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Creating a Culture of Wellbeing at Work Needn't Stress You Out

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Companies across Ireland are gearing up for National Workplace Wellbeing Day today (29th April). A key date in the calendar for employers, managers and HR teams alike, the day is often used to promote wellbeing among staff.

For one day only, many of Ireland’s workers will be treated to a goodie bag filled will stress balls and pamphlets on meditative breathing or invited to join an in-house yoga class to celebrate the day.

But workplace wellbeing should be a focus for HR and bosses every day, says Matrix Recruitment’s Kieran McKeown: “The concept of wellbeing at work is tied to job satisfaction. More often than not, a person’s level of job satisfaction will determine if an employee stays at a company and can also affect their level of productivity, so it is in an employer’s best interest to ensure that their staff and their wellbeing are looked after in the workplace.”

Matrix Recruitment’s latest survey* found that over half of Ireland’s workforce (55%) has fallen out of love with their job in the past 12 months and one third left their jobs during the pandemic. The reasons for quitting varied from a poor work/life balance (28%) and stress (23%) to being unhappy in their role (36%) and wanting to work remotely (11%).

With this in mind, Matrix Recruitment has some tips to help businesses create a culture of wellbeing in the workplace and ensure staff stay happy and engaged in their jobs:

Be flexible: There’s a huge demand for flexible working post-pandemic and it’s something employers should consider carefully. Flexibility and hybrid working models can significantly reduce stress in employees. When employees remove commute time by working from home, or clock on earlier or later in the day it can open a whole new schedule for them – be it slotting in a gym class before work, dropping the kids off at school or getting home in time to go for a post-work walk. These little differences can do a lot to improve wellbeing and ensure staff feel looked out for.

Check in with staff: Employers and managers should regularly check in with staff to ensure they feel supported and happy in their roles. A survey or anonymous suggestion box can be a great way to gauge if there are ways of working that can be improved upon or if enough is being done to support and encourage a culture of wellbeing in the workplace. Ensure staff are aware of the wellbeing services available to them and if there aren’t any, it might be time to consider what you need to do to prioritise the health and wellbeing of your workforce.  Make it a priority to ask staff if there are other services that they feel would help support them further.

Lead by example: When it comes to workplace wellbeing, managers and employers should practice what the preach. Show staff those moments in the day that you take for a little ‘me time’, be it a 10-minute coffee break at 11am, a walk in the fresh air post-lunch or the 1-minute meditation video you like to use when things get a little stressful. A key area where you can lead by example is by taking your lunch hour and not sitting in front of your desk when doing so. This will show employees that moments of relaxation are encouraged and allowed.

*The Matrix Recruitment Dream Jobs Survey was conducted online in March 2022 among 835 adults working across a broad range of industries, sectors and regions. The survey looked at a range of career-related topics and shifting attitudes towards work since the pandemic.