Supporting Employee Diversity and Wellness – by Julia Morris

During the COVID-19 pandemic, employee diversity and wellness came under the spotlight like never before. Corporations sought to support workers both in the office and at home, and a major pre-pandemic cultural shift completed its arc. In addition, employers have been making significant strides in diversifying their workforces.

Focusing on diversity and offering innovative benefits that enhance work-life balance don’t just boost employee satisfaction. These efforts help attract new talent in a competitive market, and improve productivity no matter the size of your organization.

Diversity Must Always Be a Priority

Embracing diversity is a fundamental necessity for any growing business. Besides helping you to recruit cream-of-the-crop talent, it sends the message that “diversity and inclusion [are] an integral part of the fabric of the company.” It also facilitates necessary conversations across teams, fosters the opportunity for a deeper connection and helps your employees feel respected and like they belong. Plus, in the global business landscape, a multicultural organization has a larger advantage. You can bolster your efforts here by incorporating a variety of diversity initiatives, regularly surveying staff and always looking for ways to improve.  

Mental Health Benefits

One of the major issues here is the long-held stigma of struggling with mental health and mood disorders. The status quo is changing with Gen-Zers and millennials, but companies still need to prioritize training and top-down leadership in this regard.

Businesses can help employees to access meditation apps and confidential virtual or in-person counselling when necessary. Employees need to know that accessing counseling won’t jeopardize their job security or chances of promotion. When employees participate in evidence-based talk therapies, they learn coping mechanisms and customized strategies for managing work or personal stress.

Massages are another popular and relatively inexpensive benefit to promote relaxation and ease muscles hunched over desks all day, and they can be provided to employees at cost (otherwise, it’ll be a benefit in kind). However, businesses should not prioritize these perks over flexible working hours, mental health days and the option to work from home.

Nutrition Perks

There’s a range of nutrition-related perks your company can offer employees. Depending on your budget, you could provide wholesome meals or snacks such as fruit and veggie platters. If you are catering meals, be sure to account for various dietary requirements, including religious requirements.

You can also give employees the know-how to produce nourishing food by hosting healthy cooking classes. And access to a nutritionist or dietitian can assist individuals with tailored information to treat conditions such as high blood pressure or fatigue. This way, your workforce gets the right fuel to thrive.

Fitness Freebies

Both men and women value fitness benefits. A gym at the office can help employees blow off steam, as can a versatile recreational space for physical conditioning.

Like a massage program, yoga classes can be provided at cost for employees. 

You can also encourage employees to use their smartphones or smartwatches to stay on top of fitness and wellness goals. These gadgets can track mileage and sleep quality, and they can check meals for gaps in nutrition. Seeing hard numbers can prompt workers to take advantage of employer-provided wellness tools and make healthier choices.

Inspirational Lectures

Short courses and educational workshops hosted by third-party experts and thought leaders can:

  • Inspire actionable insights
  • Nurture a crucial sense of purpose
  • Foster resilience

Professional Development

Offering programs to develop and grow skills is an increasingly desirable feature that many job candidates are looking for in a new role. Remember, people start to feel like their wheels are turning if it’s the same thing day in and day out, with no opportunities to advance or take on new responsibilities.  To counteract this and to help attract a diverse workforce, take a cue from Deloitte, which offers career coaching, professional development programs and other ways to support and grow their staff’s skills. Enough that they’re listed as one of the “Top 100 Best Places to Work!” 

The Bottom Line

Having a positive company culture can reduce turnover and burnout and increase employee engagement. By focusing on diversity and wellness benefits, employers ensure that workplaces are physically and emotionally healthy spaces. Ultimately, this can mean a healthier bottom line whether you’re a multinational or an SME.


Image via Pexels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *