What does employee wellness look like in 2022?

For businesses, adjusting to the post covid ‘new normal’ means finding fresh ways to support people and nurture company culture. Employees are still dealing with more stress and uncertainty than usual. As leaders, it’s vital to prioritise employee wellbeing, focusing on improving the mental and physical health of your workforce. Fitness All Together looks at which wellness trends companies are adopting in 2022 and the value of investing in an effective employee wellness programme.

Fostering a sense of community

Encouraging social connection is a proven tool for boosting employee wellbeing. Forbes Magazine writes: “It is not just physical and mental well-being that is on the decline; social well-being (isolation and loneliness) is also worsening. Social isolation and loneliness were growing, but Covid-19 has exacerbated the situation for many people.”

A collaborative and open culture has also been shown to increase productivity and decrease absenteeism. Since covid there have been fewer opportunities for new employees to meet their colleagues. First impressions matter and offering a great onboarding experience positively impacts employee retention rates. Offering weekly workouts, team catch-ups and workplace competitions are creative ways for employees to connect, focus on wellbeing and have some fun along the way.

Stress Management

The Ministry of Health reported that almost 10% of Kiwi adults experienced psychological distress in 2021 –– a 7.5% increase year on year. It’s more important than ever to have a healthy and resilient workforce. Stress, especially when it’s chronic, suppresses our immune system. On the other hand, movement and mindfulness are two incredible tools for managing stress and optimising your health.

Support your people in shifting unhealthy lockdown habits - 20% of New Zealanders increased their alcohol consumption during lockdown and for many, drinking became a coping mechanism. Historically corporate socialising has centred around alcohol but it’s time to offer employees alternative ways to socialise. Start creating opportunities for your staff to build healthier habits to manage stress and build resilience.

Embracing flexible working

Pre-covid, the option to work from home was a benefit few NZ businesses offered. While recent analytics from LUMO have shown that many kiwis are heading back into offices, plenty are keen to continue working from home for at least part of their work week. Employee benefits should be accessible to everyone regardless of where they choose to work. Thankfully the surge in online/on-demand wellness platforms has created an easy and cost effective way for companies to give staff equal access to wellness resources. Now people can personalise their wellness routines to match their new way of working.

Lead by example

You’ve invested in an employee wellness programme but how do you achieve high levels of engagement? When leaders model healthy behaviour, this gives staff permission to do the same. Consider creating ‘meeting free’ blocks in the week when wellness initiatives are scheduled and encourage senior staff to attend. Group workouts or mindfulness sessions are for everyone, they also encourage a flatter hierarchy and work related stresses can be left aside.

Now is the perfect opportunity to reassess your business’s wellbeing programme and support staff with settling into new working routines. At Fitness All Together, we prioritise making corporate workouts enjoyable, inclusive and accessible for everyone. We are passionate about employee wellbeing and recognise that the need to stay active and healthy is more important than ever. If you would like to hear more, please reach out to kevin@fitnessalltogether.co.nz