We touched on the subject of Wellbeing at Work in our recent
article about the effect of Presenteeism on the business, so we thought we’d
share with you some tips on how to improve wellbeing in the work place.
Whose responsibility it is?
The short answer is it is both the Employer’s and the Employee’s responsibility. Employers can and should encourage openness and inclusivity, so that employees feel confident about disclosing mental health issues.
The theme for this year’s World Health Day was depression and the overall aim of the campaign was to enable more people with depression, in all countries, to seek and get help.
The CIPD comments ‘Depression is the largest cause of disability across the world, so it’s in employers’ best interests to monitor and manage it in the workplace. Line Managers supported by HR Professionals play a key role in promoting good mental and physical wellbeing and ensuring that employees are getting the support they need, as well as supporting those who may be struggling.
Ultimately, equipped with a Wellbeing at Work strategy that emphasises the equal importance of good mental and physical health, and investment in people management capability, organisations can expect employees to not only be happier and healthier, but more engaged and productive.’
Here are the 7 steps to kick start your Wellbeing at Work strategy:
Offer health promotions - Develop a healthy eating at work policy that makes health options easily accessible and offer healthy eating places discounts. Develop a physical exercise at work policy that encourages people to stand during meetings and walk to meeting spaces as opposed to emailing and offer gym membership discounts. Develop a mental health policy at work policy.
Create a healthy working environment - Develop break out areas that enable regular fun communication between colleagues to encourage rest breaks from computers for short bursts. Make available online platforms that encourage healthy debate and communication between colleagues about company related issues.
Provide flexible working options - Utilise technology to enable working from home options where work activity permits. Develop flexible working policies for employees particularly those who are office based.
Cultivate positive relationships - e.g. Embrace diversity in a way that actively seeks to understand and accept differences. Develop company cultural values that include trust and mutual respect. Invite open and honest communication between colleagues, including mental health. Encourage employees to share goals and collaborate on projects.
Develop opportunities for career advancement - Create a learning environment where it is safe for everyone to try out new things and learn through the experience, without fear of judgement or ridicule. Develop a succession plan, and competency frameworks, conduct skill gap analysis and develop training plans and interventions.
Ensure a healthy management style - Empower employees with a coaching style of management instead of command and control. Reward achievement in the way the employee will appreciate it. Remember everyone is unique, some prefer public praise and recognise, for others a simple "thank you" goes an awfully long way.
Embed Wellbeing at Work into the culture, leadership & management - 'Do' as well as 'say'. Demonstrate a work life balance to establish this as 'the culture'. Expand the H&S item on the monthly board meeting agenda to include mental health. Appoint and train at least one Mental Health First Aiders as you would a First Aider.
Here is a short CIPD video in which Professor Lord Richard Layard, Programme Co-Director - Wellbeing, talks about the correlation
between company performance and employee wellbeing.
If you are experiencing some presenteeism in your work place, people being ' there' but 'not really there', then improving wellbeing at work could be the key.
So if you like to inject some 'life' back into your workplace with a wellbeing at work strategy and would like some help with it then we would be delighted to hear from you.
Registered Address: Peeps HR LTD, 34 Imex Business Centre, Oxleasow Road, Redditch, England, B98 0RE | Company number: 9335371