3 essential ways you can help employees love coming to work — even on Mondays

crazy-hairThe personal wellbeing of your employees and the health of your organization are inextricably connected. To become a place where Monday mornings don’t suck, respect and recognize your employees’ needs both inside and outside the office.

There are lots of ways organizations try to make Mondays fun or productive, but the truth is that, for many, Monday morning at the office represents a return to drudgery or an overwhelming to-do list.

Believe it or not, your employees actually want to want to come to work. And it has nothing to do with your organization offering pay increases, bonuses, added PTO, or bigger raffle prizes at company picnics.

These essential tips will help you recognize, respect, and improve the various aspects of your employees’ wellbeing so they will feel freed, fueled, and inspired to bring their “A” game to work every day of the week.

Tip 1: Give Employees their Weekends Back

For your organization to thrive, you need motivated employees who love coming to work. And for that to happen, employees must have a healthy work-life balance.

The new realities of today’s workplace include options like flex-time, remote working opportunities, and corporate cell phone plans — all of which promise increased personal freedom. But, in fact, these “perks” often have the opposite effect. Even when on vacation or spending time with family, many employees admit to feeling a persistent, nagging impulse to check in on projects or respond to eMail on mobile devices.

Intuitively, managers know these types of working conditions are not sustainable — yet again and again, organizations fail to recognize the negative impact this can have on their employees.

Dr. C. Stephen Byrum, who has been studying work-life balance and organizational performance for over 40 years, found that not only does the performance of employees who lack a healthy work-life balance decline but that overall organizational effectiveness will also suffer. These are just a few of consequences for organizations:

  • Customer service declines as a result of increased stress.
  • Interpersonal communication becomes less effective.
  • Workplace accidents increase.
  • Turnover increases — particularly amongst top-performing employees.
  • Quality decision-making is compromised.

The first step to becoming an office where Monday mornings don’t suck is giving your employees permission to take evenings and weekends off! People who are content with their work-life balance have a greater capacity and willingness to bring their best to the office, even on a Monday morning.

Tip 2: Consider the Whole Person

Thriving personal wellbeing translates to thriving, productive employees. In addition to having a healthy work-life balance, employees who have thriving personal wellbeing will be more ready and willing to bring their best to work than their colleagues who feel stressed and unhappy.

According to research from the Gallup Organization, According to research from the Gallup Organization, employee wellbeing comprises five interconnected elements:

  • Social wellbeing: maintaining quality relationships, including love.
  • Physical/Emotional wellbeing: being in good health; having enough physical and mental energy to get important things done each day.
  • Financial wellbeing: the ability to effectively manage money. (It has more to do with feeling financially secure than making a lot of money.)
  • Community wellbeing: signifies the level of engagement people have to the area in which they live.
  • Career wellbeing: liking what you do every day, having meaning and purpose in your work.

Though it can be tricky to evaluate employee fulfillment (without a survey), there are metrics managers can use to get a sense of overall employee wellbeing. Here are some ways to evaluate each metric.

For social wellbeing, consider:

  • Participation at company-sponsored events & activities. When people have good relationships and feel socially connected, they want to attend social events.
  • Unused PTO at the end of the year. Those with a healthy social life and a good work-life balance are more likely to use all of their paid time off – it’s important for them to take time to strengthen their relationships.

For physical/emotional wellbeing, consider:

  • Lifestyle-related medical claims
  • Musculoskeletal-related claims
  • Workers’ Compensation claims
  • Mental health-related medical and disability claims
  • Antidepressant and anti-anxiety prescriptions
  • Stress and burnout
  • Average number of sick days taken

For financial wellbeing, consider:

  • Percentage of employees contributing to retirement plans
  • Average percentage of pay employees contribute to retirement plans
  • Number of loans or early withdrawals against the plan

For community wellbeing, consider:

  • Percentage of employees taking advantage of volunteer time-off benefits
  • Percentage of employees participating in charitable giving campaigns offered by the organization

For career wellbeing, consider:

  • Regrettable employee turnover
  • Employee referrals
  • Percentage of employees taking advantage of training and development opportunities
  • Job mobility within the company: the percentage of employees being promoted or moving laterally to new positions

Tip 3: Provide Employees a Clear Sense of Purpose

Of the five wellbeing elements, Gallup found that career wellbeing is the most important; it’s the one with greatest impact on a person’s overall quality of life.

By improving employee wellbeing at work, leaders have an opportunity to make an enormous impact in their employees’ lives.

The most important factor of career wellbeing is for employees to have a clear sense of purpose at the office. When employees understand how their work contributes to the organization, feel valued for everything they bring to the table, and are given the authority to take control of their work and life, the entire organization will reap the benefits.

Instead of being a place where Monday mornings suck, focus on becoming a thriving workplace where employees look forward to coming into the office every day!

Download a FREE chapter from How to Build a Thriving Culture at Work to get started on becoming a healthier workplace!

Rosie Ward, PhD, MPH, MCHES, BCC, CIC®, CVS-FR Rosie is an accomplished speaker, writer and consultant. She has spent more than 20 years in worksite health promotion and organizational development. In addition to her bachelor’s degrees in Kinesiology and Public Health, and a doctorate in Organization and Management, Rosie is also a Certified Intrinsic Coach® Mentor, Certified Judgment Index Consultant, a Certified Valuations Specialist, and a Board Certified Coach. Rosie uses this unique combination to work with executive and leadership teams to create comprehensive development strategies centered on shifting thinking patterns. She is a contributing author to the book, “Organization Development in Healthcare — High Impact Practices for a Complex and Changing Environment.” She leverages these principles to help organizations develop and implement strategies to create a thriving workplace culture that values and supports wellbeing and the unique, intrinsic needs of employees. Contact Rosie at rosie@salveopartners.com or drrosieward.com.

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