Research shows the importance of placing wellbeing as a central tenet of your business
We all know that, if people are in a good headspace and looking after themselves, then they're invariably going to perform better and interact with their colleagues more successfully. How to implement strategies that support that, however, can be more challenging than meets the eye.
Taking the step to invest in employee wellbeing leads to better engagement, better resilience, better performance, and reduced absence dues to illness. The issue with many wellness initiatives is that they are isolated from the day to day function of the business. They're not integrated into the core culture, and don't necessarily form a coherent part of what makes the company what it is.
Changing our perspective
Historically, businesses have looked at wellbeing strategies as a means to reduce the negative impact that poor mental health can cause on the business. In fact, it's been shown that a more productive approach is to look at the positive benefits that good wellbeing can bring. PricewaterhouseCoopers research, commissioned by the Health Work Wellbeing Executive, points to ‘a wealth of evidence’ suggesting a positive link between the introduction of wellness programmes in the workplace and improved business key performance indicators.
Research from the CIPD shows that we shouldn't be thinking of wellbeing strategies as something that we tag on to the business, and that these initiatives are wholly more effective if they are interwoven into the fabric of the business itself.
Of course, there's never going to be a "one-size-fits-all" approach that's going to work. All businesses are different, and their needs are going to vary massively depending on the context of how they operate.
Focus on the right aspects
We've taken the approach of the three pillars of wellbeing: Mind, Body, and Health. By working towards meeting these three key needs, on both an individual and a business level, we can create a more resilient, happier, healthier, and engaged workplace
- Stress management and reduction
- Emotional resilience
- Space for creativity
- Positive social relationships
- Feelings of worth and constructive contribution
- The "work space" and impact of environmental design
- The importance of physical activity
- Ensuring that we get enough rest
- Good diet and healthy eating
- Balancing personal needs with work demands
- Understand the causes of unhealthy behaviours and how they can be unlearned
- Creating a healthy culture where people feel comfortable to open up about their problems
- Create and implement a mental health at work plan
- Improve mental health awareness within the team
It's important for everyone to be responsible and accountable for health and wellbeing in the workplace. As employers, we need to be fostering a culture where mental health is at the forefront of our agenda. We need to be promoting effective people management, and ensuring that line managers have the skills to be able to work with employees who are struggling with their mental health.
As employees, we need to be taking responsibility for our own wellbeing. Managing boundaries, effectively communicating, and being aware of the condition of our own mental health has to be at the forefront of our thinking. That's where, as a business, by incorporating wellbeing into the heart of the company culture, we can empower and enable our staff with the tools they need to better support themselves.
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