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19 Jan 2022
by Pippa Andrews

Five ‘must-haves’ for a successful workplace wellbeing initiative

The role of employers is evolving alongside growing awareness of what really constitutes good health at work today. Both of these dynamics have been catalysed by the Covid-19 pandemic, as we learn more as a society about a whole host of preventative wellbeing factors.

 

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At the heart of everything however is workplace culture; a healthy organisation starts with buy-in from the board and a mentality that trickles down throughout every level – from CEO to line manager to individual employees.

A more holistic approach to wellness is not only good for business but also achievable within your organisation. To help kick off 2022, here are five must-haves for any business implementing an effective long-term employee wellbeing initiative.

1. Leadership

Showing commitment to mental health and wellbeing publicly has never been more important. This includes very top business leaders setting an example – perhaps even sharing their own stories. In addition, line managers are thought to account for 70% of employee engagement and the majority of people who share concerns, ideas, feelings in work do so with their line manager, according to Gallup’s State of the American Manager (2015). Line manager training around employee welfare is therefore essential.

2. Conversation

If we feel unable to influence our world, it can lead to stress and unhappiness. Allowing employees to develop a strong voice means that a two-way dialogue can exist in which individuals have a say in the day-to-day running of their company. And it is crucial they see evidence that their voice counts. It can’t be an exercise in listening only. This extends to empowering employees to influence wellbeing at work, and allowing them to create and drive their own initiatives.

3. Insight

It is vital that employers truly understand the reality of their organisation. This is achieved by accurately measuring the right things and understanding what you are seeing. Using this management information, business leaders can set priorities, track and monitor value and allocate spend efficiently. Build a clear picture to make a case for the business – then invest in the wellbeing of your people.

4. Strategy

Set clear, measurable, attainable objectives that relate to organisational risk and desired gains, whether that’s productivity, employee engagement, or staff retention. Consider the culture and demographics within the workforce and tailor your initiatives accordingly.

5. Engagement

Organised and coordinated communication that reinforces key messages over time is what drives positive behaviour and shapes an inclusive and supportive culture. This should emphasise the importance of every employee’s wellbeing and their contribution to the organisation – backed up by the power of rewards and recognition.

To help employers implement an effective long-term employee wellbeing strategy, Vitality has created a range of free resources – including a guide and online course – as part of its Workplace Wellbeing Toolkit.

The author of this article is Pippa Andrews, director of corporate business for Vitality.

This article is provided by Vitality.

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