The importance of wellbeing in the workplace

For the past 18 months, many companies have ensured that employees’ wellbeing is a high priority. With a focus on boosting productivity whilst working from home and making sure they feel supported and motivated whilst away from their colleagues, it’s been a crucial element for businesses to survive. However, as workers return to the office or continue to work from home, these standards are critical for moving forward in the hybrid world.

Surprisingly, despite this, less than half of all businesses don’t have a wellbeing strategy in place to support employees*. Simon Ellson, expert business Coach at ActionCOACH West Herts discusses the power of promoting wellbeing within teams.

“Wellbeing should be at the core of every business,” said Simon. “Especially now, as people have the flexibility to curate their desired working situation, business owners need to take matters into their own hands to ensure company processes and culture are still maintained even when staff are working from home. Getting the balance right can be tricky but, once it’s in place, the success will be evident. Don’t forget the starting place for wellness in yourself and your team is driven by the 5 fundamentals - hydration, nutrition, exercise, sleep, downtime - without all of these in place it’s difficult to maintain focus and performance at anything you do.”

Simon shares some of the elements to think about when implementing a wellbeing strategy.

• Establishing the plan. For your strategy to be robust, you must consider every aspect. This includes the logistics of the programme and how this will be communicated to the workforce, as well as how it’s going to financially impact the business. Getting these procedures in place takes time and money, so it’s important to make sure all bases are covered. Your plan should also be monitored regularly to ensure that it remains up to date.

• When negativity strikes. There’s bound to be situations when employees are impacted negatively, whether that’s at work or in their personal life. You should factor these events into your plan too, outlining how to approach the situation to ensure the best for the individual. Consider offering a ‘mental health day’ that doesn’t have to come from their holiday allowance or send a gift in the post – it’s these small details that make all the difference.

• Extend the sense of support. Especially in today’s world, many employees dedicate their lives to their jobs and, more often than not, this can impact their personal lives. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure that their downtime is kept exactly that. Encouraging them to practise similar policies at home will help to create an all-rounded approach, boosting productivity, motivation and a general feeling of accomplishment.

• Take care of your own wellbeing. Don’t forget, to be the best leader, your wellbeing must be looked after too. It’s important to take time out and implement your own segment into your strategy. Think about taking breaks and putting time aside to focus on your welfare, or even just getting away from the desk for a while.

Simon added, “It’s important to involve your team with this process. By keeping them informed and ultimately satisfied within their roles, it’s more likely that they will remain loyal employees – helping to increase the retention rate and remove any unnecessary hours spent on hiring processes. Just because workers might not be in the office, it doesn’t mean they should be forgotten about – every individual requires support no matter their circumstances.”

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* CIPD, Health and Wellbeing at Work survey, April 2021.

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