What are the benefits of employee wellbeing days?

Aside from making your organisation a great place to work, the benefits of wellbeing days include:

  • Increased resilience
  • Better employee engagement
  • Reduced sickness days
  • Higher work performance
  • Increased productivity

However, the CIPD stress that for these benefits to materialise, organisations need to integrate employee wellbeing into their culture, leadership, and people management strategies. In other words, employee wellbeing needs to be a business priority.

Prioritising wellbeing means making it part of your employees' everyday experiences. Dedicating one day to it a year, unfortunately, isn’t enough. Of course we’re not saying you shouldn't celebrate wellbeing days — because you should. What we mean is that the day should be part of a comprehensive wellbeing strategy.

11 motivational employee wellbeing day ideas

The purpose of wellness days is to give your employees the tools they need to thrive both professionally and personally. In fact, a wellbeing day is usually part of a more comprehensive wellbeing strategy.

Here are 11 wellbeing ideas to keep your employees happy and healthy:

1. Host your own overall wellbeing workshops

Hosting your own wellbeing workshops during the day gives your teams the opportunity to learn more about their own health and wellbeing. This has a positive impact on so many employee experiences and can also help reduce work-related stress.

Your wellbeing workshop may include:

  • Stress management workshops
  • Exercises to maintain good posture
  • Goal setting for personal and professional development
  • Seminars/webinars on building confidence and resilience
  • Tips for maintaining focus and boosting productivity
  • Healthy work lunch ideas

Depending on your office setup, all of these wellbeing classes can be hosted either in-person or online.

2. Yoga for work

Whether your employees are sitting at a desk all day or are on their feet. The ancient practice of yoga can help strengthen the body, so it’s more resistant to the physical and mental stresses placed upon it. The great thing about dedicating a few hours to yoga is that a practitioner can host a lesson over a video call, in person, or both. This way everyone can get involved regardless of where they’re working.

Employees enjoying a yoga class for their wellbeing

3. Volunteering partnerships

Giving back to your local communities, or charities that have a special place in your organisation should be an important part of your culture. Of course, getting employees involved in this can be tricky especially if they need enhanced background checks.

But, if there are some charitable organisations who can accept help from your teams, getting them all together for one day is a great way for everyone to meet. You could also put some time aside where each charity does a presentation over a video call so that remote employees get a chance to put themselves forward too.

Helping others is a wonderful way to create a sense of fulfilment in your teams. Particularly if they will be out of their comfort zone and interacting with people they don’t know very well.

4. Scheduled duvet days

Most of us are familiar with duvet days. But, dedicating a day off each quarter for employees to pursue wellness activities on their own can offer much-needed respite. During these days employees do whatever they want to recharge. Impromptu days off are a welcome break for those who may be feeling overwhelmed or stressed from dealing with tight deadlines.

5. Journalling

Journalling is a very personal activity, but you can incorporate it into your wellness day as a meaningful way to explore how your teams are thinking and feeling. After the journaling session is over you can ask your employees what they learned. For example, if they’ve been feeling a little anxious did the journaling highlight the source of that anxiety? Or, more positively, has it helped them discover what they find satisfying about their role and what they want to achieve in the future? Fortunately, there are plenty of mindful journaling questions online, some are career specific, while others are more personal.

Staff journalling exercise as part of a wellbeing day

6. Healthy cooking clubs

A balanced and healthy diet not only benefits our immune system but also gives us more energy and focus. So, in addition to dedicating a day to bake off treats, how about putting some time aside to create a healthy virtual cookalong — or an in-office competition? Perhaps your teams bring in healthy home-cooked snacks, or each team chooses an individual course? Either way, following a nutrition-centred theme, gives your teams the chance to explore healthy dishes they may not have otherwise cooked.

7. Sip and paint

Sip and paint events take place in a range of venues, from lively bars to calming cafes. But you can host yours in the office or in a different location altogether. Because we’re suggesting sip and paint for a wellness activity we recommend a relaxed café atmosphere during the day, versus an upbeat bar at night. Putting paint to canvas has so many mental health benefits. Aside from getting our creative juices flowing, it can also reduce anxiety and stress, while also boosting memory and concentration.

8. Health MOT

Depending on your budget, a health MOT is an excellent addition to any wellness day. Usually, before the session, your employees would need to fill out a questionnaire so the practitioner has an overview of their lifestyle and habits.

Health MOT packages can vary greatly and cater to all sorts of budgets, the most comprehensive would likely include:

  • Blood tests — usually cholesterol and blood glucose
  • BMI analysis
  • Peak flow breathing
  • Cardiovascular assessments
  • ECG
  • A personalised health report

Additionally, top-end packages may also cover a follow-up call with a GP.

9. Career coaching

Employee satisfaction is closely linked to professional development so what better way to foster greater productivity than by offering career coaching? Now, there are several ways to approach career coaching. You could, for example, cover the cost of a set number of sessions per employee. Alternatively, you could partner with a career coaching company as a more long-term solution — and they offer you a discounted rate on their services. What’s more, because career coaching can be offered virtually, remote employees benefit too.

10. Health stipend

Health stipend or wellness allowance — whatever you call it, giving your employees money to spend on their wellbeing shows you care about their health. Another idea is to offer bigger discounts on your wellbeing day. This could look like partnering with local gyms and negotiating bigger reductions on supplements, activewear, and wearable tech. You could also provide access to mental health tools such as counselling sessions or meditation apps.

11. Wellbeing subscription box

Subscription boxes are perfect for organisations with remote workforces. For those with in-office employees, we recommend leaving the boxes on their desks for when they come in — this way everyone opens them at the same time. To make subscription boxes more impactful, link them to your wellbeing areas of focus. For example, if you’re hosting talks on mindfulness, a box containing items relating to sleep and relaxation would be a good option. Another idea is to have employees fill out a questionnaire on wellbeing boxes they would value most.

6 steps to plan your employee wellbeing day

Planning an employee wellbeing day takes a considerable amount of time, especially if you want to be intentional and focus on specific elements of wellbeing.

Nevertheless, no matter what you want your wellbeing day to be, here are 6 steps to make it run as smoothly as possible.

Step 1. Ensure the wellbeing day complements your strategy

If one of your wellbeing goals is to reduce authorised absence by 5% you’ll likely focus on physical wellbeing. So, you may include more activities that get people moving — or teach them about quick and easy nutritious meals.

Alternatively, if your employees are feeling the pinch with the increasing cost of living, financial wellbeing webinars could be a good option.

If you want to learn more about supporting your employee’s financial wellbeing, our free ebook has lots of practical tips and advice

Step 2. Ask your employees what they want

An obvious step, but unfortunately one that’s often missed. Understanding what your employees value about wellbeing is crucial to creating an engaging wellbeing day. There are many methods to collect feedback, including surveys, however in this instance, polls tend to get higher participation rates.

With Perkbox you can use polls to get employees voting on wellbeing day ideas. If you don’t have the time, there are plenty of poll templates you can choose from. But if you have a particular poll in mind you can also create one from scratch.

Step 3. Think about any internal and external support you need

Your own staff members can be valuable sources of support, from yoga practitioners to keen cooks — involving your teams in your wellbeing day can be a rewarding experience for everyone.

You could even use your own wellbeing platforms to complement activities. Perkbox contains an ever-expanding library of workouts, wellbeing webinars, and mediations. Just log in via smart TV or cast from your phone to use these resources as part of your wellbeing activities.

Some workshops and activities of course require external professionals. Examples of this could be occupational therapists, career coaches, and nutrition experts.

Step 4. Promote wellbeing discounts and perks

Offering a comprehensive perks and discounts scheme is a great employee experience. Not only are you supporting their financial wellbeing, but you’re also inspiring them to make healthy choices.

An extensive wellbeing perks package goes beyond gym memberships and takes a holistic approach to health.

Fortunately, Perkbox includes over 9,000 discounts and deals with global retailers. What’s more your teams can also save money on supplements, healthy meal kits, talking therapy sessions, and more. Enhanced options include health cashback plans and an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).

Learn how to increase motivation and productivity with wellbeing incentives

Step 5. Shout about your wellbeing day

To guarantee every employee hearing about wellbeing day, you need to be persistent with your internal comms campaign. Depending on your organisation, desk drops, email, intranet messaging, and a good old-fashioned posters pinned to notice boards are all good methods of communication.

But if you don’t have the resources for a multifaceted campaign using one overarching and accessible system is a more efficient option. Perkbox includes a centralised system where you can reach everyone in a few simple steps. Think of it as a virtual notice board where you pin cards that employees can access online or from the Perkbox app. There are plenty of card templates and you can even create your own. Each card links to videos, pdfs, photos, and more.

Step 6. Collect feedback

After your wellbeing day or week has ended, collect feedback. Understanding what your employees valued is important for the success of future wellbeing events. Is there anything they want to see more of? Did they learn something new? How practical was the advice they received? All of these questions provide valuable insight into how your teams think and feel about their own health, in addition to the wellbeing activities themselves.

Learn more about how Perkbox can support your employees’ health

Prioritise employee wellbeing every day of the year

Wellbeing days are important to both organisations and employees, but sadly they’re often overlooked. Events, such as town halls for example are the norm in most companies, but dedicating a full or even half day to employee health isn’t as commonplace — yet.

Nevertheless, prioritising employee wellbeing every day is a great way to build up to a larger-scale wellbeing event. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to do this, one option is making wellbeing an important part of team meetings. Encouraging people to stretch, go for tea breaks, or take part in active icebreaker games are just a few examples.

Another way to show you value your teams is with a wellbeing platform. The Perkbox app has an entire library that’s packed with wellbeing resources. Plus, it’s constantly growing and evolving to offer your teams the best and most accessible wellbeing content possible.

Learn more about how Perkbox can help you reach your wellbeing goals

Employee wellbeing days: your FAQs answered

What is an employee wellbeing day?

An employee wellbeing day is an event that celebrates wellbeing. Throughout the day, organisations put on activities, such as health and nutrition seminars, yoga sessions, and cookalongs. There are no clear guidelines on what a wellbeing day should contain, so for this reason we recommend running your ideas past employees to see what they think. Alternatively, a wellbeing day is also a term used to describe a day off — specifically to rest and recharge. An employee may take a wellbeing day when they’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

How do you do a wellbeing day?

What do you do during wellbeing week?

Optimise your employee wellbeing strategy and prevent burnout

We've put together this guide to help you create the best possible employee wellbeing strategy.

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