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Creating your 2024 Workplace Wellbeing Strategy

January has that feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. With many of us making

resolutions or setting intentions to change things about ourselves, the same can be said for

organisations. With this in mind, if you have not yet had a chance to craft or review the

workplace wellbeing strategy for your organisation we thought we would share some ideas

and thoughts to get you started.

What is a Workplace Wellbeing Strategy?

The Chartered Institute and Personnel define wellbeing at work as:

“An environment that actively promotes a state of contentment, benefiting both employees and the organisation. Investing in employee wellbeing can lead to increased resilience, better employee engagement, reduced sickness absence and higher performance and productivity.”

Taking this definition of what we mean by wellbeing in the workplace, the strategy we create can help us to outline an approach that runs throughout an organisation to helps us create this environment. The type of provision might include raising awareness of mental wellbeing through events, drop in sessions, offering workshops or mental health first aid training. We take our physical health very seriously, it is important to take a similar approach with our mental wellbeing, especially given the impact of the last few years.

What should I include in a Workplace Wellbeing Strategy?

There are many different elements to consider as part of your wellbeing strategy. There are four pillars we need to focus on and gain buy in on the actions which need to be taken from across an organisation at every level. There are also some key elements that as individuals we need to take responsibility for to ensure we maintain positive mental wellbeing:

  • Good sleep hygiene.

  • Regular movement and exercise.

  • Eating a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet.

  • Manage our stress levels.

  • Connect with others.

  • Have a purpose or focus on charity.

  • Continuing to learn and grow.

A recent report from the charity Mind, states that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, we can see that there is still a way to go, to help support our teams to achieve that balance. As leaders and managers we have a responsibility to our teams to ensure that their workplace is supportive, and they maintain good mental wellbeing.

When creating our workplace wellbeing strategy there are four key pillars we need to consider:

Heading that says Mental and Emotional

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes mental health as:

“a state of wellbeing in which an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.

There is still some taboo around talking about mental health, so an organisation needs to help create a psychologically safe environment where their teams feel happy to open up about any concerns they may have. Whilst mental health first aiders are not a replacement for professional support, having them on site will help in spotting the signs of individuals struggling, giving wellbeing talks and offering drop in sessions that are a safe space to talk are a great place to start. There are also many awareness days across the year that support mental wellbeing, talking about these days within your teams can help to drive awareness.

We have put a handy summary of key awareness diary dates together, get in touch to request your copy.

Heading that says Physical

When we speak about physical wellbeing, movement is just one element. As we note above we also need to be mindful of our sleep hygiene and how we fuel our body. There are many ways an organisation can support their teams with this which may include:

  • Providing nutritious meals in the canteen

  • Offering lunchtime or after work exercise classes eg: mindfulness; Pilates; gym or yoga classes. W

  • Workshops to help our teams understand the optimum way of taking care of ourselves.

Heading that says Social

The Social Wellbeing pillar focuses on our need to be part of a community and connect with others. The digital world is very much part of modern day life, but somehow as we have more ability to connect we feel less connected. Interestingly, on BBC Radio 2 recently they were debating this very topic. This feeling is created I think, because when we use tech we don’t create deeper more focused engagement or conversations, therefore not providing us with the sense of connection we seek. As workplaces continue to juggle a hybrid way of working, it continues to be a challenge. For some the working from home piece works, but for others loneliness can creep in, especially if you live alone or just starting out in your career.

So, how as organisations can we support the digital wellbeing of our teams? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Having team building days to facilitate the team having some deeper conversations.

  2. Have digital free days, encourage your team to pick up the phone and talk instead.

  3. Set boundaries, with senior leaders leading by example and encourage teams to switch off the tech at a reasonable time.

  4. Offer training to better understand the impact of digital on our wellbeing.

If you are interested to learn more about how digital wellbeing impacts our teams, please click here to read one of our latest blogs.

Heading that says Financial

Financial Wellbeing Pillar

Financial Wellbeing is often one of the pillars missed in a workplace wellbeing strategy, however, financial anxiety is a very real challenge, especially for many as the cost of living crisis continues. If not dealt with it can significantly impact the rest of your wellbeing. Here are some tips from our resident financial expert Jane Johnson as to how we can keep on top of our finances:

  1. Track your spending so you understand what expenses you have each month.

  2. Spend from a different bank account. A simple way to manage your finances is to have one account you get paid into and another where all of your bills go out from.

  3. Save. One of the most important things to focus on is to have an emergency fund to take care of any unforeseen expenses.

  4. Have a financial health check. Financial planning for the future is important so you can set goals and start to work towards them sooner rather than later.

  5. As always by offering training to your teams around financial wellbeing and helping them to start the conversation, it will avoid future concerns.

If you are interested to learn more about how to overcome your financial anxiety, please click here to read one of our blogs from earlier in 2023.

How can I measure the success of my Workplace Wellbeing Strategy?

When first setting up our workplace wellbeing strategy, measuring the impact on the business is important. There are three steps we need to take:

  • Review where the organisation is now and how the teams feel their wellbeing is a focus.

  • As part of this process then identify what support employees feel is missing.

  • Develop a wellbeing plan to run across 2024.

  • Implement the plan.

  • Assess and track the impact of the workplace wellbeing strategy.

Tracking results can be challenging but we can look at creating a pulse survey to track the changes in how your teams feel, look at sickness levels, review changes in staff retention and recruitment. These will all start to paint a picture as to how well your teams feel their mental wellbeing is being looked after. Click here to read more about the importance of understanding your wellbeing strategy metrics.

In Summary

We can offer a wide range of training and support programmes to organisations who are keen to take care of their team’s wellbeing. If you would like some help in reviewing or drafting your 2024 Workplace Wellbeing Strategy please get in touch.


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