspace will be an asset to the organization.

Tory Burch once said, "Entrepreneurs have an exceptional ability to create change. They can be flexible, build companies and cultivate the work environment they want to work in."

Lower absenteeism rates, reduced healthcare costs, and increased productivity are essential ingredients for every successful organization.

These should be enough reasons to entice employers to invest in improving the work environment. Understanding the changing dynamics of the workplace and bringing on the necessary adjustments is the key.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the characteristics of a healthy work environment?

Employees feel excited to work for the organization, can openly share their opinions, and respect each other in the workplace. Also, an ideal healthy workplace is where employees can take a day off to care for their health without repercussions.

What is an example of a healthy work environment?

A simple example of a healthy work environment is where managers or employers do not micromanage the employees.

Why is creating a healthy work environment important?

Creating a healthy workplace is important if employers want to retain employees, reduce healthcare costs, and create a positive brand image in the market.

This article is written by Nizamul Bhuyan, a content writer and marketer at Vantage Circle. With a philosophical approach to life and curiosity to learn new things, he adores Football, Travelling and Classic rock music in that order. To get in touch, reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com

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