3 Surprisingly Effective Ways to Improve Employee Well-being at Your Private Practice
How much more could your practice achieve if sick days go down, job performance goes up and voluntary turnover comes to a halt?
According to Gallup, the answer is “a lot.” Recent research shows that well-being — how people experience life both inside and outside the office — is directly tied to success at work. And it impacts more than just job satisfaction and retention. Organizations lose $322 billion each year due to burnout caused by poor well-being.
Given these findings, you can’t afford to not invest in your employees’ wellness. But unfortunately, many employers overestimate worker well-being. By focusing on three essential areas, you can close that gap to help people thrive — and improve outcomes for your practice.
1. Actively support work-life balance
In an industry often defined by long hours and extensive shifts, work-life balance can sound like a pipe dream. In reality, it’s essential for the health of your practice.
When employees believe their employer cares about their health and wellness, they’re 38% more engaged and 18% more likely to go the extra mile. Proper work-life balance also reduces your risk of lowered performance and fatigue that can endanger others.
Granted, you can’t give employees work-life balance. Each person needs to decide for themselves how they’ll achieve it. However, you can create an office culture that supports it.
Ideally, when employees aren’t at work, they shouldn’t be working — or thinking about work. The human brain needs time to rest, refresh and refuel so people can bring their best to the office each day. If your employees regularly stay late, communicate with you during their off hours or volunteer for extra shifts, that’s a sure sign they feel pressure to overwork.
On the other hand, if your practice provides generous paid time off policies and allows plenty of room for employees to pursue personal interests, loyalty and commitment are bound to increase. You can even take this one step further by partnering with local restaurants, entertainment venues and other businesses to provide discounted access to off-hour activities that help support work-life balance.
2. Provide options for physical activity
American employees are more burned out than ever, with high rates of work fatigue in nearly every type of job associated with health care. It’s the kind of exhaustion that can’t be fixed simply by encouraging breaks or addressing management issues.
However, there is a surprisingly effective way to help employees manage day-to-day stress — one any practice can easily support. What is it? Make it easy for people to exercise.
In his highly popular book, neuropsychiatry expert John J. Ratey explains that physical activity not only improves mood but also serves as a natural antidote to reduce stress and anxiety. Even a simple 20- to 30-minute nature walk is enough to significantly drop cortisol levels.
For this reason, some organizations are adding “fitness time” to their list of employee benefits. Allowing employees to devote 30 minutes of their regular work hours to exercise, up to three times a week, can vastly improve well-being. In addition, surveyed employees say fitness center discounts — the most-wanted wellness benefit — help give them more energy and work and lead to fewer sick days.
3. Provide more learning and development opportunities
Well-being encompasses a lot more than just lowering stress and managing work-life balance. For people to thrive, they need to feel good about where their lives are heading. And for that, learning and development are key.
Across industries, 94% of surveyed employees say they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in helping them learn.
For Gen Z and Millennial employees, the benefits of professional development are even greater. Roughly a quarter say learning is the number one benefit that makes them happy at work, and that a lack of opportunities to grow is the top reason they’d leave their jobs.
If your practice hasn’t yet invested in professional development for employees, this is an excellent place to start when it comes to employee well-being. And if you do have programs in place, look for additional opportunities to expand. Tuition discounts, subsidized training, and access to certification courses are all great ways to support employees as they improve their skills — and bring more expertise to your practice.
Improve well-being with omo
Actively supporting employee well-being is one of the best ways to help build a thriving independent practice. The more options you provide for work-life balance and personal growth, the better positioned your practice will be for long-term success.
This is precisely why omo places such a high priority on employee well-being. We make it easy for our members to support well-being by providing quick and easy options for fitness center discounts, lifestyle benefits, mental wellness and education.