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Workplace well-being: U.S. Surgeon General lays out some guidelines

Workplace well-being with therapist Eden Garcia-Balis
Workplace well-being with therapist Eden Garcia-Balis 03:49

Staying mentally and physically healthy through all the demands and dynamics at work is something the U.S. Surgeon General is prioritizing.

Research for the Surgeon General's report on workplace health found that 84% of survey respondents had at least one negative workplace impact, such as emotionally draining work, challenges with work-life balance, or lack of recognition in the workplace.  

The nation's top Doc says there are five things that support workplace well-being, and employers play a big role when it comes to a healthy, productive workplace.

We talked to licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Eden Garcia-Balis about the Surgeon General's five essentials of workplace well-being.

1. Protection from harm

Workers want to know they are safe and secure at work. Employers can prioritize physical and psychological safety, they can promote equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion.

2. Connection and community

It's important for employers to foster positive social interaction as well as a sense of belonging in the workplace. We spend so much time at work, so it's important for employers to emphasize teamwork and collaboration for them to develop an all-inclusive culture, it really makes a difference.

3. The work-life balance

Nowadays with many people working from home, the line can be blurred between your free time and your work time. So, employers can respect boundaries when it comes to work and nonwork time. They can provide flexibility and predictability when it comes to schedules and if possible, they should also allow their workers a sense of autonomy in terms of where they work and how they work.

4. Mattering at work

Employees want to be seen. They want to be valued and they want to be heard. And employers can provide a prevailing wage. You know financial stress and money worries can wreak havoc on our mental health. And providing a culture that emphasizes recognition, such as if you have an employee that's doing great work, celebrate that. That will then encourage employees to be more invested in their work. Also, connect individual work with the mission of the organization. What is the overall goal?

5. Growth and opportunity

Employers should always have growth and opportunity areas for their employees to grow and develop new skills. That includes education, training, and mentoring as well as ensuring that there are clear, equitable pathways to professional advancement and reciprocal feedback. If you want your employees to listen to you, you need to listen to them. 

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