With the help of Investors In People we look at ways to improve employee wellbeing and how investing in the wellbeing of your organisation pays dividends.
Tip 1 – Consider that there are different areas of wellbeing
Our research has concluded there to be 3 different areas which includes social, physical and psychological. So when putting together your wellbeing strategy becoming familiar with this concept is a good place to start.
Social wellbeing – refers to reward and recognition, employee voice, inclusion, diversity, community activities and family-friendly policies. Is there a culture of team work, trust and respect? Is the workplace inclusive?
Physical wellbeing – refers to physical activity, nutrition, musculoskeletal and environmental factors. From staying in shape to keeping illness at bay, physical health can have a big impact on how well people can work.
Psychological wellbeing – refers to mental health, sleep, rest, or financial wellbeing. It’s important that people are able to be open about their own experiences with mental health. Feel comfortable to speak up when they disagree with the boss. And that there are programmes available to support them when these things are hard.
Consulting staff will provide you with the right queues and ideas to design the best ways of supporting them. Collecting data across the board should be always a priority when implementing a workplace wellbeing strategy.
Social wellbeing: careful office design, choirs, voluntary work/fund raising, working groups, social activities, cross-communities interaction, culture differences celebration.
Physical Wellbeing: (also benefits mental resilience) Health assessments, medical insurance and health care cash plans, running clubs, discounts on gym membership, smoking cessation, dietary changes in canteens, physiotherapy, Pilates, reflexology, challenges, fit bits, standing desks.
Psychological wellbeing: Prevention and management Stress audits, counselling, meditation, yoga, stress management, mental health first aid training, resilience training, EAP, work life balance policies, financial advisory plans.
Tip 2 – Look at some of the key wellbeing drivers
- Leadership involvement – For a wellbeing strategy to work, it’s very important that there is involvement from all the vertical structures within the organisation to ensure the message spreads across all people. A culture of openness helps a lot with this too.
- Employee control over their work and decision making.
- Values that support an inclusive, supportive, interesting work environment
- Consistent and effective line management practice that actively supports the wellbeing of staff.
- People believing there is a higher purpose to the organisation with an understanding of how they can contribute to this
- People undertaking the learning and development they need to achieve job satisfaction
- Flexibility within the working environment to increase people’s sense of control allowing them to improve their work-life balance
- A focus on minimising and managing stress and improving mental health at work as these are leading causes of sickness absence
- Support to participate in wellbeing related activities and time to do it!
- A focus in diversion and integration as well as encouragement in team communication and participation
Tip 3 – Evaluate the financial return
When making decisions about whether to do anything motivation always comes from looking at the potential benefits.
How will your organisation benefit financially from the wellbeing strategy you create?
If UK organisations were able to reduce the scale of these problems that would be a great start…
Tip 4 – Identify the causes of stress and poor employee mental wellbeing
Because stress is endemic across the UK workforce, it’s important for employers to understand which factors contribute most to their workers feeling this way. An IIP survey, found that the greatest pressure felt by workers was workload. 40% claim that having too much on their agenda resulted in stress. The survey also revealed that a significant proportion of the labour market would feel that their mental health would be better supported at work if their organisation were to provide more training for line managers.
Tip 5 – Identify the strategic goals for your plan
Here are some examples –
- Desire to be an Employer of Choice – wellbeing can be a differentiator and help to recruit and retain talent
- Ensuring people can perform at their best at a sustained level – providing good leadership and support, empowerment and appropriate development
- Compliance and risk management – carrying out an organisational duty of care – this includes compliance with Health and Safety legislation
- Minimising absence and driving up productivity – considering aspects such as effective management, levels of autonomy and clear performance targets
- Creating a positive culture of health and wellbeing – This should be fully embedded with the business strategy and underpinned by the organisational values
- Reducing the costs of ill health provision – focusing on effective management of sickness and absence, recruitment costs associated with high levels of attrition etc.
Tip 6 – Follow these stages to develop your employee wellbeing strategy
- Determine the needs of your employees.
- Agree the priorities, objectives and resources.
- Identify the stakeholders.
- Agree a programme of support and activities.
- Communicate and manage the programme.
- Monitor, assess the results and identify improvements.
Tip 7 – Consider what managers should focus on when implementing it
- Communicating effectively.
- Minimising stress and building resilience.
- Supporting the work life balance of their staff.
- Demonstrating awareness of the issues affecting people’s health and wellbeing.
- Developing an open culture where staff feel able to discuss their problems.
- Learning about mental health enabling them to judge when they need to refer employees to outside help
- Ensuring that they are aware of the wellbeing strategy and encouraging their teams to participate of it
- Prioritising people’s wellbeing above anything else
- Having regular catch-ups dedicated to wellbeing where they can really understand pressing concerns
Investors in People is a great resource for organisations looking to support their employees. You can find similar articles to this on their website, https://www.investorsinpeople.com/
advo group is an Investors in People Gold accredited employer.