Understanding the Link Between Employee Health and Employee Engagement

Employees who feel engaged give more of themselves to their jobs and organizations. This results in higher productivity, higher customer satisfaction, and greater profitability. Managers are the key to employee engagement because they are in charge of keeping employees aware of their needs and how their work connects to organizational success. They also play a critical role in supporting wellness initiatives and encouraging healthy behaviors.

Reducing Stress

Stress can be caused by many things at work. From unrealistic production expectations to insufficient time for friends and family, workplace stress can harm employee well-being and impact job satisfaction and overall quality of life. Creating and maintaining a supportive workplace culture, where colleagues feel comfortable opening up about their mental health struggles, can reduce work stress. Encourage your people to talk openly about their issues and offer them the tools and resources to have better employee health and manage their stress, whether through a workplace wellness program, regular counseling, or simply encouraging mindfulness and relaxation techniques. A healthy team can better withstand the pressures of their jobs and will be able to perform in more productive ways. This can benefit the business because engaged employees are less likely to call in sick or take unscheduled leave, and they’ll be fully immersed in their work when they’re on the clock. Addressing the root causes of stress can be difficult, but it’s essential to do so to help your people stay engaged and motivated at work. For example, if your people are worried about their career progression or lack of opportunities for advancement, try to address these concerns as soon as possible. This can be done by offering training and professional development programs.

Boosting Energy

Employees with high energy and well-being are likelier to be engaged in their jobs. They’re more productive and healthier and miss 70% fewer workdays due to sickness over a year. Boosting an employee’s energy can be as simple as offering healthy snacks, encouraging stretching breaks, and providing flexible scheduling options. These small actions can make a massive difference to an individual’s ability to focus and engage in their tasks and the overall performance of the entire team. While boosting an employee’s energy is important, it’s also essential to understand the root causes of low engagement levels to take action and promote greater productivity. Employees who are numb to their job functions, lacking inspiration or motivation, and feeling bored can all contribute to low levels of engagement. Managers are responsible for identifying and supporting employees, ensuring they know what they need to thrive, and explaining how their work relates to the organization’s overall success. Managers can do this by having ongoing coaching conversations with their teams to help them identify needs and obstacles before they inhibit productivity. 

Boosting Confidence

If employees have confidence, they may engage in productive ways. Boosting employee confidence can help them take on more challenges at work and become more effective leaders. This could mean training leaders on how to have difficult conversations, creating supportive workplaces, or offering wellness activities that encourage connection, like meditation classes and team-building events. It’s important to remember that engagement isn’t just a feeling, though. The most engaged teams prioritize the elements of employee experience, which include clear expectations and support, adequate tools and materials, recognition at work, developmental opportunities, and a meaningful sense of purpose. Leaders who make this a priority set employees up for success, and they’re also more likely to see improved business results. Employees who feel engaged have a solid loyalty to their employers and go above and beyond to meet organizational goals. This leads to higher productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction. The best managers know how to engage their teams through ongoing coaching conversations and setting clear goals. They understand their employees’ strengths and talents, and they position assignments to align with those skills. They also provide regular feedback on the company’s values and mission. Managers who do this are 3x more likely to have high engagement levels than those who don’t.

Boosting Mental Health

Many organizations invest time and money in employee wellness programs. However, they often need to pay more attention to employee happiness for engagement, which is a costly error. Happiness is a momentary feeling that can vary daily, while authentic engagement translates into a desire to contribute to the company’s mission. When employees are engaged, they bring their whole selves to work, including their mental health. People who feel unwell are more likely to struggle with disengagement. That’s why addressing employees’ wellness needs is essential to engaging them at work. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to boost mental health and help employees perform at their best. Ultimately, the best way to understand an employee’s performance is to survey them regularly and listen to what they tell you. For instance, healthcare employees need to know that their managers are genuinely interested in their well-being and want to hear their feedback. They also need to be able to access the resources that will help them manage their stress and anxiety. Lastly, they need to be able to talk about these issues without fear of stigma and discrimination. When all these elements are in place, an employee’s mental health will improve, and they can engage with their work more flexibly.

Featured Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash