Health and safety procedures that protect people from injuries at work have been around for some time, but people expect more than that from their employers-now more than ever. The world of employee wellbeing in the workplace has evolved rapidly, with mental health quickly becoming the main focus for workplace wellbeing strategies, up 44% from pre-pandemic levels, as we realise it’s importance.
The ultimate goal is to develop an integrated approach to mental health and well-being that addresses the needs of employees across the full spectrum of well-being. But how do you create a Workplace Wellbeing Strategy? Our latest article outlines the key areas to consider to help, plan and build better strategies for the future.
Why should you develop a workplace wellbeing strategy?
Many of us spend the majority of our waking time at work and the way we feel about our work impacts our personal lives and vice versa. If we’re struggling in our home life, this undoubtedly affects our ability to contribute effectively in the workplace. Offering a range of meaningful benefits to support the wellbeing of employees can have many benefits for organisations. These can include:-
- Reduce absence and the cost of absence
- Reduce the number of employees on long term sick and the number of days on sick leave
- Increase employee retention
- Reduce the number of health claims made on private medical cover
- Reduced presenteeism
Staff tend to feel happier when they feel valued at work and think positively about their employer. Therefore, making investments in the well-being of staff is likely to increase overall happiness, productivity and morale.
To ensure that employees can enjoy maximum mental wellbeing at work, companies should work on creating a supportive environment where communication is key. Workplace counselling comes in many different forms, to suit the size, budget and needs of a business. Models include in-house services, external provision (Employee Assistance Programme), and outsourced provision via occupational health services.
For small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) contracting with a local counsellor is a cost effective, ad hoc solution. Counselling can take place face to face, via telephone or online, offering flexibility for employer and employee.
Implementing a more fitness-minded culture within the workplace by posting and syndicating information about sports activities and events can promote the benefits of physical wellbeing. Initiative can include smoking cessation programs, cycle-to-work events, charity marathons, outdoor team outings such as hiking, and more .Providing workers with health screenings can also be beneficial.
Providing financial wellbeing support does not simply mean paying people more, and with poor financial health affecting almost one-in-three employees, it’s crucial that employees feel empowered and supported. Actions which help employees are:-
- Normalise the conversation around financial wellbeing
- Promote internal support systems
- Signpost to external support services
- Discover the specific challenges facing your employees
In the workplace, social wellbeing generally refers to the extent to which an employee feels a sense of belonging at work. From relationships with colleagues, to alignment with company values, social wellbeing is about feeling valued as a person, colleague and employee. But with a large proportion of staff working from home it can often mean a feeling of isolation and exclusion.To combat this creating social wellbeing programmes such as volunteer day, regular staff meetings and out of work social events to celebrate birthdays etc, can all bring a sense of belonging.
Every employer has a responsibility to provide a workplace where employees feel happy, valued, and supported. This includes taking care of employees’ mental health and wellbeing, as well as their physical wellness.
For further information on how to create a Workplace Wellbeing Strategy, please contact us here.