Workplace wellbeing is not just a fad and is far more important than many workplaces realise. It’s more than bowls of fruit, reduced gym memberships and relaxation techniques.
The ultimate goal of any workplace wellness program is to ensure that your workforce feels supported and enabled enough to implement well-being practices into their own lives, in a way that works for them, and allows them to be happier, healthier and more able to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
Many business owners and decision-makers can sometimes take convincing that investing in better policies to support the wellbeing of their staff is worth it – but Birchwood Park understands all this, which is why a number of options are ready to be implemented into your own workplace wellness program for all on the park.
If you’re ready to address wellbeing in your own business, read on for our top tips on how to implement a successful policy.
Step One: Open the dialogue
The key set to implementing a successful employee wellness program is to communicate. You team needs to feel supported and it’s always a good idea to involve them in what they want from a new policy
It is often a lack of communication between team members that will act as the main barrier to an effective wellbeing policy.
Break down barriers to wellness through communication and collaboration.
To start these conversations, follow a three-step approach:
- Set your cards on the table and explain why you’re now looking at improving workplace wellbeing. It may be as a direct result of staff feedback, or in answer to keeping up with key competitors – whatever it is, be honest about it.
- From the outset express the desire to keep discussions structured and relevant to your team’s needs – ask your team what they value, and what would best support them at work.
- Reassure your team that this will not be a one-off exercise. If your team see you’re committed to longer-term improvements you’re more likely to achieve their buy-in and get the most out of any collaborative discussions
Step Two: Analyse what you actually need
After setting out your intention to support your staff, it’s time to figure out exactly what they need from you – there’s no point implementing policies just for the sake of it, or because they ‘sound good’; it can be costly and end up being wasted! Any new employee wellbeing program needs to be relevant and required.
Often the need to introduce improved wellbeing practices is reactionary; a week off to relieve stress after a busy period, staff leaving and announcing new policies to attract new talent. Instead of bursts of support, gaining a greater understanding of what your staff need will help you begin to ‘fix’ any potential issues and allow for a more sustainable approach to change.
This will produce invaluable quantitative data to identify key ‘needs trends’ amongst your staff, but it’s equally as important to gather qualitative data through one-on-one interviews – and this stage can often benefit from involving an outside and/or neutral facilitator.
The needs analysis is the most insightful and actionable stage in establishing your wellbeing policy and is absolutely worth the investment in time and effort to help deliver a happier, healthier workforce, improve productivity and ultimately deliver ROI.
But where do you begin?
It is often best to start with a survey to establish your staff’s attitudes to wellness across seven key support areas, we’ve added a list of the key areas you should focus on:
- Mental health
- Physical health
- Financial wellness
- Managerial support, and finally
- Company Culture
If you’re wondering how improved employee wellbeing can help your business? Take our quiz to find out just how much money you could be saving each year with a comprehensive wellbeing policy?
The office forms a central part of working life, not just for getting the job done – it’s where we meet, eat and socialise. As more companies have moved to hybrid working, employees need more support now than ever before.
Birchwood Park recognises the importance of employee wellness programs and we’ve recently undertaken a park-wide survey to find out what areas employees want to be supported in order to improve workplace wellbeing. You can download our Workplace Wellbeing Handbook to find out more.
- Flexible working policy, e.g., Flexitime, implementation of core office-based hours
- Allowing remote working or part remote working
- Adaptations to the working environment for comfort purposes, e.g., break-out areas, quiet areas, standing desks, green space
- Greater number of holiday days, and flexibility on holiday allowances
- Providing greater access to mental health support, e.g., coaching, one-to-one sessions, talking therapies
- Providing greater access to physical health support, e.g., regular movement time/desk breaks, gym incentives, healthy snacks
- An emphasis on creating a positive workplace culture
- Greater emphasis on at-work socialisation and social events with colleagues
- Adaptations to the working environment for aesthetic purposes; e.g., pleasing decoration of the office, greenery being introduced into the office, access to cafes and other communal areas
- Comprehensive health insurance
Step Three: Evaluate your results
An effective well-being policy doesn’t end at implementation. Your business and team will change over time, so it is important to continuously evaluate its success and adapt to any changes or new challenges that arise.
By regularly evaluating your well-being policy, you are communicating to your team that their well-being remains important and of value to the company. It also keeps your staff aware of the support available.
Are you ready to pledge to improve well-being support in your business?
Then why not sign up for the Birchwood Wellbeing Charter to show you’re committed to your employee’s wellbeing.
- We will support our staff in achieving greater well-being at work, by raising awareness of the importance of wellness and signposting our staff to tools available to help them
- We will ensure our workplace wellbeing policies are accessible, inclusive and of relevance to all staff to help support their needs
- We will become champions of flexibility, ensuring our workplace flexibility options are in place to help our staff
- We will work hard to break down the stigma surrounding mental health, and improve access to support provisions
- We will commit to quarterly ‘check-ins’ with our staff to assess and address their needs at work, ensuring we’re constantly measuring and improving the effectiveness of our policies