Does your organisation have a Well-being Strategy?

Human Resources 4th August 2021

Well-being’ – arguably the number one business buzzword of the early 2020s – but the concept is no meaningless, empty trend. In recent years, especially in times of stress, such as many companies and individuals have recently experienced, the mental and physical health of people in the workplace has been recognised as vital to engagement and productivity. What is less appreciated is the need for organisations to have in place a clear well-being strategy – embedding well-being as a part of their culture.

A key function of HR is to promote workplace well-being strategies and initiatives, focusing on people’s real needs and providing a link to leadership to keep well-being high on the agenda.

What is workplace well-being, and why does it matter?

Workplace well-being is a holistic view of an individual’s physical, mental and social state at work. You know your organisation is doing well with your workplace well-being strategy when your people are performing well and creatively, building positive relationships, attending regularly and coping better with their workload.

Every employee is an individual. Treat them as such

Avoid the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to workplace well-being. Connect with your people as individuals. What makes them happy at work? Finding out about their individual needs will be your first step towards giving employees a greater sense of belonging and demonstrating your commitment to well-being.

Taking a pro-active approach

You need to design your well-being strategy to prevent problems from arising in the first place. This proactive approach requires you to understand the unique drivers of well-being at your organisation so you have a good idea of what will work and what won’t.

Standalone initiatives aren’t enough

A range of standalone initiatives won’t suffice. Your well-being strategy needs to be exactly that—a strategy. Your approach to workplace well-being needs to be holistic, fixed in your culture and should guide how you make decisions. Workplace well-being should sit at the heart of everything you do.

The ultimate responsibility lies with your people

Employees are ultimately responsible for looking after their own health and well-being. For your strategy to work, they have to buy in. But your leadership and ability to communicate and inspire still has a crucial part to play.

12 ideas for your workplace well-being strategy

Mental health

1. Bring in or develop your own mental-health first aiders to talk to and train your people in how to help themselves and how to support each other.

2. Train your manager in how to spot potential mental health issues and how to deal with them.

Working environment

3. Create an open and inclusive culture

4. Organise social events and group activities – with optional attendance

Non-financial recognition

5. Review workloads and job design

6. Offer flexible working to improve work-life balance

7. Improve your holiday and leave policies

Career development 

8. Introduce mentoring programmes

9. Utilise performance-development plans

10. Provide personal-resilience training

Inspiring initiatives

11. Offer paid volunteering days: for example, two paid days a year to use volunteering for the charity of their choice.

12. Provide a health and well-being allowance: a monthly physical well-being allowance to spend on, for example, gym membership.

Measuring your well-being strategy success

Knowing how to measure the success of your well-being strategy is as important as the strategy itself. The first step is to gather feedback, using the following five steps.

1. Carry out your survey

The best way to gauge how your workforce is feeling is with employee surveys. You can reach everyone, easily store your insights to report on and refer back to when needed. You can also give your people a confidential platform to open up about their needs. Use the survey not only to find out about how your employees are feeling but also to ask them what they want from your well-being strategy. Ask them for their ideas and input.

2. Analyse your results and set your actions

Take time to reflect on the results and explore the comments, trends and hotspots that have arisen. You can then decide what actions you need to take as part of your ongoing well-being strategy. It’s vital to prioritise these actions – choose two or three that you know you can carry out thoroughly and effectively.

3. Communicate

Once you’ve gathered employee feedback to improve your well-being strategy, it’s crucial to communicate how you are acting on that feedback. This affirms the value of the feedback. Your transparency will build trust and ensure employees are motivated to engage with your well-being programme.

And repeat! Remember to keep measuring, keep listening and keep improving.

Specialist HR advice

Shouldn’t you be developing a well-being strategy? Isn’t it time to set the ball rolling? Talk to us about how to manage your strategy. We’re always here to help.

For more on well-being in the workplace, get in touch.

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