Five things your workplace wellbeing strategy needs
Having a strong wellbeing offering has gone beyond a nice-to-have for businesses. Employees expect to be taken care of physically, mentally and financially — well beyond the 9-5.
But putting together a fully-fledged wellbeing strategy isn’t something you can do over your lunch break. It needs careful planning and buy-in from everybody at senior level.
Recently, we put together a comprehensive guide to building a wellbeing strategy, and one section of it spoke about the 10 key elements every strategy needs. It’s not an exhaustive list but they’re definitely things you should consider.
Here are five of the things we highlighted — and to find out the rest, feel free to download our all-in-one guide!
Line manager training
Line managers are a major part of your wellbeing efforts. As mentioned earlier, they’re often the first port of call for employees.
Ensure they’re well trained in the art of 1-2-1 meetings from a wellbeing perspective. This is especially important for those that have a lot of remote employees.
Regular check-ins should be part and parcel of their working week, but equally important is knowing what to ask. These meetings should be more than just discussing projects and objectives. Below are examples of questions that are good to ask:
- How do you feel your work/life balance is right now?
- Are there any challenges you’re facing at the moment?
- Last time we spoke you said X was a challenge — how is that going?
- What's one thing we could change about work for you that would help?
- Is there anything really motivating you at the moment?
- Is there anything demotivating you at the moment?
- Is there anything more I can do to support you?
This tends to be one of the first things employees look for in a job. Health is wealth, and being able to offer some type of cover is crucial. This helps them deal with the costs of treatments, check-ups, as well as including things like dental and vision coverage. Some companies also offer plans that cover family members.
The types of plans vary and you need to choose one which works for your business. If you can, you may want to go for a plan that also covers family members — this is a great selling point when hiring as well.
As well as helping employees with the cost of healthcare, offering private plans can also give them speedier access to treatments. This will help you as an employer — reducing absenteeism and improving staff morale.
Physical and mental wellbeing benefits
When it comes to wellbeing, everybody will have their own individual challenges. From a physical perspective, some people may want to lose weight, while others may want to build up their strength or flexibility.
Offering them free or discounted access to gyms and yoga sessions gives them the ability to pick what works for them. At the same time, you should ensure that you offer digital options as well, such as online classes and workout videos . A few years ago, simply offering a gym membership and a Cycle to Work scheme would be enough. But in an era of borderless working, where employees are working remotely — you need to cater for a more virtual experience.
When it comes to mental health, the same rules apply. People will have their own challenges — be it anxiety, stress, depression, imposter syndrome, or anything else. Give people the tools to help with these, as and when they need.
Things like counselling sessions will help — but again, look at ways to cater for a digital workforce. Mindfulness apps and talking therapies have grown in popularity, and are perfect for people that need support to be easily accessible, on a 24/7 basis.
Financial wellbeing is something that pretty much every employee wants help with — now more than ever. People want help with their day-to-day expenses, which is why employee discount schemes have become such a key part of the wellbeing strategy for businesses.
These allow people to save money on things like their grocery shopping and household items — as well as less frequent purchases such as holidays. Generally the savings can be made in a variety of ways — from vouchers, to instant e-gift cards, to online codes. As well as easing the financial pressure on employees, a scheme like this has a positive impact on their mental wellbeing as well. Ultimately, the cost of living crisis requires employers to help their people in multiple ways, as we show here.
The ability to work from home, vary hours and have a better work-life balance is good for physical, mental and financial wellbeing.
It gives employees time back during the day to exercise, meditate, make a healthy meal rather than grab a desk lunch, or simply take a breather. It reduces the risk of burnout. It also boosts their disposable income by reducing their commuting and/or childcare costs.
When putting together your wellbeing strategy, analyse your business and see how flexible you can be in terms of how and where employees work. It needs to work for you, but the more you can tailor your working model to employee needs, the better it is for their wellbeing.