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18 Jul 2022

5 ways to engage a hybrid workforce with mental wellbeing benefits and initiatives

With the cost of mental illness to employers soaring, it pays to have initiatives in place to engage employees with benefits that can help them

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Poor mental health cost UK employers £56bn in 2020-21 compared with £45 billion in 2019, according to a recent Deloitte report.

While the pandemic led to a significant rise in workplace wellbeing initiatives being introduced, these figures show the importance of careful planning in the different ways in which to engage employees.

Over the past 10 years of working closely with global organisations, we have seen several approaches that have helped employers engage their workforce with caring for their mental wellbeing.

1. Adopting an inclusive strategy

Each member of your workforce will be motivated differently. For this reason, developing a wellbeing strategy that includes initiatives designed to appeal to a range of personalities is likely to increase engagement levels and help your teams feel empowered to make positive change in a way that feels accessible.

Some of these motivation drivers may include leaning into people’s competitive nature through the use of team challenges where your in-office and remote teams work towards a common wellbeing goal. Other members of your workforce may be more motivated by a desire for personal growth through the ability to self educate, set personal goals or track their progress over time.

As there is no one-size-fits-all solution, ensuring that your range of benefits and initiatives are tailored to these different needs will help people engage with what resonates with them the most.

2. Run topical campaigns

Mental wellbeing is a multi-faceted topic, which in itself can limit engagement if it is addressed from a general standpoint. Rolling out topical campaigns that address the specific themes affecting your workforce such as managing stress or building better sleep habits will help provide practical support to help employees in their daily lives. This will also provide the opportunity to raise the awareness of the wider benefits you have in place and signpost resources available to your employees.

3. Leverage your teams, technology and tools

Engagement in wellbeing initiatives is often the result of a well designed communications plan that looks at the stages of awareness, roll out, ongoing interactions and the multiple touchpoints.

Mapping the platforms, stakeholders and tools your employees interact with can be a useful way to shape a robust plan. This can include using wellbeing champions and managers to share messages and normalise discussions about mental health in the workplace as well as maximising the use of emails, tools, physical and virtual spaces where employees are already spending their time.

4. Create opportunities to connect

Incorporating team or company-wide activities in your wellbeing strategy help build-in engagement by design. This can also be a fun and friendly way to help hybrid teams connect, interact and draw points of commonality beyond work so there is a greater sense of belonging.

5. Gathering data around your wellbeing initiatives

Closely monitoring your data will help you better understand and anticipate your workforce’s needs. From understanding the topics they are most engaged with, through to tracking positive changes or again assessing current gaps, gathering insights will help inform how to continue shaping your wellbeing strategy so it is relevant and engaging.

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