Fostering employee wellbeing is good for people and business. Organisations are organic, they consist of people with feelings, beliefs, emotions and wellbeing. Healthy people greatly increase the likelihood of a healthy organisation.
Promoting wellbeing can help prevent stress and create positive working environments where individuals and organisations can thrive. Good health and wellbeing can be a core enabler of employee engagement and organisational performance.
Poor well-being and mental health can disrupt a person’s professional life in various ways. As well as impacting their ability to enjoy work and gain fulfilment from everyday tasks, mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety is likely to impact negatively on employee productivity.
According to recent figures, workers with fair or poor mental health take around 12 days of unplanned absence per year which is significantly more than the 2.5 days the average employee takes. Mental health problems (including absences) are estimated to cost the UK economy a staggering £117.9bn annually, presenting a significant challenge to growth- oriented organisations.
Promoting well-being at work is essential for creating a healthy, productive and fulfilling work environment. Employee well-being encompasses physical, mental, and emotional health, and it contributes to job satisfaction and overall workplace success.
Here are a few strategies to foster well-being at work:
1. Work-Life Balance:
Encourage employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Set clear boundaries for working hours, avoid excessive overtime and think about limiting email access at weekends or similar.
Promote flexible work arrangements when possible, such as remote or omni work, or review scheduling and diaries.
2. Mental Health Support:
Provide resources for mental health support, such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) or access to counselling services.
Promote mental health awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
3. Physical Health:
Offer wellness programs and incentives that encourage physical health, such as gym memberships, fitness challenges or even consider group walking for meetings.
Provide ergonomic workspaces and encourage regular breaks to prevent physical strain.
4. Healthy Eating:
Offer healthy food options in the workplace, such as nutritious snacks and meals.
Promote healthy eating habits and discourage excessive consumption of unhealthy foods and drinks – Red Bull does not in fact ‘give you wings’, but a fresh apple and ginger shot will make your toes tingle.
5. Stress Management:
Teach or coach employees stress management techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation exercises which can include ‘breathing’ techniques.
Encourage regular breaks and provide useful spaces for relaxation or an outdoor stroll.
6. Regular Feedback and Recognition:
Recognise and reward employees for their contributions and achievements.
Provide constructive feedback and support employees professional growth.
7. Team Building and Social Connections:
Organise appropriate team-building activities, networking and social events to give people time together to connect and foster positive workplace relationships.
Promote and support open communication and collaboration among colleagues.
8. Professional Development:
Offer opportunities for skill development and career growth. Support employees in setting and achieving their professional goals.
9. Clear Communication:
Ensure that communication within the organisation is transparent, open, and respectful, and that the culture in the business supports this.
Keep employees informed about company goals, changes and updates, and include them in problem solving, changes and business improvement so they have a say and are part of the change.
10. Conflict Resolution:
Implement effective conflict resolution strategies and coaching to address workplace conflicts promptly and professionally.
Train managers and employees in conflict resolution techniques, coaching conversations and having difficult conversations more effectively.
11. Safety and Security:
Develop and maintain a safe and secure working environment, including physical and psychological safety measures, and consider cybersecurity protocols to protect people and the organisation.
Address any safety concerns – including low level intimidation and bullying - promptly and proactively.
12. Financial Well-Being:
Offer financial wellness programs or resources to help employees manage their finances. Provide clear information about compensation, benefits and retirement planning, and consider education and support around gambling.
13. Inclusion and Diversity:
Foster an inclusive and diverse workplace that values and respects individual needs, ideas and differences but not dysfunctions. Ensure equal and equitable opportunities for all employees and address discrimination or bias.
14. Regular Well-Being Assessments:
Conduct well-being assessments, surveys and focus groups to understand the specific needs and concerns of your workforce.
Use insights and feedback to tailor well-being programs and initiatives that meet the needs of your people and business.
15. Leadership Role Modelling:
Encourage leaders and managers to model well-being behaviours, prioritise their own health and work-life balance, and have useful conversations with employees about the topic.
Leadership commitment sets a positive example for the entire organisation and has a significant impact on culture, trust and well being.
Promoting well-being at work is an ongoing effort that requires commitment, investment and continuous evaluation. By prioritising the physical, mental, and emotional health of employees, organisations can create a workplace where individuals can thrive, be engaged and contribute their best.
The health of the people and business are directly related. Healthier people make for healthier businesses.
Over many years we have run programmes for clients to better understand and usefully impact on well-being, both directly and indirectly, these include:
Creating a Coaching Culture
Creating a Culture where people are enabled to have coaching conversations is very powerful indeed, as Barclays found out when they commissioned their own amazing programme. It improves feedback and positive outcomes, whilst reducing moaning and blame. A coaching culture is a great way to create a better place for people to be able to give and receive feedback, share their thinking and better connect with others and in particular their managers, who, according to stats are often the source of stress and unhappiness for staff in businesses.
Role Excellence profiling
In the Google ‘Oxygen’ report they originally noted 8 behaviours of excellent managers. Interestingly the top 3 are: coaching, empowering not micromanaging and being interested in an employees career and well-being. You can of course conduct your own internal Role.
Excellence profiling to ascertain who are the excellent people in the roles you want to understand and then gather and map data to understand what they do (and don’t do) and what they prioritise.
Strategy, Culture and Leadership sessions
Change, including performance, happens when culture, strategy and leadership collides. Facilitated sessions based on Drucker’s model are extremely valuable. It really help people from all levels of the business to connect, share and improve understanding and engagement. At a more senior level, this model might be described as ‘vital’ in the day to day running of any business or project, particular to remind leaders to behave in a way that creates the environment or culture where people can be at their best, and therefore deliver the strategy which leadership are responsible for.
Coaching and supporting managers (Ambassador Programme)
Have heard the expression, ‘people join a business but leave their manager’? Sadly its all too true. Middle managers are often a key source of success or resistance to any change, they can make a break a persons experience and have far greater impact on the well being of your people and business than you might want to think. Therefore we must support, coach and develop the people in these key manager roles. Developing an Ambassador Programme can be a very useful and engaging way to develop managers, specific ‘practical’ training sessions linked to people and business needs and coaching – such as ALS – will help create a better place to work.
Culture reviews and developing a future desired culture
For some, culture is a buzz word or cliché. In reality it's completely the opposite, culture is the regulator for everything we do in work. Culture impacts our thinking, emotions and behaviours. Therefore conducting proper research into your current company culture to understand what it is, and then designing your future desired culture and mapping the gaps and changes on which to focus attention will undoubtedly deliver significant ROI in people, well-being, performance and metrics.
Like the Dogs Trust advert 40 years ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ wellbeing is for life; the life of your people, business and broader community.
If any of these topics and tips interest you or if you would like more details, I’d love to hear from you. Please book a call in my diary using the link below: