We are specialists in workplace wellbeing training. However we always say that this training is far more effective when implemented as part of a wider wellbeing strategy. This blog highlights some of the key considerations when developing your wellbeing strategy.

Westfield Health site workplace wellbeing as being important to every organisation because “by improving the health and wellbeing of your people, you’re not only improving their quality of life but you’re helping to create a more motivated, engaged and high performing workforce- resulting in great organisational success.”

4 Branches to Wellbeing

The benefits are clear, but what approach should be taken? At Flourish in Mind we believe the strategy should be holistic and incorporate all 4 branches of wellbeing, not just an emphasis of mental wellbeing. This ensures the financial, social, physical and mental wellbeing of people should be addressed within said strategy.

You can read more about our 4 Branches of Wellbeing Approach in our white paper here. To summarise;

Financial Wellbeing

Financial wellbeing is about ensuring people feel in control of their finances, having the plans in place to meet their personal financial goals. Close Brothers Financial Wellbeing Index 2019 found that 94% of employees admitted they worry about money and 77% stating these worries impact them at work.

Social Wellbeing

Social wellbeing is all about relationships, both interpersonal relationships inside and outside of work; as well as a person’s values and beliefs. For some people this may be spiritual connections or have religious connotations.

Physical Wellbeing

Physical wellbeing is about helping people to keep fit and healthy. It is about exercise, keeping active, nutrition, hydration and sleep. When people are physically healthy, they generally tend to feel better mentally. It also helps in terms of warding off illness helping people to stay in work more and be more productive. It also includes the physical environment.

Mental Wellbeing

Mental wellbeing is all about equipping people with the education and tools to be more proactive around their mental health. It is also about educating about mental illness. And how people within the workplace can be more understanding, less judgemental and supportive of someone who is struggling. For most of us we did not receive this type of education in schools and while there is a big awareness piece ‘out there’ it’s not always easy for individuals to apply good habits to themselves.

So, we when we think about pulling this all together under a ‘strategy’ what we mean is a plan of action to achieve long-term organisational wellness goal.

Culture

However, it’s all well and good having a plan in place, but if the culture isn’t complementary it simply will not work! The saying goes that culture eats strategy for breakfast. We believe that both culture and strategy should work hand in hand. The strategy gives the plan of action to achieve those long term wellness goals.

What is culture? Culture is the shared values, beliefs, attitudes and set of assumptions of the people within the organisation. Or in other words “the way we do things around here.”

Culture is what binds an organisation together. If the culture is right, it works hand in hand in the successful delivery and impact of the wellbeing strategy.

Culture is what nurtures individuals and helps them to learn from mistakes and to develop. It embraces differences and is strongly linked to the morale, attitudes, performance and wellbeing of staff. It is how staff feel. And is paramount for the retention of a quality and diverse workforce.

 

So how do you build an effective wellbeing strategy?
  1. Engage your employees. Find out what they want and what means the most to them. There’s little point in introducing lots of initiatives to ‘engage’ people if you don’t know what it is, they want. Ensure that communication is two way. And seek continual feedback. Incorporate all aspects of wellbeing to ensure a more holistic approach to employee wellness. Remembering that all 4 branches of wellbeing play an important part in an individual’s experience of wellness.
  2. Review your employee benefits package. Is it what your people value, do you offer what they want? Take the time to regularly communicate to your employees the benefits available to them. A recent survey showed utilisation of Employee Assistance Programmes at around just 4% They are generally referred to when someone reaches crisis point. However, EAPs offer a wealth of information, resources, tools and education to promote the wellness of your people.
  3. Address your workplace culture. A person being unwell isn’t always visible. And to some degree we rely on employees telling us if they need some additional support. The culture needs to empower people to feel able to talk without fear. Whether that be of the repercussions, or simply the other person not knowing how to respond. Investing in training such as mental health first aid will provide education around different mental health conditions, as well as giving managers the skills to respond in a calm, helpful and non-judgemental manner.
  4. Measure and review. At the outset set key performance goals for your wellbeing strategy. Measure the before and record so that you can measure the effectiveness of the different aspects of your strategy. Build on those things that make a difference. Review those that don’t.
  5. Policy and procedure should provide the foundations to your strategy. Review the messages which are given to employees around their wellbeing at each stage of the employee lifecycle. Review your existing policies and procedures to ensure they are in line with the culture you are aiming for. Are they supportive of and do they enhance your ethos around employee wellbeing? You can read our blog which covers this topic in more detail here

 

For more guidance around your wellbeing strategy and implementation, we can help. Contact Jennifer.rawlinson@flourishinmind.co.uk