Blog April 2024

Case Study: Enhancing employee well-being in the workplace

Companies can no longer view employee well-being as a “nice-to-have”, but as a critical strategy for business success that has a positive long-term impact on employee satisfaction, productivity and retention. We at Agitavit Solutions are aware of this. In this article, I would like to share with you the guidelines we follow and some actual examples of our successful activities.

In the article you can read about:

What exactly is a well-being program?

When I talk to colleagues, I find that we often mean different things by this.

A well-being program is a comprehensive plan that a company puts in place to improve the physical and mental health of its employees. It often includes activities such as sports, cultural events and various group activities, all of which contribute positively to overall well-being. Feedback from employees shows that they generally enjoy these activities and feel connected as a result.

While such activities are a welcome treat, they are just that — treats. To take full advantage of them, you first need to lay a solid foundation.

What are the key foundations for employee well-being?

Interpersonal relationships

At the heart of employee well-being are good interpersonal relationships based on transparent communication, clearly defined goals and a respectful attitude. At Agitavit we are aware of this, and good relationships are the reason why we work well together.

In this context, the role of a manager is crucial. Managers need to quickly identify, listen to and address any issues in relationships. Leaders also need to proactively address other issues that could damage relationships over time, such as failure to honor agreements, failure to meet work standards, and passing the buck. Of course, the responsibility for good relationships cannot and should not lie solely with managers — every team member must play their part, with managers leading by example. At Agitavit, we therefore place great emphasis on developing the soft skills of managers who have generally progressed from technical, professional roles to this role.

In the case of low cohesion, companies often try to address this through organized social gatherings that can strengthen cohesion, but only if they are based on already good interpersonal relationships. Otherwise, such attempts will usually fail – after all, why would you meet outside of work with someone you do not have a well-established, respectful relationship?

Program za dobro počutje zaposlenih na delovnem mestu - medosebni odnosi
Good relationships between colleagues are the basis for well-being and successful cooperation.

Expectations

High expectations can lead to employees being in a state of constant tension and a feeling of incompetence. This not only leads to chronic stress, but also reduces satisfaction and commitment. Clear and achievable expectations are therefore key to a healthy work environment where employees feel capable, supported and motivated.

Managing expectations and achievable goals is especially important at the beginning of an employee’s career, and at Agitavit we pay particular attention to this with a refined 6-month onboarding process.

A well-organized environment

One of the cornerstones of well-being is an appropriate physical environment. At Agitavit, we provide an ergonomic work environment with bright offices, comfortable chairs, spacious desks and adequate computer equipment (ergonomic mice and keyboards, eye-friendly screens). We know how important rest and relaxation are. That’s why we have a special relaxation room equipped with a foosball table, cushions and other facilities that encourage short but pleasant breaks.

Program za dobro počutje zaposlenih na delovnem mestu - medosebni odnosi
A well-equipped and well-organized workplace is one of the cornerstones of well-being at work.

Form of work

Flexibility in the workplace, including the option to work from home, is key to balancing work and family life. This is particularly important for those who have additional commitments, such as parenthood or caring responsibilities. At Agitavit, we want to give our employees the opportunity to find a balance by offering flexible working options. We believe that we can also be more successful at work if we manage the challenges of personal life well.

Salary

All of the above is insufficient if employees are not adequately rewarded for their work. This is important to ensure a feeling of appreciation and fairness and thus a good feeling at work.

At Agitavit, we therefore maintain a transparent and competitive salary and reward system that is regularly updated based on feedback and according to capacity. In addition, we also pay attention to the long-term financial security of our employees. The company thus contributes 2.92% of the gross basic salary into each employee’s supplementary pension scheme.

Program za dobro počutje zaposlenih na delovnem mestu - medosebni odnosi
At Agitavit, we have a diverse range of rewards to meet the different needs of our colleagues and teams.

The foundations for employee well-being have been laid – now what?

Without basic building blocks, additional activities cannot achieve their full potential. Once the foundations have been laid, they develop naturally – the initiatives come from employees and reflect their wishes and needs. The role of the organization or leadership and HR is not only to recognize these initiatives, but also to support them with resources and communicate them to others – often in various ways and through different communication channels to reach as many colleagues as possible.

We follow this philosophy ourselves. Rather than offering activities that are uninteresting and self-serving to employees, we focus primarily on supporting self-initiated good practices. In recent months, the company has financially, materially, and/or logistically supported the following initiatives:

  • Board game evenings: Several times a year, colleagues meet in the company’s premises after working hours to play board games together, which provides an opportunity to relax and strengthen mutual bonds.
  • Book club: Literature enthusiasts choose a book together and discuss it at meetings that encourage intellectual exchange and creative thinking.
  • Active breaks at work: At the request of employees, a colleague leads a 30-minute active group break once a week during the working day to prevent spinal and joint damage caused by sitting.
Program za dobro počutje zaposlenih na delovnem mestu - medosebni odnosi
The board game evenings were suggested by a colleague and we were happy to support them.

We have also created a space for self-initiated networking on the MS Viva Engage platform, where colleagues can join interest groups for nature lovers, literature, film, pets, sport, music, cooking and many others and organize leisure activities.

How to assess which activities to support and which not?

We cannot support all employee initiatives. So how do we decide which to include in the annual plan and which not (yet)? At Agitavit, our decisions are based on the following guidelines, which are also known to our colleagues:

  • Promoting connectivity: An activity must be connective. It should strengthen the links between the members of the different departments and promote mutual support.
  • Coherence with Agitavit values: In addition to collaboration, an activity must also reflect and reinforce other values of our company, namely knowledge and quality as well as customer focus.
  • Diversity: To meet the diverse interests of our employees, we strive for a balance sports, cultural and other activities. We make sure that similar activities are not repeated.
  • Novelty: To avoid monotony and maintain interest, we regularly introduce new activities. We make sure that there is still interest in existing activities and replace them if necessary.

Initiatives and suggestions made by colleagues in informal conversations or surveys on well-being at work are collected by the HR department and evaluated on the basis of the above criteria and the resources needed. Together with the director, we decide which activities are to be included in the regular program and inform colleagues about them via various channels.

Proactive planning and developing a well-being program

Relying only on employee initiatives is not enough. HR professionals also need to proactively plan and develop a well-being program for colleagues. At Agitavit, we involve employees as much as possible in the planning of “top-down” initiatives, as this allows us to better tailor the program to them and spend less effort on promotion later on.

In general, we pursue the idea that we want to help employees develop a healthy lifestyle that contributes to their quality of life and overall well-being. We want to support them in making decisions in favor of their own health and changing their behavior even outside of the work environment.

Program za dobro počutje zaposlenih na delovnem mestu - medosebni odnosi
The program includes a wide range of activities that promote social interaction and a healthy and active lifestyle.

We currently have a mixture of different activities in our well-being program. We are a very sporty company. We place great importance to leisure activities and also support them financially. Every year at the beginning of the summer we organize a sports picnic where teams compete in football, volleyball, basketball and other sports games, every week employees can take a guided active break during work hours, and on some weekends we go on a hike up a nearby mountain. In addition to the book club and social evenings, we also organize other cultural activities – we recently discovered our talent for painting at an art workshop. To support employees’ interests while giving them autonomy, each team also has an annual budget to organize their own team-building events.

Intergenerational cooperation and personal development are also important aspects of well-being. That is why, in addition to onboarding mentoring, we also enable our employees to participate in personal mentoring and Agitavit UP mentoring programs, where they can gain new knowledge and experience with the help of colleagues and thus enrich themselves personally.

Program za dobro počutje zaposlenih na delovnem mestu - medosebni odnosi
Knowledge is the key to employees’ personal development and is one of our values, which we support through mentoring and internal training.

Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the well-being program

Like other HR programs, the well-being program needs to be continuously improved. Monitoring and evaluation are easier if we take a structured and goal-oriented approach:

  • Set measurable goals: Clearly and measurably define what you want to achieve with the program (e.g. increased participation in program activities, increased employee satisfaction, lower absenteeism).
  • Monitor responses regularly: Systematically record participation and collect quantitative and qualitative feedback on the activities carried out in order to identify in good time what needs to be adjusted or improved and how. In addition to monitoring responses immediately after an activity, at Agitavit we also collect feedback on the program through targeted measurements, such as a survey on satisfaction with health promotion at the workplace, and we listen to potential suggestions for improvement gathered in development conversations between team members and managers.
  • Data analysis: Analyze the data and evaluate how well the program is meeting its goals.
  • Share the results and adjust the program: Share the results with employees. Adjust the program based on the results if necessary, and it’s good to consult with colleagues before making changes. At Agitavit, we share drafts of new activities with some colleagues via the Microsoft Teams tool or in an informal face-to-face meeting (e.g. over coffee after lunch) and get their input (e.g. on timing and content details). Such an approach not only strengthens transparency, but also increases the feeling of inclusion and consideration of feedback.

Conclusion

At Agitavit, the well-being of our employees at work is not left to chance. We do not just rely on individual activities and benefits, but have developed a comprehensive strategy that supports the physical and mental health of our employees.

We believe that the key to success lies in a solid foundation, such as good interpersonal relationships, clear expectations, an appropriate and flexible work environment and fair pay. Because the foundations are in place, we find that additional well-being activities develop almost by themselves – the initiatives often come from employees, and the role of managers and us HR professionals is to support, structure and, if necessary, supplement them with others. I believe that our program must reflect the wishes and needs of the employees, so we need to monitor them regularly – if they change, the program needs to be adapted too.

With such an approach, the program is an investment in people and in the future of the company. By promoting health and well-being at Agitavit, we not only improve the well-being of our colleagues, but also create a pleasant and productive work environment where employees like to come and stay.

Rosvita Režonja
Rosvita Režonja
HR Coordinator
Rosvita has over 20 years of experience in human resource management. At Agitavit Solutions, she is responsible for leading employee well-being initiatives, managing onboarding and offboarding processes, and preparing payroll data. She is also a certified labor law specialist. Her vision is to co-create work environments that enable all colleagues to grow both professionally and personally.
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