How to Promote Wellness in your Workplace
Here are three good reasons you’ll want to promote wellness in your workplace. First and most selfishly, it will make you feel good to be a driving force in helping your colleagues feel better. Second and already mentioned, your colleagues will benefit. And the third reason to promote wellbeing in your workplace: taking action to promote wellbeing is good for your business.
The World Health Organisation has identified the workplace (that means your workplace) as prime real estate for promoting health. This isn’t surprising considering how much time we spend at our workplaces — around a third of our waking lives for most of us.
When you are at a point where you have valuable resources in place to improve employee wellbeing in your workplace then you’ll want people to actually benefit from them. Far too often businesses spend a lot of time and a lot of money developing benefits packages that go unused. Consider the following tips to help boost engagement with your organisation’s health and wellness initiatives:
1) Involve a cross-section of employees in developing and implementing your workplace wellness program. Appointing a wellbeing team or committee is a great way to do this. This team can encourage people to participate, champion your initiatives, explain company benefits, and provide invaluable and continuous feedback and insights on how to improve employee wellbeing resources. Ensure this team includes members across departments and from various levels of seniority to support engagement throughout your organisation.
2) Having visible support from the top of your organisation can go a long way towards promoting wellness. Consider sending a weekly or monthly wellbeing message from the CEO or add credibility to annual themes and goals with endorsements from members of your senior management team.
3) Provide a wellness calendar to your workforce highlighting national and international initiatives as well as events and projects taking place within your own workplace. Increase awareness of broader health and wellbeing issues and make them relevant to your workplace. This calendar allows you to plan activities and events and sew corporate wellbeing best practice into the fabric of your organisation.
4) Frequently report back to your colleagues with data and insights into your employee health and wellbeing activities. Be clear and transparent about how your organisation’s resources are being used. Highlight areas that are underutilised and praise success and milestones. Maintaining an informative conversation about wellness in your workplace is a fundamental step to boosting engagement.
5) Company wellbeing ambassadors can add value to your wellness initiatives. Ambassadors help deliver your organisation’s wellbeing plans and messages. For instance, delivering Mental Health First Aid training can equip your colleagues to manage delicate situations with tact and understanding. MHFA’s training is well regarded as a means of enabling people to notice signs of poor mental health. These courses will benefit everyone involved and make clear that your organisation is dedicated to improving health and wellness of all kinds. Those who take the training act as communicators and proof of this dedication.
6) Be patient and be creative. Your suite of wellbeing resources will be effective but it will take time to filter through your organisation. Most health initiatives aim at long-term goals. Keep those goals in mind, trust the work you have put in to design and implement your wellness program, and be prepared to adjust where necessary. Wellbeing in your workplace is unlikely to thrive on autopilot, so do what you can to include variety and surprise where you can in order to keep your colleagues engaged and interested.
Essentially, the way to promote wellness in your workplace is to continuously engage the people who will deliver and enjoy the initiatives and programs you have in place. Understand what you are trying to achieve and why and share this with your employees. It takes structure, effort, commitment and momentum to do wellbeing well. When done right, this continuous process delivers value and tangible benefits to your whole organisation.
Creating an Effective Wellbeing at Work Calendar
Planning for the year ahead
Keep in mind that “a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow”. The reach of this wisdom from U.S. General Patton obviously extends far beyond the battlefield. The purpose of a wellbeing calendar is to help you put a plan in place which you can then tweak to your heart’s content. First things first: make that plan. Follow the guidance below to create a wellbeing calendar that suits your organisation’s needs and aims.
Purpose & Benefits
Broadly, and most obviously, a wellbeing calendar provides some structure for your organisation to communicate with its workers. It can act as a top-up to internal wellbeing initiatives that are already in place and also highlight any improvements that are on the horizon.
Keep track of national, international and local health observances and promote organisation-specific health and wellbeing initiatives. Encourage your workers to participate in Dry January, remind them to sign up for the weekly yoga class held before lunch or promote open conversation about mental health. The calendar is your opportunity to frame the wellbeing conversation, so think about what kind of conversation you want to have.
Valuable resources are often underused because the people who could benefit from them don’t know they exist or don’t have them brought to their attention at the moments they need them most.
What it should include
There are many national and international health observances throughout the year. Some encourage healthy behaviour, some raise awareness of particular illnesses, some are confined to a single day and others last a full calendar month. Take a look at this NHS list of campaigns for some inspiration.
Be specific to what your organisation offers and the aims it has. Promote regular events and initiatives (such as Walking Wednesdays, yoga classes or intramural sports teams) as well as one-off occurrences and organisational resources and tools. The wellbeing calendar is a great way to share with your workers the efforts that you and the organisation make to improve their wellbeing at work.
Listen to your workers and find out if there is anything they want to be included. They are more likely to engage enthusiastically if they enjoy some authorship of the calendar and know it reflects their desires and perspective.
Pay attention - Review
Now that you have this structure, use it! Don’t just file it away in a drawer or a shared drive. And don’t just send one email at the start of the year. Make sure to communicate regularly to get the most out of your wellbeing programmes. Consider setting a communication schedule as part of the wellbeing calendar itself.
Make sure to assess how effective the calendar is and how your organisation’s initiatives are being received. This is crucial. Be honest with yourself and with your workers with the intention of improving this tool. The better this process gets, the better your workers will feel.
Adjust where necessary. Remember, a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. You started with a good plan and knew that refinements were on the cards. Listen to feedback, respond to data and don’t be afraid drop things even if you've spent precious time working on them.
NHS National Campaigns
Welbot Product Update 2020
Latest version out now!
We work closely with our customers and partners alike to ensure our wellness at work platform is as effective as possible. We have completely reworked our Welbot software and it’s now ready for you to try. You can request your free trial here: Free 14 Day Trial.
As well as our free product trial we are now offering customers a free on-demand demo service too. If you would like us to walk you and your colleagues through the product features, and what we have pipleined for future releases, then we can set up a remote video call for you.
You can book your personal demo here: Welbot Online Demo