How much thought have you really given to the health and wellbeing of your employees?
Employers have started to realise that the key to having healthy, highly engaged and committed workers is a good wellbeing strategy. According to Employee Wellbeing Research 2017 published by the Reward & Employee Benefits Association, nearly 55% of respondents had no wellbeing strategy in place, but many employers plan to introduce one in the next few years.
What is the benefit of having a wellbeing strategy?
Having a clear strategy can help boost employee engagement, tackle stress, reduce sickness absence, increase productivity, retain key staff and attract a more diverse workforce.
What types of initiatives could my organisation introduce?
Many small and medium sized organisations don’t have anything in place and may feel a little lost as to what they can do to help their employees’ health and well-being.
Here are some things you could consider:
- Employee Assistance Programme
- Health screenings
- Rewarding those who walk or cycle to work
- Gym memberships or group exercise classes
- Awareness campaigns and workshops – stress, sleep management, nutrition, smoking cessation, alcohol, relaxation techniques, etc
- Free fruit or healthy food
- Mental health support
- Access to counselling
- Access to physiotherapy
- Career breaks and sabbaticals
- Flexible working arrangements
- Health and wellbeing apps
- Wearable technology – pedometers, fitness trackers, etc
- Providing chill out areas at work
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but gives you a flavour of the wide array of initiatives that you can choose from.
How do I go about developing a wellbeing strategy?
The first thing employers need to know is that there is no single approach suitable for all organisations. You need to think about your particular workforce and their health and wellbeing needs and tailor your initiatives around them. It’s also essential to think about your budget, resources and capabilities and how your strategy will align with your business goals.
Whatever you decide to implement should be incorporated into your current HR policies and procedures, such as flexible working.
Once you have decided on the strategy, you will need to get the message out. Make use of noticeboards, staff bulletins and team meetings to spread the word
Lastly, you should measure the success of your strategy. Depending on what you implement and its goal, you can look at employee engagement surveys, staff turnover rate, absence rate, number of referrals made, etc. There’s a cost in terms of time and money to implement this, so make sure you get a return on your investment.