60% of the world’s population spends a large part of their lives at work and therefore it is essential that the working environment is safe and healthy. Along the same lines, several studies have found that the emotional well-being of the workforce leads to increased productivity and reduced staff turnover and absenteeism (Domínguez and Blanco, 2022; Grimani, Aboagye and Kwak, 2019, Martínez-Vargas and Rivera-Porras, 2019). . As determined by the National Institute for Safety and Health at Work (INSST, 2022), it is necessary to assess and prevent the development of psychosocial risks that may hinder or harm the development of work and the physical and psychological health of workers. For this reason, the establishment and maintenance of a workplace welfare plan is of vital importance to the success of the company.
What do we mean when we talk about psychological well-being? According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2022), it is a mental state that positively improves the cognitive, emotional, behavioral and social development of each person and, therefore, promotes a favorable relationship of the individual towards his physical health, personal identity and with his work.
What is a workplace wellness plan and why is it important?
Work wellness plan is a strategic program designed with the purpose of improving the quality of life of the workforce through their professional development and personal growth, so that they can continue to climb the corporate pyramid, while striving to increase productivity, competitiveness, reputation and attractiveness of the company.
According to the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Social Security (MITRAMISS) of Spain, well-being at work is the key to a productive, motivated and committed workforce in a company.
INSST (2022) ensures that the correct implementation of the well-being plan should address the psychosocial factors of the company (work content, workload, working hours, professional development, etc.) in order to prevent corresponding psychosocial risks (monotonous work, insufficient or excessive workload, poor conciliation, professional stagnation, etc.). These risks are usually primarily responsible for:
- create a negative social environment with little cohesion.
- reduce work commitment and motivation.
- increase staff turnover.
- cause work stress or syndrome burn.
- make it difficult to reconcile work and family.
- reduce business productivity.
Therefore, optimizing the emotional well-being of employees not only benefits their psychological, physical and social health, but also:
- improves the working environment and the cohesion of the workforce.
- encourages greater commitment and motivation in work teams.
- it develops loyalty, not the flight of talent.
- encourages personal and professional development.
- It reduces absenteeism and stress.
- increases professional performance.
According to the World Health Organization (2022), the psychosocial interventions with the most scientific support in the literature are stress management instruction to cope with workload, inclusion of services such as psychotherapy to improve mental health, education and training of staff to promote internal advancement and flexibility work in order to reconcile work and family.
The facilitator and ally of these interventions is the approach of positive psychology. What is its purpose? To achieve optimal personal and professional development of people by emphasizing the experiences, emotions, strengths and positive virtues of each of them, which in turn are drivers to give more of themselves and be better.
How do we develop a wellness plan? Step by step.
For a workplace wellness plan to be successful, it must: be included in company policy, be in the public domain, take into account the three dimensions that make up the overall health of the workforce (psychological, physical and social health) and the culture of the company organization, along with the mission and vision, and have a budget for its realization.
The steps for implementing the wellness plan are as follows:
Identify weaknesses and projections. All possible information should be collected on the job satisfaction and needs of the staff, their well-being index, the work environment, together with projections for the future of the workforce and the company, in order to establish a starting point. and the goal as a goal. Pulse surveys can be used as a measurement tool. For example, at this stage of the plan, workers could determine that they are overloaded (psychological risk), that conditions are unfavorable (physical risk) and that interpersonal relationships are inadequate or non-existent (social risk), or that the task itself carries psychosocial risk (dealing with vulnerable persons). [RI1]
Develop intervention strategies. Then goals must be defined and actions or programs must be established (with appropriate deadlines and costs) in order to achieve the desired projections and prevent or eliminate the development of psychosocial risks. They can be carried out by an internal and competent team of the company or a group of external experts (organizational psychologists). For example, the workload could be redistributed after hiring new staff or workflows could be redesigned to increase efficiency, the physical workspace could be updated to be ergonomic and safe (physical risk) and, finally, it could be promoted a more interactive and cohesive work environment through the realization of group dynamics and a decisive leadership orientation towards the well-being of employees. Similarly, a company may propose to reduce staff turnover by 10% over the year, reduce stress sick leave or its duration, or set a desired minimum score for key performance indicators or KPIs.
Put it into practice. The implementation of the plan will not be the initiation of a one-time process, but a continuous one, by which information will be generated permanently. Strategies, programs or techniques must be followed and implemented in a disciplined and consistent manner and must be known by all workers. These programs must also involve all the departments and specialists of the company to be created healthy society.
measurement results. It is necessary to carry out continuous monitoring of the results, so that conclusions can be drawn and connections between different factors and psychosocial risks can be established, and appropriate corrective measures can be implemented.
Make the necessary adjustments. Finally, strategies must be gradually changed and adjusted according to the needs and goals of the workforce and the company, in order to meet the goals and achieve the set goals, in line with the mission, vision and organizational culture.
By guaranteeing the psychological well-being of the workforce, the company contributes to increasing their motivation when doing work and, as a result, gives them greater cognitive flexibility to resolve conflicts and provide solutions. In the BANI environment (Fragile fragile, anxious anxious, Non-linear there is no linear e Incomprehensible incomprehensible) uncertain as the current one, companies need to have the maximum contribution and engagement of their workers, so taking care of their comprehensive well-being is a strategic necessity.
Content is written by the TherapyChat clinical content team led by Isabel Aranda, health psychologist and content manager.
Photo by Alesi Kazantsev on Unsplash