The Business Owner's Handbook to Employee Well-Being

Byon December 05#business-tips
The Business Owner-s Handbook to Employee Well-Being

Championing employee well-being is a priority for businesses around the globe. Failing to take care of your people will damage your brand reputation and produce high employee turnover. This isn’t just expensive — it undermines your operational efficiency, too. 

However, anyone who has seen an episode of “The Office” knows that promoting employee well-being is more difficult than it looks. Some staff will be hesitant to participate in well-being events, while others would rather focus on their day-to-day tasks. 

As a business owner, you can boost morale and increase well-being at work by accounting for your employee’s needs. This can help you support staff who are experiencing burnout. An employee-first approach to motivation can help you create a culture of communication that is intrinsically motivating. 

Addressing Burnout

Employee burnout is a serious issue that impacts millions of Americans. A recent study of 1,000 employees found that a staggering 89% had experienced burnout at some point in the last year. This is a massive issue for you as a business owner, as the long-term effects of burnout include:

Chronic fatigue and insomnia

Depression and anxiety 

Increased risk of substance abuse

Decreased job satisfaction 

Impaired cognitive function 

Additionally, those who experience burnout may suffer physically. Folks who live with burnout are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, suffer from chronic pain, and experience weakened immune systems. Folks who are forced to overwork themselves may also be at a greater risk of developing diabetes and hypertension if left unaddressed.  

Addressing burnout can be tricky if you’re not working on the same typical tasks as your staff. However, you can minimize the risk of burnout in the workplace by learning to identify the causes of burnout, which may include:

Excessive workload and long hours

Poor work-life balance 

High-pressure and/or monotonous work environment


Exposure to trauma 

Poor sleep and/or recovery 

Addressing your employee's mental health to reduce burnout starts with a shift in culture. Encourage folks to leave on time and provide access to support services for those who are struggling. Low-cost counseling services show that you care about employee well-being and may help folks come forward with value if they’ve been exposed to conflict. Taking a proactive approach to mental health improves productivity and helps you run a safer, happier workplace. 

Improving Saftey

Your employees should not be exposed to hazardous working conditions or faulty tools that put their health at risk. Failing to take care of your employees can land you in hot water legally and is sure to undermine employee well-being. 

Take a people-first approach to management by addressing potential safety concerns before they become an issue. For example, if you work in an office space, declutter the room and use floor tape to indicate where the equipment belongs. These simple changes have a profound impact on the culture of your workplace and show that you’re committed to maintaining a safe, well-organized space. 

Improving safety at work can reduce the risk of human error, too. Educating staff on safety protocols ensures that they have the skills and information they need to perform their tasks and will not try to break the rules in order to meet performance indicators. Well-educated staff can help you identify areas of concern, too, which can meaningfully improve safety at work. 

Office Design 

Full-time employees spend at least 30 hours per week at your place of work. This means that designing a workspace that encourages well-being and boosts productivity should be a top priority for you as a business owner. 

If you run a growing business, consider utilizing some of the hottest trends in office design today. For example, utilizing adaptive spaces like shutters and moveable desks can help staff make maximum use of the space and alter the office floor for maximum productivity. 

Consider installing a few wellness features around your place of work, too. This doesn’t mean you have to blow the whole budget by turning the basement into an office gym. Instead, replace your current seats and desks with ergonomic alternatives and poll staff to find out what they want from the space. You can also provide healthy snacks for busy staff, who may have rushed out the door without being able to grab lunch for the day.  

Communication Culture

Nothing will undermine your effectiveness as a leader like poor communication. Failing to communicate effectively will put distance between you and your staff and reduce the effectiveness of all your well-being schemes. 

Promote a culture of effective communication at work by opening two-way dialogues between yourself and your employees. True two-way communication empowers employees to give feedback and shows them that you care about their opinions. 

If you want to gather useful feedback, you will need to go beyond an open-door policy. Instead, encourage staff to participate in requests for feedback by providing incentives. Run raffle prizes and offer perks to folks who take time out of their day to communicate with you. Follow through on this feedback to prove that you’re really listening and publicly praise the folks who came forward with useful suggestions. 

Consider offering opportunities to give anonymous feedback, too. Employees may hold back important insights if they know their names will be connected with the answers they give. Anonymous Google Forms are more likely to give you truthful answers and will expose you to some hard truths holding back your business. Take anonymized feedback with a grain of salt, but bear in mind that you’ll still yield plenty of positive results, too. 


Promoting employee well-being is crucial for the long-term growth of your business. Get the ball rolling by learning to identify signs of stress and burnout. Addressing burnout minimizes the risk of accidents at work and can give folks time to come forward with useful feedback. 

If you’re still struggling to improve your employee’s well-being, consider redesigning your workspace to promote safety and productivity. Staff deserve to feel safe at work and will benefit greatly from adaptive design principles. Even small changes, like bringing snacks into work or buying ergonomic keyboards, can have a profound impact on employee well-being and help your staff avoid chronic conditions. 

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