In June, we celebrate the summer solstice, Juneteenth, and the great outdoors. But did you know that June is also the month when we lift up employees to celebrate Professional Wellness Month?
“It is essential to reflect on the well-being of our employees and explore ways to foster positive growth and work-life balance within our organizations. In an era marked by increasing burnout rates and the realization that burnt-out people will burn out the world, prioritizing employee wellness has become a crucial aspect of creating a sustainable and thriving workforce.” Doug Platts, COO Gardenuity
Professional Wellness Month is celebrated every June and it highlights the workplaces role in creating a healthy environment for employees. Leaders across the country are placing emphasis on professional wellness as a way to attract top talent, keep existing talent, drive engagement, all of which impact the overall growth of the organization.
Professional wellness generally encompasses aspects such as physical health, mental well-being, work-life balance, stress management, and personal growth and development. During this month, employers, organizations, and individuals may take part in activities, campaigns, and events that promote a healthy and supportive work environment, emphasize self-care strategies, provide resources for stress reduction, and encourage a positive work-life balance.
This June, let’s dive into the significance of employee wellness, the challenges posed by burnout, and how incorporating activities like team gardening or desk gardens can contribute to the well-being and overall success of your team.
The Importance of Employee Wellness
Employee wellness is not just a buzzword or a mere perk; it’s a fundamental pillar for organizational success. A healthy and engaged workforce can drive productivity, foster innovation, and positively impact the bottom line.
Conversely, neglecting employee wellness can lead to burnout, decreased morale, and a decline in performance. In today’s fast-paced and demanding work environments, it’s essential to recognize that burnt-out individuals cannot contribute their best selves, which has far-reaching consequences for both the individual and the organization. Burnout, which we have all felt at some point or another, is characterized by exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced effectiveness. This fallback has become a prevalent concern in the modern workplace.
The pressures of long working hours, high expectations, and constant connectivity can take a toll on employees’ mental and physical health. Recognizing the signs of burnout and taking proactive measures to address it is crucial. This is where fostering work-life balance and providing opportunities for rejuvenation becomes paramount. Engaging employees in wellness activities that promote relaxation, mindfulness, and connection to nature, such as taking a few mindful moments to mist or tend to a garden, can be a powerful antidote to burnout.
The Powerful Benefits of Gardening for Employees
Gardening offers numerous therapeutic benefits that can positively impact employee well-being. Engaging in gardening activities allows individuals to unplug from digital distractions, connect with nature, and find solace in the present moment. The act of tending to plants, watching them grow, and reaping the rewards of their efforts can instill a sense of accomplishment and boost self-esteem. Gardening also serves as a form of physical exercise, promoting an active lifestyle and contributing to overall health. The grounding and calming effects of gardening have been shown to reduce stress levels, improve mood, and enhance mental well-being.
When employees are given an outlet to nurture a living organism, step away from the blue light of their computer screen, and take a mindful moment to breathe in the outdoors and be enveloped by the sights, sounds, and smells of nature, it can serve as a breath of fresh air for the rest of their workday, work week, and year.
Enhancing Work-Life Balance
Integrating gardening into workplace wellness initiatives can help foster a better work-life balance for employees. By offering opportunities for gardening during work hours or providing dedicated garden spaces, employees can engage in an activity that promotes relaxation and rejuvenation. Encouraging employees to disconnect from work and immerse themselves in gardening activities can help create boundaries, reduce stress levels, and improve overall motivation and productivity levels. Gardening allows individuals to engage in a mindful and fulfilling activity outside the confines of their work-related responsibilities, creating a sense of balance between their personal and professional lives.
To cultivate employee wellness effectively, it is important to create a supportive culture that genuinely and transparently values the wellness of its employees. This involves leadership buy-in, clear communication, and the implementation of policies that prioritize employee health. People can feel when an activity or a mantra is authentic or not, so in order for employee wellness initiatives to actually make an effect, leadership has to show that they fully buy-in and care about the mental health of their team.
For example, the team at Gardenuity all are gifted with a desk garden that they can mist or dust to remind them of the power of nature around them. Furthermore, team members who work remotely or live in a different state receive a full-on grow bag herb garden, as well as a tropical desk garden to instill the same standards and expectations as the rest of the team.
Incorporating gardening as a wellness activity can contribute to the overall wellness culture, providing a tangible and enjoyable way for employees to care for their mental and physical well-being. Creating garden spaces or organizing gardening workshops through organizations like Gardenuity can foster a sense of community, collaboration, and connection among team members, further enhancing the positive impact on employee wellness.
Measuring the Impact
As we observe National Employee Wellness Month, let’s acknowledge the importance of employee well-being and its impact on both individuals and organizations. By prioritizing employee wellness and incorporating activities like gardening into our wellness initiatives, we can foster positive growth, combat burnout, and create a work-life balance that promotes productivity and happiness.
Remember, burnt-out people, will burn out the world, so let’s nurture our employees, allowing them to thrive, and in turn, help our organizations flourish. Together, we can cultivate a culture of well-being that benefits everyone involved.