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Lead with heart: Prioritise employee wellbeing and win employee devotion

Including a wellbeing plan for your employees is not just a business strategy; it's a testament to your leadership and vision for a thriving workplace. By prioritising your employees’ wellbeing, you're demonstrating a commitment to creating a culture where they flourish both professionally and personally. It's about being the kind of leader who understands that when employees feel genuinely supported and valued, they become more engaged, productive, and loyal. 

New York Bulls player gives coat to mascot amidst pouring rain
A New York Red Bulls player gave his coat to a mascot during heavy rain, demonstrating authentic care for the mascot's wellbeing. Inspired by his leadership, the rest of the team followed suit, showcasing authentic leadership qualities.

Why does workplace wellbeing matter?

And, why you should care.

Prioritising workplace wellbeing isn't just a trend and truth be told, it isn’t just a way to win your employee’s devotion; it’s actually fundamental to your business's success. Beyond comfort and happiness, it encompasses mental and emotional health, defining a thriving life. Wellbeing is pivotal because it directly boosts productivity, sparks creativity, and fortifies resilience. 

Did you know that employees with high wellbeing levels are better equipped to navigate stress, make wise decisions, and excel in their roles, ultimately propelling your business forward. Investing in your employees' wellbeing not only enhances their performance but also cultivates loyalty and commitment to you as an employer, fostering a workforce that is dedicated to your company's success.

Why does my organisation need a wellbeing strategy?

For employees, the absence of a tailored wellbeing strategy can lead to increased stress, burnout, and disengagement, ultimately resulting in higher turnover rates and decreased job satisfaction. Individually, employees may experience mental health issues, physical ailments, and a diminished sense of purpose or fulfilment in their roles. A properly written and personalised wellbeing strategy is crucial; without it, your organisation risks detrimental effects on productivity, morale, and overall success.

Without an intelligent wellbeing strategy your workforce is compromised

On a company-wide level, the lack of a well-structured wellbeing strategy can contribute to a negative workplace culture marked by absenteeism, reduced productivity, and higher healthcare costs. Organisations without proactive measures to support employee wellbeing may also struggle to attract and retain top talent. Moreover, a fragmented approach to wellbeing can impede teamwork, innovation, and overall organisational resilience in the face of challenges.

The benefits of an individualised workplace wellbeing strategy

In contrast, a thoughtfully crafted and individualised wellbeing strategy promotes a supportive environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and empowered to perform at their best. It enhances employee satisfaction, fosters a positive workplace culture, and contributes to long-term organisational success. By prioritising wellbeing, companies can cultivate a resilient workforce capable of adapting to change and achieving sustainable growth.

"Including a wellbeing plan for employees is not just a business strategy; it's a testament to your leadership and vision for a thriving workplace.”

The five pillars of workplace wellbeing

Addressing each of the five pillars of workplace wellbeing is essential as they collectively support the comprehensive health and satisfaction of employees. By nurturing each dimension, your organisation can foster an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and not only empowered to thrive, but have a desire to thrive, both personally and professionally.

1. Physical wellbeing

From a physiological standpoint, prioritising wellbeing promotes longevity and reduces the risk of chronic illnesses. Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep, forms a cornerstone of overall wellbeing. When the body is well-cared for, it functions optimally, enhancing energy levels and immune system resilience.

Ways to support your employees with physical wellbeing:

  • Encourage regular breaks, offer flexible work arrangements that support exercise routines, and promote a healthy work environment.

  • Encourage regular exercise, such as offering gym memberships or fitness classes.

  • Offer health screenings, ergonomic assessments.

  • Provide nutritious food options and promote healthy eating habits.

  • Support adequate sleep by emphasising work-life balance and discouraging overtime.

2. Mental and emotional wellbeing

Mental health involves cognitive abilities, emotional regulation, and psychological resilience. Emotionally healthy individuals can manage their feelings constructively, form meaningful relationships, and navigate life's challenges with greater ease. Emotional wellbeing fosters empathy, compassion, and a sense of connection with other employees, your clients and stakeholders, which is essential for building successful business.

Ways to support your employees with mental and emotional wellbeing:

  • Offer access to counselling services or Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).

  • Promote mindfulness techniques through workshops or apps.

  • Provide opportunities for stress management.

  • Foster a supportive work environment that encourages open communication and reduces stigma around mental health.

“An inauthentic wellbeing strategy will inevitably fail, exposing its flaws to employees. It cannot be disguised – a lack of authenticity will also impact employee engagement and reflect in your bottom line.”

3. Social wellbeing 

Social wellbeing underscores the importance of interpersonal relationships and a sense of belonging. Humans are social beings, and our interactions with others significantly impact our happiness and overall satisfaction with life. Strong social connections provide emotional support, reduce feelings of loneliness, and enhance overall mental wellbeing.

Ways to support your employees with social wellbeing:

  • Organise team-building activities and social events to foster camaraderie.

  • Create opportunities for mentorship and peer support networks.

  • Encourage inclusive practices that promote diversity and respect among colleagues.

4. Financial wellbeing

Financial wellbeing refers to the state of being in control of one's finances and having the financial freedom to make choices that allow for enjoyment and fulfilment in life. It encompasses having enough savings for emergencies, managing debt responsibly, and planning for future financial goals such as retirement or education. Financial wellbeing also includes feeling confident and secure about current and future financial situations, which enables individuals to focus on other aspects of their lives without undue stress or anxiety related to money.

Ways to support your employees with financial wellbeing:

  • Provide resources for managing debt, budgeting, and saving.

  • Consider offering employee discounts or subsidies for financial services.

  • Offer competitive compensation and benefits packages.

  • Support retirement planning and provide access to financial advisors if possible.

5. Spiritual wellbeing

Often overlooked in secular discussions, spiritual wellbeing relates to having a sense of purpose, meaning, and connection to something greater than oneself. It involves exploring values, beliefs, and existential questions, which can profoundly impact your employees’ personal fulfilment and job satisfaction.

Ways to support your employees with spiritual wellbeing:

  • Encourage creative expression through art, music, or cultural activities that provide meaning, connection and purpose. 

  • Offer quiet spaces or designated areas for meditation or reflection.

  • Offer workshops to promote exploration of meaning and purpose.

  • Respect and accommodate diverse spiritual beliefs and practices.

Beyond individual benefits, prioritising wellbeing at work contributes to business prosperity and social cohesion. Healthy, happy individuals are more likely to be productive members of the workplace, contributing to innovation and financial growth. Moreover, workplaces that prioritise wellbeing tend to create environments that support collective flourishing.

What is the strategic importance of wellbeing?

By integrating strategies to address the five pillars of wellbeing into workplace policies and practices, organisations can create a supportive and inclusive environment that enhances overall workplace joy and productivity. This approach not only improves employee satisfaction and retention but also contributes to a more productive and resilient workforce.

Only authentic wellbeing strategies foster success

The hype surrounding wellbeing in recent years has sometimes obscured its essence. Commercial interests often exploit wellbeing as a marketing tool, promoting quick fixes and superficial solutions that do not address underlying issues.

Investing in wellbeing initiatives not only benefits your team's overall satisfaction and engagement but also establishes your reputation as a leader who values and supports the holistic development of your workforce.

To be successful, your wellbeing strategy and your approach to it must transcend its contemporary buzz to embody a concept rooted in genuine care, human flourishing and fulfilment. An inauthentic wellbeing strategy will inevitably fail, exposing its flaws to employees. It cannot be disguised – a lack of authenticity will also impact employee engagement and reflect in your bottom line. It is about nurturing a balanced and healthy life across multiple dimensions, fostering resilience, purpose, and connection. 


This article is authored by Nicole Sultana, who holds a Post Graduate Degree in Spiritual Care, a Post Graduate Certificate in Business (Marketing), and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Sports Science/Human Movement. In addition, she is a Certified Therapeutic Sound Practitioner and a Death Doula. Nicole is the founder of Sound Consciousness, a company that offers wellbeing strategies and therapeutic sound practices to help individuals achieve peak performance in their professional lives, relationships, and personal aspirations.

If you found this article interesting, please leave a comment below and share it with others who might find it beneficial. Sharing our experiences helps us all learn, grow, and heal together. We welcome lively discussions, as they contribute to our multifaceted humanity. Let's remember to approach discussions with respect and kindness at heart.


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