The Importance of a Workplace Wellbeing Strategy

A healthy workplace is beneficial not only for employees but also for employers and the wider economy. 

To achieve this a business needs a comprehensive workplace well-being strategy that helps promote and support employees’ health and well-being–––leading to improved productivity and engagement, reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, and lower healthcare costs.

Developing and implementing a workplace well-being strategy can be complex, but the benefits are clear. If you are thinking of creating a workplace well-being strategy for your organization, this guide will give you some practical advice on how to get started.

What is a workplace well-being strategy, and why is it important?

A workplace well-being strategy is a plan that helps to create a healthy and productive work environment. It considers employees’ physical, mental, and emotional needs and sets out to address them to benefit both the individual and the company.

Statistics show that an average full-time employee works around 37 hours a week. So companies can create an environment that educates and encourages employees to prioritize their well-being. 

An effective well-being strategy increases employee engagement and productivity and lowers absence rates. Companies that fail to recognize the importance of well-being strategies are at significant risk of having an unhappy workforce and lower productivity. 

What are the benefits of a workplace wellness strategy?

Nowadays, more and more employees are looking for workplaces that offer a good work-life balance and support their well-being.

Here’s a lowdown of the benefits of implementing a workplace well-being strategy

    • Increased productivity
    • Improved health behaviors
    • Reduced risk of diseases
    • Reduced stress
    • Reduced absenteeism
    • Improved morale and engagement
    • Reduced staff turnover
    • Lower healthcare costs
    • Attract and retain top talent

How can you create a workplace well-being strategy?

Many different components can make up a workplace well-being strategy. Some common elements include promoting healthy eating, encouraging physical activity, providing mental health support, and offering flexible work arrangements.

Creating a workplace wellbeing strategy can be a big undertaking, but it can impact your business. If you’re unsure where to start, here are some practical ideas-

Mental health

The strategy can include

  • Employee assistance programs
  • Mental health first aiders

Working environment

The strategy can include

  • Creating an open and inclusive culture
  • Non-financial recognition
  • Lots of group activities and social events

Job demands

The strategy can include

  • Offering a flexible working environment to improve work-life balance
  • Checking workloads and job design
  • Improved holiday and leave policies

Career development

The strategy can involve

  • Performance enhancement programs
  • Mentoring programs
  • Personal resilience training

Bonus ideas 

    • Paid volunteering holidays
    • Health and wellbeing allowance, for example, a gym membership

Who should be involved in creating a workplace well-being strategy?

A few key stakeholders may help in creating a workplace well-being strategy. These include senior leadership, HR, employees, and health and safety professionals. Each of these groups has a different perspective on workplace well-being, and they can all contribute to developing a comprehensive and effective strategy.

How can you implement a workplace well-being strategy?

When it comes to workplace well-being, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every workplace has a different set of goals and values, and what works for one company might not work for another. However, there are some general principles that all companies can follow when developing a workplace well-being strategy.

Here are a few tips to help you out:

1. Define your goals and objectives

Before you can begin to implement a workplace well-being strategy in your organization, you need to take some time to define your goals and objectives. Doing so will help you create a framework containing all your intended wellness initiatives. Without clearly defined goals and objectives, it won’t be easy to assess the success of your workplace well-being program properly. 

Here are some questions that you should ask yourself when trying to define your workplace well-being goals:

1. What do you hope to achieve with your workplace well-being strategy?

2. What types of health and wellness initiatives would be most beneficial for your employees?

3. How will you measure the success of your workplace well-being strategy?

4. What is your budget for implementing and maintaining a workplace well-being program?

5. What timeframe do you have for achieving your workplace well-being goals?

2. Identify the critical areas of focus for your strategy.

There are many aspects of workplace well-being, so it’s essential to identify the key areas you want to focus on. For example, you may want to focus on improving employee health, reducing stress levels, or increasing productivity.

Once you’ve identified the critical focus areas, you can develop targeted strategies for each. By conducting opinion surveys or focus groups, you could also include your employees’ opinions and ask what type of well-being initiatives they like the most. 

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3. Launch your strategy by developing a plan of action

The plan of action for workplace wellbeing strategy should include the following elements:

1. Increasing employee awareness of the importance of workplace wellbeing and the benefits it can bring. You can do this by holding workshops, sending e-mails or posters, or incorporating wellness education into new employee onboarding processes.

2. Providing employees with access to resources and support that can help them improve their wellbeing. This could involve changing the workplace environment (such as increasing natural light or adding plants), offering flexible working arrangements, or providing onsite facilities such as a gym or child care center.

3. Encourage employees to participate in activities and initiatives that promote wellbeing. Some examples include organizing regular walking groups or yoga classes, setting up a healthy eating challenge, or offering financial planning advice sessions.

4. Regularly measure and review employees’ wellbeing levels to ensure that the workplace wellbeing strategy has a positive impact. You can conduct surveys or data on absenteeism and staff turnover rates.

4. Create a working group to oversee the implementation of your strategy.

A task force or working group can help you develop and implement your wellbeing strategy. This group should be composed of representatives from different departments within your organization. The task force or working group should meet regularly to discuss progress and make necessary adjustments to the strategy.

5. Evaluate and adjust your strategy as needed.

It is essential to evaluate and adjust your workplace wellbeing strategy regularly. This will help ensure that it is effective and responsive to the needs of employees. To do this, periodically check in with employees to see how they feel and if they have suggestions for improving the workplace wellbeing strategy. Adjusting the strategy based on employee feedback will help ensure that it is effective and responsive to the needs of employees.