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For decades, employers have been using strategies to attract, retain and engage talent; the construction industry is no different. The ability to have the right resources at the right time for employees has become a common strategy many organizations have developed. The real reason these strategies have started to become more common practice is the need to have a personalized, holistic, well-rounded workplace experience for employees.

Gallup research revealed there are five areas of wellbeing that differentiates a thriving life from one spent merely existing; career, social, community, financial and physical.

  • Career wellbeing is liking what you do every day and having purpose;
  • Social wellbeing is having strong supportive relationships in your life;
  • Community is liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride;
  • Financial is managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security; and
  • Physical is having good health and enough energy to get things done.

Gallup’s research has determined that thriving employees is defined by ultimately having the understanding that each element intersects with each other. It is incredibly hard to thrive in one area alone; when one area of wellbeing is imbalanced it can affect another area. As an example, if a person is struggling with finances, many times that person is also dealing with stress, which impacts emotional health and wellbeing.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, “resilience is a key strategy that helps employees tackle stress, a competitive job market, workplace conflicts and address challenges on the job.” According to Gallup, employees with high wellbeing are more resilient during widespread or personal tough times. While in the past it might have been easy to dismiss wellbeing as a personal matter, that is no longer the case and businesses are seeing the returns. For example, employees whose wellbeing is properly maintained are 36% more likely to report a full recovery after an illness, injury or hardship.

Wellbeing at work is influenced by personal factors experienced by employees outside the workplace. Creating a culture of wellbeing where employees can thrive in the workplace or on the jobsite is where thriving begins. There are five steps employers can take to help create a wellbeing culture where employees can thrive at work.

  1. Understand workforce demographics to communicate in the most effective way. Understanding how each generation prefers to be communicated with can help employers leverage those communications to have the biggest impact on their population. https://www.constructionexec.com/article/generational-challenges-and-opportunities-in-addressing-mental-health-and-suicide-prevention
  2. Recognize resources can make an impact. Give employees the perks, benefits, and resources they value and want, versus what leaders think they need. Organizations for years have continued to provide employees with the basics without asking employees what they really need, want or value. Stop and ask them.
  3. Change the mindset inside the organization to prioritize wellbeing. Start with leaders and teach them to be inclusive and to recognize when someone is struggling. Asking for help isn’t easy; making it part of a culture gives all employees, including leaders, the opportunity to open up and talk. Leaders and supervisors don’t need to have all the answers or solutions, but they need to have awareness of the resources available to employees.
  4. Give grace. The workplaces of today demand a lot from employees. Are we giving employees an opportunity to be open and honest about what they need or even how they feel? Creating the personal connection with each employee allows leaders to create a safe place to have difficult conversations.
  5. Communicate with intention. Focus not only on what is communicated but also how it’s communicated. The “voice” leaders use in the company’s communications with employees can leave a big mark on how employees feel about the company, which is a direct tie to the culture.

Organizations in every industry are exploring ways to maintain culture, drive engagement and empower employees, all while aiming to improve their bottom line. The pandemic has physically, mentally and emotionally challenged employers to think differently about how they care for employees. Taking a critical look at company culture and the resources provided to employees is an important first step to developing thriving employees.


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