• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Improving employees’ wellbeing with psychosocial factors

Improving employees’ wellbeing with psychosocial factors

One interesting marker of a great place to work is how the employees behave at home and in their community, especially after the close of work. Are they grouchy, fearful, supportive, spent, full of energy, well-behaved, helping, loud, drained, eerily quiet, compassionate, or frustrated? This is why a robust workplace wellness programme goes beyond the physical safety to the psychological well-being of the employees which often encourages positive behaviours in an integrated wellness reform.

In organisations where psychological health and safety are paramount, employee health goes beyond physical to include cognitive, emotional, social, environmental, financial, career, spiritual and financial wellness. Through the adoption of this integrated wellness approach, organisations use a five-prong measure that is geared towards capturing the holistic nature of employees’ wellness in addressing their overall well-being.

Also, the emergence of certain health factors outside the workplace impacting the health and safety challenges faced by workers and vice versa has made it crucial to broaden interests to include other parties in the integrated wellness scheme. Issues such as stress from home, substance abuse, financial concerns, mental health challenges, and exhaustion can easily increase threats to safety at workplaces hence the need to be somewhat inclusive in the dynamics.

The continuous assessments improve workers’ cognitive, intellectual and psychological well-being among other benefits.

This integrated approach covers five core areas of workplace wellness which include employee engagement, work relevance and motivation alignment, workers’ financial security goals support, best work-life integration assistance and adoption of healthy work standards and metrics. In appreciation of and response to this support they and their families receive, employees perform well in organisations with heightened motivation to satisfy customers.

One of the five pillars of such an integrated wellness approach is sustainability and continuous improvement. This plan assesses the work environment from time to time to ensure check-ins, buy-ins, awareness, understanding, compliance, involvements, identification of areas of improvement and training. The continuous assessments improve workers’ cognitive, intellectual and psychological well-being among other benefits.

Another pillar of the integrated wellness approach is the prevention of harm which is of utmost priority in factories and hazard-prone workplaces. The wellness plan supports employee’s health and psychological well-being through the prevention of harm and danger by identification and avoidance of potential hazards. Regular training, effective routine drills, and provision of protective gear et al. are highly placed here.

The promotion of health is the third pillar of this workplace wellness approach. It optimises health and mental wellbeing by encouraging a culture of wellness that promotes the inclusion of body, mind and spirit. Mindfulness and meditation engage these three levels of human consciousness to promote a healthy balance of the core that aids wholeness, ideation and creativity.

Resolution of harm occurrence is the fourth pillar of the approach with a plan to support workers’ health and psychological well-being through amicable resolution of harm occurrences by taking corrective action against potential harm. This plan with great disability and integration programs helps a great deal in resolving the occurrence of accidents, drastically lowering its frequency too.

The fifth and last prong of this approach is organisational culture. This highly effective plan promotes a psychologically safe work environment by monitoring employees’ engagement and perception of the workplace.

Highlighting the interconnection of psychosocial factors in a healthy workplace, financial well-being is crucial. It extends beyond savings, aiming for financial freedom through investments supported by employers. Promoting financial empowerment involves fostering growth, development, and balance. Encouraging inclusiveness with stock options, co-operatives, pensions, and sponsorship opportunities enhances employees’ financial well-being.

The concept of spiritual well-being in a workplace is somewhat different from religion even though both acknowledge the importance of finding a synergistic balance among the tripartite–body, mind and soul. Employees flourish spiritually when they experience love, practice charity, enjoy inner peace, and are well-involved in their workplace. Finding purpose and knowing how it’s connected to that of the organisation for the greater good is a major booster.

Psychosocial factors such as physical safety protection and work-life integration, or balance impact employee’s physical well-being while organisational culture, civility, engagement, respect, clear leadership and expectation affect their social well-being. Involvement, growth, influence, development, competency requirements, capacity building, capability and psychological demands enhance their intellectual/cognitive well-being.

Interestingly, employees’ career and environmental well-being are affected by almost the same set of psychosocial factors. Improved recognition, reward, workload management, balance, engagement, growth, development, organisational culture, mental capacity, competency requirement, civility and respect will positively impact a worker’s environmental and career well-being.

This holistic approach required the involvement of top leadership in the organisation, human resource professionals, workplace wellness practitioners and organisational health experts for it to be successfully implemented for an effective change result.

Call To Action.

The thirteen psychosocial factors must be present in a workplace for it to be deemed psychologically safe and healthy to work in. These factors are (i) Balance, (ii) Clear Leadership and Expectations, (iii) Civility and Respect, (iv) Engagement, (v) Growth and Development, (vi) Involvement and Influence, (vii) Organisational Culture, (viii) Protection of Physical Safety, (ix) Psychological Demands, (x) Psychological Protection, (xi) Psychological Support, (xii) Recognition and Reward, (xiii) Workload Management.

Please pick the top three you would like to experience in your current workplace and share the reasons behind your choices. Kindly send your response to [email protected].

Olayinka Opaleye is a Wellbeing Specialist and Corporate Wellness Strategist. She writes from Lagos. Tel: 09091131150 or follow her on =[jwww.linkedin.com/in/olayinkaopaleye