In order to reinforce their image and also to motivate their employees, many companies are embarking on a QWL (quality of life at work) approach. What exactly is the situation and why should professionals pay more attention to well-being at work in 2021? Do you want to know? Here are our tips for being in the know!
H2 How to define well-being at work?
When we talk about well-being at work, we immediately think of a comfortable and well-designed work environment, a good working atmosphere and optimal employee development in the company. This can increase productivity, reduce absenteeism in your company and retain talent.
The official WHO definition
If we paraphrase the WHO definition of well-being at work, we could say that "it is a state of mind resulting from a good harmony between the expectations and abilities of an employee and the conditions in which he or she evolves in the workplace".
The International Labour Organisation also states that well-being is an important keyword in the WHO definition of health. According to the WHO, health is not only the absence of disease or infirmity, but also total mental, physical and social well-being. According to the ILO, "well-being at work is therefore based on all aspects of working life, from safety and the quality of the physical environment to employees' perceptions of their work, but also on other criteria such as climate, environment and management style.
The differences between well-being at work and happiness at work
Well-being is mainly related to the quality of life at work (QWL), the conditions and the work environment in which the employee evolves. It can also be based on other factors such as security, the feeling of being valued and the fact of working autonomously. Happiness is more subjective and personal and cannot be measured.
What are the benefits of well-being at work?
Prevention of psychosocial risks (PSR)Psychosocial risks are conditions that can affect the physical and mental integrity of your employees. They can be caused by the pressure they are under, by a lack of training, by an unfavourable work environment or by harmful interpersonal relations.
Their unhappiness will be felt in their performance and productivity. They will be less fulfilled, will no longer have any ambition and will end up resigning. You will be obliged to hire and train new talent regularly. The latter will take more or less time to settle in and become fully operational. In the long run, this high turnover will have a negative impact on the overall results of your company. The implementation of well-being within a company is therefore more than essential. You must therefore accompany your employees in order to :
- identify their needs, - identify the difficulties they face, - identify their concerns about their tasks, their relationship with management or with other colleagues.
Your employees must also be protected from any form of violence or harassment, as working in peace also contributes to their mental health.
They also appreciate that their workload is well thought out to avoid burnout. They also like to participate in the collective effort while enjoying a certain amount of autonomy in their work. Working hours are also an important issue. In 2021, with teleworking, all employees must be able to define the hours they work. They must plan breaks and ensure that there is no imbalance between private and professional life.
Make your employer brand shine
Well-being at work gives you a good reputation with the public. Your company will be recognised for its ethics, which are reflected in the fulfilment of your employees. In order to unite your teams, you can draw up a charter in which you state your values.
The establishment of a climate of mutual respect also enables your staff to carry out their tasks with confidence. Each employee feels accepted and is fully involved in the company's development. They can also rely on the loyalty of the entire team.
Transparency is also important, as it means that there is excellent communication between your staff. Internal procedures are clear, managers are clear about their needs. They give feedback and recognition.
Every recruitment must also be effective and relevant. By putting the right people in the right job, they will be truly competent for the tasks they are given within the company. By feeling useful, they will be loyal to your organisation, will not see the time pass and will not think of leaving you. In short, a low turnover and absenteeism rate reflect the well-being of your employees.
Finally, it is also interesting to engage your employees in a long-term project. Everyone will give their best and all your staff will feel rewarded at the end of it.
How to ensure well-being at work?
Collect feedback from your employees
There are several techniques for getting feedback from your employees. For example, work sessions and team building are perfect for giving them a voice. You can also organise one-to-one interviews where everyone talks to a psychologist. Another solution is to send them a QWL questionnaire which they fill in as honestly as possible, anonymously. Then compile their answers in order to determine the gaps in your management style and the points to be strengthened to optimise their well-being.
Improve your working environment
A good working atmosphere means that you promote harmony between your employees. Everyone is well integrated. Disruptive people and those who spoil the mood of other workers are put back on track through dialogue;
- The layout of the premises: as far as possible, everyone should have their own workspace which they can decorate according to their taste. Your premises must also be accessible to people with reduced mobility;
- Lighting: it affects the mood and productivity. It should be functional and comforting. As much as possible, make sure that natural light floods your spaces without being dazzling; workers are more productive when they use quality and ergonomic furniture. So choose furniture that is comfortable, fits well and provides a good support. Ideally, those who work at a desk should be able to adjust its height and alternate between sitting and standing;
- A nap is a moment of rest that your employees should be able to take after lunch. A 20-minute micro-nap in a designated break room is proven to be beneficial to the body and makes them more alert; Safety in the workplace allows them to perform their tasks with confidence. They know that the premises comply with standards, that they are safe from accidents, and that the layout of the premises facilitates their evacuation in the event of a disaster;
- The noise level must be optimal and not exceed a certain threshold in order to promote concentration, but also to avoid stress;
- Heating and air-conditioning must be well regulated and contribute to the comfort of workers;
Improving health at work
More and more workers want to exercise in order to escape from a sedentary lifestyle. By providing a gym, you can help them stay fit and active during the day. Yoga classes are useful for releasing stress, but also for strengthening the muscles. A healthy mind in a healthy body.
The games room allows them to relax together during the lunch break and to maintain friendly relations. You can set up table tennis, table football or even a futsal field. People who prefer less physical activities can play board games.
Setting up a company crèche is another practical and reassuring solution for parents. They know that their children are in good hands, not far from them. Young mothers will be able to visit their babies and breastfeed them as much as they like.
Finally, a healthy lifestyle for your employees includes sport, but also healthy meals. Many companies do not hesitate to offer them balanced meals or snacks from vending machines.
Use plants for the well-being of your employees
Numerous studies have shown that plants help to create a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere in the workplace. They boost morale, absorb stress and clean the air. Green is also soothing to the eyes, and plants also filter out sound, creating a calm atmosphere in the office, even when there are many people working. The green wall is very aesthetic and can be placed on any wall. Planters can be used to delimit work areas. In general, ficus, palm trees and bamboo are ideal for inspiring plant arrangements.
Encourage discussion and give your employees a voice
Ask your human resources department to organise group workshops so that everyone can vent their feelings. The participants will feel relaxed and will not hesitate to express themselves. You can also carry out assessments in order to determine whether each employee is fulfilled or whether he or she is on the verge of burnout or bore-out (also known as professional exhaustion through boredom).
By facilitating exchanges, ensure that the whole team is united and determined to achieve common goals. Everyone will support each other, even in a situation of extreme tension.
Work on the employee experience
Guaranteeing well-being at work starts at the time of hiring and sometimes even before your new recruit joins the company. During the onboarding stage, support them so that they can find their feet and easily adapt to their new professional environment and work tools.
The offboarding must also be done properly. Announce your employee's departure without stigmatising him/her. After the handover, a final interview will allow you to get feedback on the employee's experience within your company. Training courses can also be offered to employees in order to strengthen their skills. They will discover new technologies that will benefit your company.
Personal coaching sessions will be appreciated by those who do not feel really comfortable and who want to integrate better. Such coaching can also be useful for employees who have been placed in new positions and will therefore have to adapt to their new responsibilities.
The introduction of a transparent pay scale removes the risk of frustration and jealousy, as everyone is placed on an equal footing. It ensures that employees in the same professional category and with the same qualifications are treated in the same way.
Well-being also means a fulfilling private life. Some companies, such as Shine, grant eight weeks' paternity leave (as opposed to the legal requirement of 28 days) to employees whose wives have given birth.Finally, the right to disconnect must always be respected, even if it is sometimes tempting to call an employee on holiday or after working hours. It is important for them to maintain a good work-life balance. It is even a good idea to encourage them to completely detach themselves from work when they are at home in order to avoid burnout.
The Chief Happiness Officer, soon to be indispensable?
The Chief Happiness Officer's mission is to ensure the happiness and well-being of employees. One of his or her roles is to establish a corporate culture based on a "feel good" philosophy. He or she can also organise unifying activities with the aim of bringing the teams together. Finally, he or she ensures that no unhealthy situation escalates.
How to measure well-being at work?
Well-being at work is an abstract concept that you can measure through feedback from your employees.
Use tools to retrieve their level of satisfaction
You will know if your employees are really happy and fulfilled at work by asking their opinion directly. Your HR department or management can arrange interviews, but the results may be biased if your employees are not willing to speak out. The best solution is therefore to carry out anonymous QWL surveys.
The SATIN questionnaire is one of the most effective techniques for determining the health or psychosocial risks to which employees in a company may be exposed. It includes a number of questions on, among other things, their health, the arduousness of their tasks, the characteristics of their physical and social environment at work, their assessment of their organisation, their relationship with their superiors, the clarity of instructions, etc.
By studying their answers, you will be able to detect the shortcomings in your organisation and the problems they face, and define a strategy for working on the professional development of your employees.
Labels, ratings and certifications
Many companies want to show that they offer the best working conditions to their employees by adhering to labels. This also helps to reassure their current employees and attract high-potential talent.
Great Place to Work certification is awarded to companies that have completed the Trust Index© survey and are recognised as offering excellent working conditions to their employees. It is valid for one year.
The OzmoZ label focuses more on the working environment, on the comfort and interior layout of the premises and on HR management. It is awarded after an audit. For a 3-year label, you must undergo another audit allowing experts to affirm that the well-being of your employees is maintained or improved.
Glassdoor is a platform where your current or former employees rate you and give their opinion. This will give people interested in joining your company a better idea of the working conditions you offer.
Squadeasy, an application that encourages well-being at work
The Squadeasy application aims to improve the quality of life at work of participating employees through games and connected challenges.
Within the company itself, Squadeasy implements regular actions to promote the well-being of its employees. For example, lunch breaks are often used for group sports activities (fitness, football, yoga, etc.), thus strengthening cohesion between the various members of the company and helping them to get to know their peers better.
In addition, group lunches for all employees are often organised so that the teams can meet and discuss with each other.
On the practical and material side, the offices have been arranged so that employees feel at ease, with a space dedicated to rest (sofa, plant, etc. ....) quite distinct from the work space.
Squadeasy works every day to improve the well-being of its employees at work, in particular by collecting as many opinions and feelings as possible about their work situation, especially with regard to the workload and working conditions.