What type of boss or manager doesn't want an employee to give his or her all every day in the office?
In America, there are as many clichés about "giving 110 percent" as the day is long.
But there's a growing problem for the nation's overworked labor force. According to HC Online - a human resources news, opinions and analysis outlet - employees with a nonstop motor actually hurt their own well-being.
Sarah Robb, Google's head of people operations in Asia Pacific, told HC Online that some Google workers feel so invested in the company that they overwork themselves. It should be noted that Google has a reputation as a top workplace, and for some in the tech industry, working there can be a dream job.
"We're finding from the employment survey that well-being continues to be a source of concern, but interestingly, managers are supportive of well-being," Robb said. "They are self-inflicted issues."
Robb claimed many of Google's employees feel like they have a stake in the company, which was a main ingredient fueling the company's prosperity. But there's a difference between an employee working hard and overworking.
"These people don't want to take their feet off the gas pedal because they feel like owners," Robb said. "We haven't found the balance yet. It's not sustainable."
Tips to improve employee well-being
HC Online reported companies should make sure employees take their breaks and spend time away from their work stations throughout the day.
Catalyzing social interaction in the office can also increase collaboration and reduce stress, and managers should check in with employees regularly throughout the workweek in order to pinpoint any office problems or early stages of employee burnout.
Promote healthy behaviors
CareerDC, a professional development and consultancy firm, reported that unhealthy and stressed employees are more likely to be late to work, take a greater number of sick days and be less productive during their time at the office. They also routinely have a greater intention to quit the company than those who are healthy and better deal with stress.
The consultancy firm said one way to lower stress levels in the office is to get employees moving. Active employees tend to have fewer health problems, experience less stress and are more productive.
Companies can help employees stay active outside work by offering discounted or sponsored gym memberships. Companies can also keep employees interested by offering fitness challenges - to teams of workers or individuals - by having them keep track of their daily steps with pedometers. Weekly prizes can keep things fresh, and by competing in teams, the office can promote a livelier atmosphere in which employees feel engaged.
CareerDC also urges employers to provide healthy snacks at the workplace. It said some companies negotiate deals with a local sandwich shop or deli to provide discounted meals or free delivery every day.
Feeling burnt out? Speak up
David Niu, founder of employment engagement firm TINYpulse, told HC Online that HR managers should encourage employees to speak freely when they start to feel overstressed on the job.
"Companies can and should invest in wellness," Niu said. "HR leaders can advocate for cost-effective ways to incorporate wellness into the corporate culture.
"For example, Stoneridge Vineyards in New Zealand teaches its staff yoga on a regular basis. BodyBolsters in Australia holds regular staff meetings with everyone in gym clothes so they can stretch, tone and try out new exercises together."
Niu said companies can also deploy employee engagement tools to gather feedback from workers to decipher how unhappy or stressed their employees are on a weekly and monthly basis.
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