Throughout the past decade, employers have placed a heavier emphasis on investing in the well-being of their employees than ever before. Corporate wellness programs have evolved from providing health information and counseling to using financial rewards to incentivize workers to stay in shape. A late research study found that workplace culture is the largest barrier employees face in their efforts to feel healthier and happier. Twenty percent of adults suffer from mental health issues each year, resulting in companies losing 200 million workdays and approximately $200 billion.
Consequently, this insight has shed some light on the need for law firms to do more than offer an excellent benefits package. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the perfect wellness program. Still, many steps can be taken, both from an organizational and an individual level, to create a workplace that fosters humanity and compassion. A workplace where employees can bring their whole selves to work and find comfort in knowing their employer has their back regardless of mental health issues or any other challenges one may experience. The following offerings below are recommended to be considered as part of your firm’s wellness program, which has proven to reduce attrition and increase employee satisfaction, productivity, morale, and overall health.
Educate Your Team on Mental Health
When was the last time someone mentioned mental health in your office? While more and more employers are sharing about how important it is to speak about mental health in the workplace, many employers are not doing a good enough job creating a safe space for their workers to open up about their issues. Nor are they educating them on who they can go to talk to, how they can seek help, and which resources they can tap into for guidance. By investing in mental health education, law firms can teach employees at all levels how to build confidence, vocabulary, and skillset to seek and offer emotional support.
Increased Flexible Work Arrangements
Lead with Compassion
When leaders tend to display compassion in the workplace, they enable trust and positivity among employees. This type of trust improves both employee performance as well as creates an environment for the employees that makes them feel safe to open up about their personal issues. Employees who work with compassionate leaders appear to be more innovative and adaptable, which results in the delivery of a higher quality work product.
Wellness Events and Fairs
Does your firm have a specific event dedicated to educating your employees on wellness? In addition to the healthcare insurance program, your firm offers, setting up a scheduled annual wellness event provides an exciting opportunity to encourage employees to look forward to, which promotes healthy habits and shows the employees that the company they work for cares about them.
Some firms will provide fitness consultations at their wellness event, which can conveniently provide employees with various assessments to prevent and reveal issues before they become more problematic. This routine evaluation can include BMI, body fat analysis, and other evaluations to help the employee understand where they need to focus their energy on their wellness planning.
Team building is at that core of an organization’s success, and as lawyers, we often are too busy to take the time to focus on this essential exercise. It’s so important to carve out time to develop your team both inside and outside of work to uncover the best ways of working together by connecting on a deeper level, getting to know each other’s interests and personalities.
Whether you decide to implement these on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, firm-wide challenges are a fun way to engage the employees on a different level while improving health at the same time. An example might be water consumption or total walking steps as a way to get employees involved, especially those who may not admit they are particularly as interested in wellness to begin with.
Monthly Individualized Follow-Up
In the legal world, we tend to be so incredibly busy and often forget to pause and celebrate our wins, discuss our challenges on a deeper level, and track our progress, even as it pertains to wellness. This can be addressed simply by having an informal dialogue with your employees about wellness. Perhaps in your next firm meeting, ask your employees what they are focusing on in regards to their wellness plan. As leaders and colleagues, be sure to keep a record of what was shared and go out of your way to check on their progress. Your commitment and investment of their wellness will go a long way!
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Culled: Above the Law
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