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Why you shouldn't have a workplace wellbeing week

Four steps to embed wellbeing at the heart of your workplace culture

Wellbeing at work should not be limited to one week a year. It is essential that we embed it at the heart of workplace culture. If you think about it, the last thing a team under pressure needs is to take time out for a wellbeing week!

Before embarking on a wellbeing programme, we should be asking ourselves:

  • What is our workplace stress prevention strategy?
  • How can we ensure our staff are happy and healthy; a workforce of alert individuals; contributing fully and working safely?
  • What workplace procedures and practices enable our staff to maintain their wellbeing during office hours?

Everything in your organisation is interconnected

The business case is clear, the wellbeing of your staff impacts on workplace safety, operational capacity and ultimately, your trading agility.

On the frontline of delivering these targets are your management team. Managers are the enablers (or barriers) to staff engagement, satisfaction and sense of wellbeing, although seldom are they measured on their ability to nurture and retain the company’s most valuable assets.

'People managers have a big impact on people. They are on the frontline of implementing policies and the first port of call if someone is under pressure or isn’t feeling well.'
CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work Report. 2018.

We spend a third of our lives at work

The workplace has a direct impact and influence on a persons’ overall wellbeing and happiness. Sending prescriptive messages about how staff should look after themselves is likely to be met with some cynicism; especially if the working environment is the very thing that is causing them stress!

Investing in an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a good start; half of employers offer such a benefit. However, studies have shown that only 22% of the staff who have access to an EAP are fully aware of what benefits it offers; and then only 33% of these will go on to utilise the services.

So, what can we do to ensure that health and wellbeing support is accessible for all staff?

Culture change will have the greatest impact on workplace wellbeing outcomes, particularly when the change is supported by thoughtful and supportive policies and frameworks that help to sustain your wellbeing strategy.

‘The quality of leadership, people management and culture, will all affect how healthy a workplace is… Health and wellbeing needs to be at the core of company values’
CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work Report. 2018.

Four steps

To start placing wellbeing at the heart of your culture is easier than you think, and it needn’t be costly. Here are four simple steps:

  1. Be the change: Task management personnel to advocate for, and champion workplace wellbeing behaviours. 
  2. Introduce your wellbeing agenda during staff inductions: Signpost to support services, demonstrating ease of access and enable new starters to experience your caring culture from day one.
  3. Take a holistic approach to your staff appraisals: Include a reflection on wellbeing during your 1-2-1s; listening, questioning and most importantly, allowing staff time and space for thoughts to surface.
  4. Signpost to support services: for example, LiveWell Dorset provide advice and coaching FREE to all adults in Dorset who are looking to lose weight, quit smoking, reduce their alcohol intake or become more active. So if you are a Dorset-based company, it will cost you nothing include a link to LiveWell Dorset on your intranet.

'Senior Leaders have strong influence and must promote wellbeing… More investment in managers, capability, training and support is needed.' 

CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work Report. 2018.

Prevention is better than cure

Equipping your staff through education and support services to establish a healthy lifestyle, will bring a return on investment. Mitigating risks by preventing ill health, presenteeism, sickness absence, and attrition is far more effective than trying to manage the symptoms of an unhealthy workplace.

Placing your managers at the heart of this agenda will ensure that they are aware of the impact and influence they have on their teams, giving them fresh ideas and the competence to be able to implement more healthy workplace practices.

Management training

Taking a moment to introduce myself, I’m Julia Calleja, Business Development Lead at LiveWell Dorset. HR, learning and development have been my passion and proficiency through my 40-year career. With experience in management roles to board level, I’ve held responsibility for OD and L&D strategy and implementation in multiple industries. Combining my expertise as a people manager, trainer and OD/HR Manager, I've created a one-day workshop to help Management and HR teams develop their wellbeing strategy.

Publicly funded, LiveWell is here to help you and your staff. A healthy workforce is a productive, happy and effective workforce. Much of our support is free to your staff living in Dorset. Placing wellbeing at the heart of your culture is easier than you think and needn’t be costly. 

Read more or contact Julia to request information.

How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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