Top Ten Tips for... Supporting Health and Wellbeing at Work

Top Ten Tips for... Supporting Health and Wellbeing at Work

As we head into the warmer months, many employees will be thinking about summer holidays and time away from work. Encouraging your staff to use their holiday entitlement to get some rest and vitamin D is a great way to improve overall wellbeing – but are there other ways you can make sure they feel valued and cared for? A strong health and wellbeing strategy will help you to nurture and retain your workforce as well as helping to prevent days lost to illness.

Here are our Top Ten Tips for prioritising wellbeing at work:

1. Start at the beginning

If you are unsure how to improve the health and wellbeing of your team, then getting the basics right is a good starting point. The small things really do matter. For example, have you arranged for workplace health assessments to be carried out to ensure colleagues have the right desk space, chairs and equipment to do their job? Do your colleagues have the right equipment and protective gear to stay safe?

2. Create an open and honest culture

Unfortunately, studies have shown that fear of discrimination and feelings of shame were among the top reasons people gave for not discussing their health and wellbeing with colleagues, particularly issues surrounding mental health and anxiety. By creating a workplace culture where people can be themselves, openly and honestly, you will be making it easier for people to speak up about their mental health and wellbeing without fear.

3. Implement a menopause policy

Creating a culture where women can talk openly about their health with their colleagues and managers is likely to improve job satisfaction and reduce absenteeism. If you don’t already, now is a great time to develop a menopause policy as part of a holistic approach to employee health and wellbeing. This policy can include the different ways staff can access menopause information and support, assessments to determine what adjustments may be needed at work and awareness training for your HR team and line managers.

4. Introduce a cycle to work initiative

Cycling to work is a great way to stay fit and healthy while also helping the environment by taking cars off the road. Encouraging your colleagues to leave the car at home and hop on their bike is a simple way to show that you care about their health, but you also need to help them get the tools to do it. Why not look into the government's official Cycle to Work Scheme? Don’t forget also to organise somewhere safe to store your colleagues’ bikes.

5. Consider flexible work arrangements

Stress and burnout are two common reasons why employees may need unexpected time away from work - which can also negatively impact job performance and productivity. By offering flexible work options such as remote working, flexible hours, or compressed workweeks, you can allow your employees to better manage their personal responsibilities and reduces stress.

 6. Encourage a good work/life balance

Encourage your employees to maintain a healthy balance between work and their personal life. In doing so, you can boost energy levels at work and protect your staff from potentially burning out. A great way to do this is by not encouraging excessive overtime and respecting your employees' time outside of work hours.

7. Offer ways to keep fit and healthy

Good employers should encourage and inspire their employees to work hard but there should also be opportunities to take a meaningful break away from their usual place of work. Even short bursts of exercise can prove to be a good way of boosting your employees’ physical and mental health. Are you in a position to offer discounts to wellness programs or gym memberships? If not, you could look at starting a lunchtime walking group that encourages everyone to get out into the fresh air.

8. Think about mental health

As you implement these steps to take care of your employee’s wellbeing, it’s important not to forget about mental health and the impact of stress. As well as creating an environment where people feel comfortable opening up and discussing mental health issues, you can also offer resources such as counselling services, mental health workshops, or employee assistance programs.

9. Engage with your colleagues

Engaging with your colleagues about what health and wellbeing issues are important to them is vital because it will help your teams feel valued and listened to. They are also likely to have some great ideas about what aspects could be developed or improved. For example, there’s no point introducing a cycle to work scheme or a healthy eating club if it’s not something your colleagues want. Regular staff surveys and feedback from one-to-one sessions will help you glean the information you need.

10. Lead by example

It's a good idea for leaders and managers to also prioritize their own wellbeing and demonstrate healthy work habits to their teams, so don’t forget to look after yourself. This will set a positive example while confirming your commitment to your team. It will also reinforce the importance of prioritizing wellbeing at every level of your organization.

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