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September 9, 2018

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A Wellbeing Strategy - what are the priorities?

September 24, 2018



I hear this question a lot, "what should the priorities be when creating a wellbeing strategy?". Employee wellbeing is such a hot topic right now and an area that we have to get right if we want to hire and retain employees. Many find it really hard to pin down all the areas that they need to focus on so they can produce a really great wellbeing strategy that employees will 100% engage with.


Look no further, I have saved you the time and looked at a number of newly released studies in order to find the following areas where any business can begin its focus when developing a wellbeing strategy. 


1. Financial Education - There are so many companies popping up now that offer financial services packages to businesses that can we used by employees whenever they it. These can give employees access to a financial advisor free of charge or being able to have more information on retirement planning - ultimately lowing stress associated with debt and financial trouble. 


2. Healthy Education - In a number of startups i have worked with they often have individuals come in and give talks on their specialist subject areas which include healthy eating and cooking demos. Another popular option is hosting team lunches from local delis with a variety of balanced food options as well as ensuring that the kitchen is well stocked with not just fruit but other healthier alternatives for employees to try. 


3. Physical Activity - You may not be lucky enough to have a gym in your building but that doesn't mean you can't offer a discounted rate at the local gym through a corporate membership or through a perkbox/vitality health scheme. If thats not possible, how about setting up a football or running club for employees - you will be surprised in the uptake! 


4. Smoking Cessation - In all Employee Handbooks a zero-tolerance on smoking is always referenced but what about supporting those who would like to quit. If you have an Employee Assistance Programme this is a great next step in order to provide support. Advisors can assist with building a plan alongside the employee and give free counselling sessions so they feel encouraged to achieve their goal.


5. Work-life balance - Some people call this balance and some people call this blend (another blog post perhaps!), regardless flexible working is at the heart of this focus area. Encouraging employees to flex their hours to meet their business and personal needs is greatly important as well as not consistently working more than their contracted hours. Achieving this really begins in the company culture but should be reenforced with a clear policy. 


6. Mental Health - Is mental health being discussed openly at your workplace? If not, why? Hold a brown bag session to discuss the topic with a small number of employees and get the conversation going. Charities have launched free platforms to support mental health in the workplace which are packed full of information and points of contact - how about linking this to your intranet page? Also, talk to your insurance scheme providers - how can they help to support those suffering in the workplace. 


7. Line Manager Training - As mentioned in point 6 mental health in the workplace platforms are not just aimed at employees but at managers too. These are great places for managers to read of the do's and don't's of supporting direct reports who may be struggling. Asking HR to hold coaching session on managing wellbeing in the workplace is also a great way to get employee wellbeing at the forefront of a manager's mind. 


8. Resilience/mindfulness - Some office buildings or nearby studios hold meditation sessions during lunch time and they are amazing! If you know of one near you then promote it in the office or better yet share mindful techniques with employees through the Headspace app - a great tool for managing stress and anxiety. 


9. Giving back to the community - Offering 4 paid volunteering days a year to employees is great way give back to the community and also energise a team. Making the community a priority in company values is key to this being successful and encourages employees to take these days so they can share the success stories with everyone at work on their return. 


Ultimately, if you can start by looking at even half of these areas then you are on the right path to really making wellbeing a priority in your workplace and who knows, you may even find some wellbeing champions along the way. 










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