35 Ideas for Workplace Wellbeing Initiatives

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18 September 2020

Improving wellbeing in the workplace has been proven to increase employee satisfaction and productivity. Therefore, employee wellbeing programmes, such as employee assistance programmes (EAPs) are more important than ever.

We often apply this evidence to bigger companies, such as Google and Facebook, who have world-leading workplace wellbeing initiatives. You may think, are there any benefits for a smaller company?

The answer is yes.

Let’s look at exactly why it’s so important and some key workplace ideas which you can implement and improve employee wellbeing.

Why should you invest in workplace wellness?

Studies have shown there are many reasons workplace wellness pays back. It is hard to calculate the payoff in monetary value, although a study published in Health Affairs has shown there is a return on investment.

There are 3 key reasons to promote employee wellbeing in the workplace:

  • Increases productivity and motivation: If an employee is mentally and physically healthy, they can perform better in their job as they have more energy and are more focused.
  • Builds camaraderie and morale: If employees engage in group wellness activities, in and outside of work, they will have a shared purpose which builds the team morale.
  • Decreases work-related stress: Being mentally and physically healthy reduces the stress you experience. This, coupled with mindfulness activities, allows an employee to work peacefully.

Key areas of employee wellbeing

CIPD identifies seven key areas of employee wellbeing. To ensure you meet these, you will need to go beyond standard wellbeing in the workplace ideas. These are as follows:

  1. Health
  2. Good work
  3. Values/principles
  4. Collective/social
  5. Personal growth
  6. Good lifestyle choices
  7. Financial wellbeing

The protection and fostering of staff wellbeing needs to be embedded in management methods and systems.

The first thing to do to improve staff wellbeing is to assess and audit their current level of wellbeing, decide where you want to be and then work out how you are going to get there.

A staff wellbeing audit is a great way to assess your wellbeing initiatives from a holistic point of view.

However, if you know the key areas you wish to improve in, you can target them with specific ideas. Let’s look at some health and wellbeing in the workplace ideas for each of the key areas.

Health

An employee can’t be expected to work effectively if they aren’t healthy. Ensuring they have initiatives in place to improve and maintain their health will make sure your workforce is effective. This focuses on:

  • Physical health
  • Physical safety
  • Mental health

If you help and encourage employees to look after their physical and mental health with staff wellbeing ideas, you will have a better workforce.

Safety in the workplace is especially important, as an injured employee can’t work and may even seek to take legal action.

Some health and wellbeing initiatives in the workplace ideas are:

  • Promoting healthy eating by having healthy snacks in the workplace.
  • Walking meetings, giving employees a chance to move from their desk.
  • Occupational health support.
  • Having a company health insurance policy.
  • Fostering a culture of safety at work and personal safety by providing training and resources for employees.

Good work

This is where an employee has a pleasant working environment and feels positive about their work. Be that about their role, workload or management. Some ideas are:

  • Offer flexible working to ease pressures from an employee’s personal life.
  • Ensure employees are comfortable with an ergonomically designed office/desk.
  • Provide management training to ensure good line management.
  • Promote work-life balance with regular socials.
  • Offer fair and transparent bonus and incentive programmes.

Values/principles

A person’s conscience plays a big part in their identity. If they do not believe they work for a ‘good’ company, this will affect their motivation and wellbeing.

If they genuinely believe in the company and the values it stands for, employees will feel happier in their job and limited to bringing success. Some ideas are:

  • Show a clear commitment to health and wellbeing with an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).
  • Hold charity events or encourage volunteering through work, optional of course.
  • Engage with the local community through sponsored events.
  • Back diversity and inclusion with diversity training days and diversity-friendly workforce policies, such as hours which suit working mothers.
  • Holding a staff wellbeing day with ideas on how to improve company wellbeing.

Collective/social

We spend a lot of our adult lives at work, so it is essential that it feel like a welcoming space. If an employee comes unto work dreading it, they’re never going to be as successful in their role as they could be.

Creating a good social and collective identity in the workplace will help an employee feel more at home and allow them to excel. Some ideas are:

  • Encourage teamwork with regular group brainstorms and ideas sessions.
  • Run management training courses and recruit from within to build company relationships.
  • Whenever making a decision that will affect everyone in the business, try and run an open forum to involve everyone in decision making.
  • Hold regular socials, such as Friday beers or a company lunch.
  • Teamwork skills workshops.

Personal growth

What keeps people motivated in their career is growth. If they feel like they aren’t learning anything or growing, but the business is, that doesn’t matter to them.

It is in the businesses best interests to grow its employees alongside itself to keep raising the bar.

With employees being satisfied in their career, they will be more likely to excel at work and want to put in the extra effort. Some ideas are:

  • Mentoring from peers or employees in other departments, allowing development, knowledge sharing or upskilling.
  • Having career and performance development planning software or services as a perk
  • Holding resilience training to improve personal development.
  • Access to training platforms such as Udemy and Skillshare where employees can learn outside of work.
  • Inviting prominent figures in your industry to come and hold talks/seminars.

Good lifestyle choices

Encouraging good lifestyle choices in an employee will really help their wellbeing. Some feel they can’t carry out some of these things because work takes over. If you support them, they will have massive health and wellbeing benefits.

For example, employees with high blood pressure are absent, more so than those with normal blood pressure. Here are some staff wellbeing activities you can encourage:

  • Providing workout classes at work or subsidised gym memberships.
  • Having bike parking and changing facilities to encourage taking a bike to work.
  • Standing desks or exercise ball seats.
  • If there is a canteen, offering healthy choices.
  • Weekly/monthly cooking or recipe clubs.

Financial wellbeing

A person’s financial situation will have a huge effect on their day. Stress caused by pay levels, lack of financial awareness or absence of employee benefits can affect work performance.

While you help employees by providing a wage, you can go a step further and offer them more ways of making sensible financial decisions. Some ideas are:

  • Make it a policy to pay all employees the national living wage.
  • Have a profit share scheme to allow employees to benefit from the company’s success.
  • Hold work days focused on finances and saving.
  • Phased retirement programmes.
  • Debt counselling.

Get in touch today

Need more health and wellbeing at work ideas? Here at Health Assured, we can provide you with expert support for your employees and give you advice on how to improve wellbeing in your workplace. Get in touch today on 0844 891 0352.

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