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Using Self-Care to Improve Employee Productivity

Posted by Insightlink on 04/21/23

Self-care has become something of a buzzword over the last few years, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it should come as no surprise that it’s become so popular because many believe we’re facing a mental health crisis as a nation. 

In the business world, HR leaders should take a look at self-care at face value. It doesn’t necessarily involve lavish vacations and days at the spa. From a workplace perspective, implementing policies that promote self-care can actually improve overall employee productivity, health, and wellness – things your company culture will benefit from.
self care
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of self-care in the workplace, how to promote it, and how you can keep track of employee productivity.
Why Is Self-Care So Beneficial?
Promoting self-care in the workplace is a huge component of creating a positive company culture. Some of the biggest benefits of implementing self-care policies include:
  • Reduced burnout;
  • Better mental and physical health;
  • Fewer sick days/personal days;
  • More focused employees.
Most importantly, self-care policies show your employees that they have value, they matter, and you care about them more than your bottom line.

As an added bonus, promoting a company culture that revolves around self-care and well-being is good for your brand. Happy employees often lead to happy customers and clients, and when you promote a culture that focuses on employee wellness, you’re more likely to attract top talent from a larger pool when you’re recruiting.
As a leader in human resources, consider the very core of your job title – providing resources to humans. It’s up to you to give your company’s employees what they need to succeed. That includes creating policies that enhance health and wellness, and productivity. Thankfully, putting those policies in place is easier than you might think.
How to Implement Self-Care in the Workplace
There’s no singular rule when it comes to which self-care policies you should put in place. However, it should be encouraged in and out of the office. When it comes to simple and effective practices that can prioritize self-care at work, some of the easiest implementations include:
  • Reducing the overall workload;
  • Encouraging more frequent breaks;
  • Recognizing the needs of each worker;
  • Setting well-defined objectives.
Quiet rooms, socialization areas, and even a lounge or cafeteria with healthy snacks can also be included as part of your self-care policy.
It’s also important to help employees strike a healthy work-life balance. Offer greater flexibility or more time off that allows them to spend time at home with the people they love. Doing so will make it easier for them to develop healthy routines and implement things like meditation and mindfulness into their days. Encourage healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated. This way, when employees come into the office, they’re more likely to be energized, less stressed, and ready to take on more projects.
On the surface, these self-care activities in and out of work might seem like they would hinder productivity. After all, if you’re more flexible and encouraging more time off, won’t less work get done?
However, a study by the National Institute of Health found that “the relationship between stress and productivity suggests that greater stress correlates with less employee productivity.” The less stressed your workers are, the more they’re likely to get accomplished. They won’t be so easily distracted and won’t be dealing with the fatiguing effects of burnout, so they’ll be able to get more done in a shorter amount of time. That’s a win-win situation for your employees and your business.
How to Track Employee Productivity
When it comes to productivity, the proof is in the pudding. Are people getting projects done faster? Are sales increasing? Some of the benefits of tracking productivity, especially when it comes to remote employees, include:
  • Helping to identify current productivity levels;
  • Noting areas of improvement;
  • Increased employee engagement;
  • How time is being spent.
You’re also likely to see improved communication in the workplace. Open communication ensures everyone’s on the same page. It improves employee relationships and even creates a culture where it’s okay to open up about mental health.
Speaking of motivation, if you have any reservations about tracking productivity, consider “gamifying” some of your efforts. If you do start tracking productivity and you discover areas that aren’t as efficient as they should be, gamification can serve as the motivational tool your employees need – and they can have fun doing it. Additionally, consider rewarding your employees based on performance, or set specific goals each month and recognize those who meet them. Not only does it make tracking productivity fun for everyone, but the idea of working toward something and the feeling of accomplishing it is another fantastic way to improve the mental well-being of your team. 
Don’t be afraid to ask your employees what they need and want when it comes to establishing a culture of self-care. By catering to those needs and fostering a positive workplace environment, your brand will start to experience the benefits of a healthy, happy team right away. 


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