Wellbeing is a word that we hear being thrown around a lot these days, but do you know what it actually means in practise, especially in the workplace? We’re here to lay it all out for you…
Wellbeing has moved on!
Traditionally, wellbeing used to focus on health and safety, addressing only work-related injuries or health problems caused specifically from the workplace. Wellbeing initiatives weren’t considered important nor a priority for many organisations, simply due to lack of understanding.
Now, wellbeing has become a much broader subject covering issues such as physiological and mental health, happiness and job satisfaction. Summed up, employee wellbeing is the impact that a job has on your overall health and happiness not only at work, but also at home.
New ways towards wellbeing at work
Organisations are becoming increasingly reliant on benefits such as flexible working hours and a good pension scheme, as well as yoga classes and even workplace massages and hairdressers to help boost employee wellbeing. By introducing these perks, employers feel confident that employees gain a better work life balance, which in turn will lead to positive feelings about their workplace and most importantly allow employees to fall in love with their jobs all over again.
The research says…..
A study carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personel Development (CIPD) identified that only 40% of businesses within the UK have an employee wellbeing strategy. This is CRAZY considering 56% of long-term unplanned absences, are due to mental health. While many businesses are taking steps to address employee wellbeing, many are doing so on an ad-hoc basis with no real strategy in place.
It’s about the work / life balance
It’s important to put emphasis on the difference between employee wellbeing and the general perks you may get when you start a new job. Whilst working in a fun and flashy office that’s filled with vending machines, pool tables and quirky working spaces is good, this doesn’t mean that it will lead to you being a happier and a more fulfilled employee. What really matters and what should be focussed on, is the work/life balance. Most importantly the support and encouragement you get to stay healthy and active as well as being in a supportive environment where you feel valued and respected. You want to feel like if you ever had a problem with anything, you feel safe to talk about it.
Keep things simple
Here’s some good advice – keep things simple when it comes to creating an employee wellbeing programme. Let’s take a look at Google, one of the biggest companies in the world, with one of the best (arguably) employee wellbeing programmes we’ve seen. Google encourage their employees to spend as much time as possible with their families, they have a generous parental leave policy, and you can even take your dog to work! Not to mention their ‘give back’ scheme that has been introduced, which allows employees to take off work to volunteer, with Google matching any charitable donation made by any member of their team.
How about Netflix? Well, they allow unlimited time off AND up to one year’s paid time off for all new parents! Netflix want their employees to know they can focus on their job without worrying about what’s going on in their personal life. If anything, unexpected happens the employees are able to take time off, with little notice and no questions asked.
Nike, Accenture and Asana have a real focus on health, fitness and nutrition within the workplace. Daily yoga, free gym memberships, free healthy lunches from the canteen, and anytime access to an Olympic size swimming pool really is a cut above the rest. Not to mention the confidential counselling and health coaches on hand at any time.
Small organisations can have a wellbeing focus too
OK so we’ve focussed our highlights here on the biggest companies in the world! It’s important to note that whilst they have all singing, all dancing “perks” to the job, they have kept things relatively simple when it comes to their employee wellbeingschemes. They have all focused their efforts on…
- Good health, exercise and nutrition
- Flexible working schemes
- A huge emphasis on a good work/ life balance for the whole team
- And creating a safe space to talk
If you’re on the lookout for a new job, or simply want to put forward new ideas for your employee wellbeing scheme in your current workplace, take notes from the big companies. They don’t keep their employees around just because they are Google or Netflix!
Better still, why not get in touch with us at Phoenix Health and Wellbeing to find out more about how we can help with wellbeing in your workplace? Take a look here or call us for more info!
Phoenix Health & Wellbeing is a Charity and social enterprise based in West Yorkshire. By using our workplace wellbeing services, counselling, acupuncture or massage services you are helping us to continue with our charitable work. We use the proceeds of these sessions to subsidise treatments for people who have chronic health issues and low incomes. Roughly £4 of every £10 spent with us will go to help others. Find out more about our charitable work here
Health insurance and treatments at Phoenix
If you have private health insurance, you may be able to claim for some or all of the cost of your counselling, acupuncture or massage therapy. Check your policy.
Monday to Thursday from 10:00 to 20:00
Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00