Whole-heartedly welcoming workplace wellbeing

Written by
Changeboard Team

14 Sep 2015

14 Sep 2015 • by Changeboard Team

Happy employees equals engaged employees

Workplace wellbeing is a topic which has been increasing in prominence on the HR agenda for some time now, organisations have finally begun taking notice of the importance of a healthy and engaged workforce. Many studies have proven the impact that healthy and motivated staff can have on the productivity and effectiveness of a business. On the flip side, studies also prove the impact that disengaged staff have on absenteeism and performance. It makes sense that happy and healthy people mean improved workplace performance. 

In a recent study by Engage for Success, it was found that engaged employees with high wellbeing were (35%) more attached to their organisations than those with lower wellbeing, and the best companies to work for frequently outperformed the FTSE100 norm, particularly during the economic downturn from 2009 onwards .

Last year, we revisited the way we express our Benenden values. One of our updated values is ‘wellbeing’, supporting our vision to be the leading health and wellbeing community in the UK. Having already reduced absence to 2% in 2014, we’ve recognised the need to innovate our workplace wellbeing. Recognising that this is on the agenda for lots of companies, I thought I would share what we did and what we learned.

Wellbeing month

Earlier this year, we launched a wellbeing month. This was a month full of activities, discussions, treatments and seminars. The month was focused around four core themes: healthy body, moving more, pampering and healthy thinking. We held at least one activity per day and invited our people to come along to learn, enjoy and connect. 

As part of the ‘healthy body’ theme, we presented healthy cooking demos and health screenings which included height, weight, body measurements, cholesterol, blood pressure and general advice on exercise and  diet. 

The ‘moving more’ theme included a ‘walk to our hospital’ pedometer challenge and Wii Sports tournaments. In addition, we made our on-site gym free for all employees, provided personal training sessions and launched a cycle-to-work scheme.

Free reflexology, massages, nail treatments, Molton Brown treatments and discounts were provided as part of the ‘pampering’ theme and our ‘healthy thinking’ theme included mindfulness courses, collections for local charities and promoted a ‘give-as-you-earn’ scheme. Furthermore, we provided talks on the neuroscience of happiness and good sleep promotion. Helping others as part of ‘healthy thinking’ definitely captured our peoples’ interest with the equivalent of 10 wheelie bins of food, books, clothes and toiletries collected for our various causes.

Design a programme that works for you

The key to success is to design a programme that will work for your staff, there is no ‘one size fits all’ for employee engagement among different organisations, and within each organisation too. What’s important is to get input from your staff and design a programme around their needs. Discover what motivates them, what makes them feel engaged and what helps them to keep healthy. From this, you can establish what sort of schemes, policies and activities will work towards you having a healthier workforce and in turn, a reduced absence record.