Workplace wellbeing holds supreme importance, especially nowadays, with the rise in workplace stress and depression alongside dealing with the consequences of a global pandemic. Organisations are required to understand the need to implement wellbeing strategies within their workplace.
A wellbeing strategy focuses on the overall health and wellbeing of the employees within an organisation. The strategy itself is part of the HR strategy; however, the focus is maintained on employee wellbeing. It includes the implementation of actions, plans and various systems to ensure that employees’ wellbeing is not compromised.
A good wellbeing strategy requires a focus on three different areas. These include Mental, physical and financial wellness. By integrating these three elements, you can ensure you are implementing a complete and comprehensive wellbeing strategy within your workplace. A breakdown of each element is as follows:
Mental wellness focuses on utilising the resources to manage and control individuals, emotions, relationships and overall engagement. It is also achieved through education on mental illnesses and creating an overall awareness of mental health. Some strategies that can be used include:
- Providing employees with the opportunity to decide when and how they would like to work helps in ensuring that they are fully motivated while working.
- Workload needs to be managed appropriately according to the capacity of the employees. If not managed appropriately, there is a risk of stress and burnout.
- Line managers can be provided with mental health training. This training will help managers be able to identify any symptoms of stress among their teams and will help them to implement strategies to minimise these risks.
- Similarly, employees can be provided training on mental health. Special courses could be made available for them. By creating awareness among employees, managing the mental wellbeing of the employees will be achievable.
- Meditation and yoga classes could also be an additional step employees can take. Being able to take breaks during the day to meditate or do yoga has the potential to improve employee performance.
Physical wellness is about keeping employees healthy and fit. It’s about ensuring that the employees get enough sleep or that their diet is healthy and nutritious. It also includes how active employees are. Are they sitting all day working, or are they getting enough exercise? Are there other workplace factors impacting their physical wellness such as job design, workload or leadership?
Physical health is highly dependent on what employees’ intake is. Is the food your employees eat nutritious? Are the snacks they eat during lunch breaks good for them? Does the work environment promote healthy heating? One way to ensure healthy eating in the workplace is by providing free healthy snacks. You can also arrange healthy cooking classes as an additional workplace bonding activity which will also benefit in ensuring that employees are gaining skills to ensure their physical wellbeing outside the workplace.
Exercise challenges that could be promoted through social media should also be incorporated. Weekly or monthly physical challenges on social media are a good way of creating a healthy workplace culture. Other physical wellbeing strategies include free workout videos, charity marathons, massage therapists, gym memberships with discounts, programs helping to quit smoking, health measurement tools and outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking or playing football.
Lastly, having financial wellness within the workplace means the employees are capable of managing and controlling their own finances, which allows them to achieve their personal and professional financial goals. To ensure your employees can manage their finances, the following should be considered.
Providing knowledge on how to manage one’s finances should be the top priority when considering the employee’s financial wellbeing. Conducting training to help employees learn skills to manage their finances is important because if the employees feel financially secure, they are not worried about work or looking for better-paying jobs. They end up being satisfied with their jobs and eventually show progress through their work.
Discounts and vouchers could be another way of helping employees to achieve their financial goals. Discounts could be given on a variety of purchases made by employees. These could be embedded in a reward system the workplace can create through which employees are not only being rewarded for their excellent behaviour and progress in the workplace, but the company is also showing its support toward their financial wellbeing.
Other strategies that may be considered involve cashback schemes, insurance packages, complimentary perks, payment schemes for electronic devices, season ticket loans, pension packages and discounts on meals.
Who Can Implement This Strategy?
You’ll need someone to take the helm of any strategies you implement. Several people can be responsible for this. You can task one of your Human Recourses members as wellbeing manager, in charge of your employees’ wellbeing. If you choose to do so, it is wise to trust someone with prior experience in employee wellness. You could also hire a consultant to develop a strategy for your management team to implement. This could be done in person or via a mobile app. Whatever you decide, rest assured that you have taken the first step to improve the wellbeing of your workers and that they will thank you for it.