How to Promote Well-Being at Work


Today the buzzword is “well-being,” but according to a study by Ipsos, 60% of adults reported feeling stressed to the point that it impacted their life. The link between “well-being” and “full engagement” is causing companies to rethink their productivity strategies.

“We have been more focused on the issue of well-being since the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Christelle Delavaud, personal development product manager at Cegos Group. “New work habits and remote activities have accelerated since 2020 and we have entered a digital age where we spend hours behind our computer screens.”

Other issues that have influenced the rise in mental and physical illness include:

  • Poor work-life balance
  • Financial worries caused by increased costs of living and inflation

How can engagement improve well-being

Well-being is now the focus of corporate social responsibility (CSR) for many companies, who consider the physical and mental health of their employees to be a cause worth investing in because it directly influences stability and long-term performance.

The Full Engagement model, created by performance psychologist Jim Loehr and journalist Tony Schwartz promotes individual awareness of how we manage our energy and how engaged we are in our well-being.

“We must analyse what level of stress we experience when involved in a particular activity,” explains Christelle. “Is it positive stress that helps me perform or is it negative stress which is bad for my well-being? Am I aware when I enter a bad stress situation or an episode of prolonged stress? What can I do to get out of it? Awareness, clear thinking and action are our best allies.”

The theory goes that our energy oscillates throughout the day. We spend energy on various activities, such as work and travel, and build energy through rest and physical exercise.

How can managing energy drive performance

Full engagement requires a balanced investment of energy across four sources (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) and involves developing a set of rituals that become automatic over time. By achieving the right balance of energy, we can become fully engaged in our work as well as in our personal lives.

So, what can we do to help balance our four sources of energy?

  1. Physical

Many of us lead sedentary lifestyles, especially those of us with desk jobs, yet physical exercise is crucial to keeping us healthy. Our physical health also has a direct impact on our mental health, so it is important that employees prioritise their physical health. Physical activity three times per week, regular breaks at work and taking the stairs rather than the lift can help learners build energy throughout the day. Learners should also be encouraged to stay hydrated.

  • Emotional

It’s important to keep our emotions in check, so we can deal with high pressure situations in a calm and reasoned way. To help learners achieve this, encourage them to turn off their phones for long periods during downtime, shutting down computers and other distractions to give 100% attention to those they are interacting with. These habits create strong, positive energy in learners’ work and home lives and keep negative emotions at bay.

  • Mental

Our mental state dictates our performance at work, it’s important to encourage learners to maintain their mental health by avoiding stressful situations when possible. Defining priorities for the week to focus on, sparing 20 minutes of the day for reading and writing down the most important tasks for the next day can help learners prepare mentally for a more positive life experience.

  • Spiritual

Regular reflection and a calm attitude make a huge difference to our performance, too. For example, encourage learners to take 10 minutes to meditate, look at a picture that reflects a positive view of the future and, before bed, reflect on the attitudes they had that day that brought them closer to living their purpose and those that drove them further away. The result will be a more balanced attitude to life that will positively impact their performance.

What can organisations do to improve employee well-being

CSR can play a role in encouraging employees to lead a healthy lifestyle. Paying for gym memberships, offering yoga classes or even providing massage services all contribute to improving employee well-being. While some leaders may sneer at these initiatives as a trivial waste of money, such programs can and do provide tangible benefits.

Massages and yoga, for example, help those who sit at a desk all day to reduce episodes of back pain. However, CSR can only do so much. “Ultimately, employees themselves must take ownership and responsibility for their mental and physical well-being, and not simply rely on company benefits,” says Christelle.

To start, employees can commit to using the Full Engagement model to create a better sense of well-being that will improve their performance.

Four key employee well-being initiatives

For training professionals looking to roll out employee well-being initiatives, there are several strategies to adopt:

Advocacy from the top

Management can raise awareness among employees by celebrating the results of their hard work in a presentation, while reminding them to balance their energy levels and take time out. This adds weight to the message and shows empathy.

Promoting mindfulness

Providing wellness resources and opportunities, like a team hike or yoga class can help employees take a step back and put into perspective how they take care of themselves. Managers can also encourage meditation. Five minutes of meditation is scientifically proven to be a real benefit to your mental and physical health.

Leading by example

Leaders across the business should set a good example and show employees how to establish productive behaviours and habits in their daily lives. This will have a positive impact on morale, especially if people are inspired by what they see from those higher up.

Allow time for breaks

Create spaces for relaxation, which allow for breaks in the daily routine. Regular breaks keep the mind fresh and focused and significantly improves productivity.

Many of the pressures we experience today will remain. Rapid change and uncertainty are now a part of life, so we must take extra care of ourselves and our colleagues to deal with these issues.

If companies take a determined approach to boost well-being at work through training and other efforts, and employees take responsibility for their physical and mental health, we can look forward to a world where fewer people report extreme stress levels and are far happier in and outside of the workplace.

This article is based on an article written by Cegos Group.