Employers play a vital role in supporting employee wellbeing, optimising performance and helping teams to thrive. Every great workplace wellbeing programme has to start somewhere. So where do we begin?
Company culture is the foundation for every effective wellbeing programme. It’s how employers can create healthy and sustainable places that genuinely champion wellbeing over the long-term.
So if you’re getting started with workplace wellbeing, or you’re looking to evolve your current wellbeing strategy, here are some ideas on how to get started.
Listen with an open mind to what employees actually need, rather than making assumptions. Foster a non-judgmental culture with psychological safety to ensure employees feel they can be authentic and vulnerable in the workplace.
#2 Start small. Be agile
Try something new! Learn from the experience and measure the impact, then iterate and incrementally improve. You’re not expected to have all the answers at once.
#3 Be flexible
Encourage flexible working and empower employees to do their work, and support their wellbeing, in ways that work best for them.
#4 Take a holistic approach
Consider how you can support an employee’s mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing to help them thrive. Think about the whole person, not just who you see at work.
#5 Provide space, tools and community
Give people the space and time to talk about, and prioritise, their wellbeing. Give employees the tools they need to thrive, from technology to wellbeing funds and coaching. Foster a supportive community that will encourage and motivate everyone to put their wellbeing first. With this combination, you’ll really drive engagement.
#6 Lead by example
Get senior leaders actively involved – not just paying lip service, but actively taking part in wellbeing initiatives too. That way, teams will have the ‘permission’ they may need to join in.
#7 Get moving!
Movement can have the single biggest impact on our physiology. It’s the best thing we can do to support our wellbeing. The more we move, the less we experience chronic stress, anxiety and depression. At work, we’re more engaged, more productive and more fulfilled. Whatever your age, there’s strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and happier life.
When it comes to encouraging greater movement at work, make sure campaigns are inclusive, accessible and importantly, fun! Get people connected and get people moving. You’ll be supporting physical, mental and social wellbeing if you do.
Before you go
Of course employers can’t do everything and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach. As leaders, we can listen with open minds, humbly learn and focus on providing holistic, strategic support in areas that can have a meaningful, lasting impact. We can work to create cultures of wellbeing that enable employees to thrive and in doing so, lead healthier and happier lives. We’ll all be better off as a result.
PS. Looking to learn more about how we work with organisations to support employee wellbeing and team building? Check out our website or reach out to Karina, our Sales and Engagement Manager. She’s on firstname.lastname@example.org and loves a chat!