Employee Well-Being Starts with Leaders

Find out how managers and executives can create a healthier and more productive workplace.

By Hanna Kim - August 24, 2018

How Managers Play A Role In Employee Well-Being


More and more companies in the US are focusing on employee well-being to create a healthier and more productive workplace. According to SHRM’s 2018 Employee Benefits survey, 73% of employers provide wellness resources and information, and 62% have incorporated a wellness program. While these resources and programs are invaluable, managers have the power to shape the organization’s culture.

It is up to management to lead by example to shape a culture of well-being. A manager’s role involves instigating and creating change for their team. This role should also be taken into the realm of wellness. As the ones who allocate resources, leaders determine the conditions conducive to success. Companies reported seeing up to a 3 to 1 return on their initial investment into a wellness program. When taken full advantage of, wellness programs can make a meaningful impact on not only employee health and happiness but also an organization’s equity.

Here are some simple yet effective ways managers can help make the most of wellness program.

Practice What You Preach

Managers should lead employees by example. Practice self care for yourself first, to show employees you take your own well-being and their well-being seriously. If you as a manager are “on” 24-7, never take breaks or PTO, and drink 20 cups of coffee a day in order to have the energy to do so, employees will feel compelled to follow suit.  

Create Opportunities

If noone is using the wellness resources provided, that investment is only going to waste. Attend wellness events and invite your team members to come with you. Leaders can also create opportunities for team building and employee well-being. Think of small, fun ways to reduce stress; for example, reward your team to a healthy lunch after an especially busy week or take some timed breaks as a group to get some movement and stretching in.

Ask For Opinions and Feedback

Every company and the workforce that supports it is different and therefore has different needs. Instead of one-way communication, use two-way communication where both leadership and team members can openly and honestly discuss what is working and what’s not working. These conversations can only happen when managers create a comfortable environment where employees feel they can say what’s truly on their minds about how they feel about work.

In addition to listening, create space for your team to contribute solutions they feel would work for them.  Frequently checking in for feedback can keep an ongoing conversation that allows managers to make the changes necessary for a harmonious work environment.


Employee well-being is something that can be fostered by great leadership. Manager’s have the responsibility and power to create the work environment their team needs to be productive. Don’t forget about your own well-being to inspire workers to feel their best and do their best in the workplace.

About The Author

Hanna Kim has been practicing massage therapy at LoDo Massage Studio since 2016. She ventured into the world of complementary healthcare through massage, after studying Advertising and Intercultural Communications in college. She enjoys combining her passions for writing and wellness, and loves sharing what she learns with others.

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