5 Practical Steps to Promote Wellbeing at Work

29 May 2020
6 minute

In a study by mind.org, 60% of workers reported feeling more motivated and more likely to recommend their organisation if their employer supported their mental wellbeing. Other studies reveal that promoting wellbeing in the workplace can improve employee engagement and organisational performance.

For these reasons and more, organisations are turning to wellness initiatives to increase employee wellbeing. So, from an HR perspective, what can we all be doing to raise the bar for health and wellbeing at work? In this article, we’ll look at some ways to boost workplace wellness and the benefits it will offer your organisation.

Wellbeing at work black male

What is Wellbeing at Work?

Workplace wellbeing comes down to more than just initiatives. As a term, it takes under its wing the full picture of our working lives. If you look at the International Labour Organisation, it defines that as meaning the quality and safety of the work environment. The climate at work and the work organisation. Everything that comes under the “work” banner for employees.

The figures paint a vivid picture of companies who have invested in wellbeing in the workplace. With three in five employees experiencing mental health issues because of work, improving wellbeing has positive implications for individuals, and organisations can also reap productivity and job satisfaction benefits, which have a tangible impact on the bottom line by increasing output and reducing recruitment costs.

How to Measure Wellbeing at Work

While we can talk about why wellbeing at work matters to both company and employee, there’s the inevitable question around measuring it. Without clear metrics, any investment in improving workplace wellbeing is hard to justify.

There are several ways to combat this issue, including performance data, as well as other metrics to gauge the mood of teams across the business. Employee questionnaires are just one example here. But there are other ways of getting “hard data” as this article from CIO runs through. Such as tracking how many people participate in wellness activities through wearable tech or tapping into sentiment analysis to get a better understanding of engagement levels.

Perhaps most importantly, you need to define what “happy” is before you start to try and measure it. Without that vital piece of the puzzle, you’ll be going into any exploratory work blind.
 

5 Benefits of Wellbeing in the Workplace

1. Improve staff retention

We already know that 60% of people would recommend an organisation that pays attention to their wellbeing. Quite simply, if you invest in workplace wellbeing you are more likely to retain talent.

2. Maximise candidate selection

Along with this, if you’re known in the marketplace as a great employer, you are more likely to attract fresh talent and a higher calibre of candidate.

3. Boost physical wellbeing and health

Not only does a wellness strategy help with key metrics like productivity. It is also linked to “increased resilience”, including reduced sickness and higher performance. As well as improved overall health.

4. Maximise employee engagement

If employees feel they can influence their working life, and their voice is heard over workplace wellness matters, they are more likely to feel engaged as this article from Forbes highlights.

5. Feeds into training and development initiatives

As mind.org outlines, research shows that development opportunities build trust and integrity. But through researching employee satisfaction, you can get a better understanding of what areas employees would like to work on, and how this could positively impact the business.
 

5 Practical Ways to Promote Wellbeing at Work

Finding the right metrics to measure wellness strategies is essential. But it will all come to nothing if you don’t have the right wellbeing initiatives in the first place. The ways to boost workplace wellness range from the wacky to the practical and finding your groove will depend on your organisation’s culture and the expectations of your staff.

But that’s not to say there aren’t a few universal wellbeing at work ideas you can consider implementing. Here are just five of our favourites.

1. Provide comfortable work and collaborative spaces

Paying attention to the aesthetics of your workspaces will make all the difference to both productivity and happiness levels. Minimising distractions, providing ample natural light, and inspiring colour schemes are all ways to boost mood, reduce fatigue and focus the mind. Just take the lead from collaboration space specialists like Mindspace to see how this can look.

2. Support exercise and fitness

With 45% of people complaining about stressful commutes, many companies are providing cycle racks, showers and changing rooms to slot into bike-to-work schemes. But one size does not fit all, and there are other ways to encourage health and fitness in the workplace, from discounted gym memberships to yoga classes or “walking meetings” outdoors like Virgin.

3. Promote healthy diets and lifestyles

Company-Wide initiatives to encourage healthier lifestyles can also lend an inspirational edge to your organisation. Organised hikes, yearly events like the Three Peaks Challenge, and charity fitness events. All of these can give people a sense of both belonging and positivity, as well as promoting a healthier way of living. This, along with snacks daily like fruit and nuts, all improve the feel of a workplace. Just check out SnackNation’s take on all things diet and fitness.

4. Recognise and reward staff for good work

Reward schemes have long been used to build employee engagement and help retain talent. Companies like Northern Gas & Power are old hands at exactly this, using rewards and events to underpin everything they do. They promote from within, and staff can finish work for the year when they’ve hit their annual target.

5. Introduce mindfulness

Meditation isn’t for everyone, but mindfulness is an accessible tool anyone can use, and you don’t have to be a fan of traditional meditation. Salesforce is just one business that gives employees space, quite literally, to take some time to refocus. Their mindfulness zones through the office aren’t the only perk. They also provide daily meditation sessions and walking meditations to help staff refocus their mind.


 

Working with Thomas.co

Finding the right wellbeing strategies comes down to your business. Everyone is different, just as every organisation is unique. As specialists in employee engagement assessments and workplace personality, Thomas.co can help you find the right pathway into developing wellbeing initiatives.

This takes the grey area away from the how to improve wellbeing at work challenge. Additional assessments into psychometric, aptitude and emotional intelligence can help narrow down the ways to boost wellness in the workplace. Through hard data and insightful assessments, you can create an inspiring workplace for all.

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