Many companies already understand the importance of wellbeing among team members, and they’re seeing a fantastic increase in productivity, creativity and collaboration.
More importantly than any perks, though, the backbone of a happy, engaged team is sincerity. Your policies must be real and tangible, with the team around you embracing the value of wellbeing and seeing it shine through in the values you hold strong as a business, every day. Nurturing wellbeing is good for an organisation’s long-term value – it leads to lower attrition, absenteeism, attracts new recruits and has a positive impact on overall company growth goals and GDP.
So where do you start?
Every company will have different reasons for introducing a wellbeing programme, so it’s important you take the time to think about what you hope to gain from it. Do you want to improve your team members’ self-worth? Build a stronger work community? Contribute to the growth of the company? Once you’ve pinned down the ultimate aims of the programme, you’ll be in a much better place to put it into action.
When you’ve decided what the purpose of the initiative is, you’ll then have a better idea of who your programme is aimed at. Getting the team engaged is one of the hardest parts of establishing a wellbeing programme, and a lot of it comes down to branding. You need to make the programme exciting and fun, breaking down your team demographics to make sure it appeals to the masses. For example, if you have shift workers, try and arrange resources to match their working patterns.
There are lots of different approaches you can take when considering which activities will most inspire your team. Volunteering is a key area that should be considered and is a wonderful thing for an office to embrace – when people are passionate for causes outside of work, it nurtures a sense of collaboration and dedication, so if you don’t already have a policy for paid-for volunteer leave, make sure you introduce one and push people to use it. If people are stumped for ideas, why not shape team outings around getting involved in the local community? Organising activities such as fun runs and planting trees is great way of adding a new dynamic to office life.
Incentivising your team to take you up on perks might sound odd, but there’s no denying you mean business if you enhance the benefits. If you offer free or discounted gym membership, for example, it’s unlikely regular users will take any considerable sick leave, so why not reward the most active with an extra day’s holiday? Or if you’re happy to fund further education to gain some valuable skills within the team, you could offer paid-for development days and flexible working to support ambitions.
Understanding the numbers around team member wellbeing and satisfaction is key to the success of any wellbeing initiative. When presenting the idea to the company’s directors, they’ll want to see the link between wellbeing and business objectives. Once you’ve established these, it’s important that you continue to monitor them in order to sustain the programme long term. There are many initiatives, such as Ucando-it, which are hosted online, making it much easier to collect and analyse data for particular groups and monitor engagement.
Be realistic, and be rewarded
It’s really easy to get caught up in growth, deliverables and client demands, but we have to remember to take a step back and think about the human cost. It’s a strength to enable people to put their wellbeing first, and you’ll ultimately be rewarded with a more stable, stronger business if you recognise and support the individuals providing the backbone of your operations. Once you’ve agreed on all the angles for the initiative you can start to implement it and watch the results unfold, with a fantastic feel-good factor to boot!