The team at Four has recently implemented their own health and well being policy and programme. Here our sales director Claire Sofield looks at what other SME’s can do to encourage health and well being within their workplace.
There has been a surge in positive attitudes regarding well being in the workplace over recent times. I am sure it is no surprise that studies show healthier and happier staff are more productive and therefore encouraging health and well being in the workplace should be a key priority. However, many companies are slow to implement, multinational companies such as Facebook, and Google are famous for their expensive and well publicised initiatives, but what can smaller companies do to implement initiatives in a cost-effective way?
1. Understand health and well being
Well being in the workplace combines many different factors and represents different
things to different people. For instance, to some being happier at work is ensuring they have the right social circle, to others it is identifying what their purpose at work is and how are they going to achieve their goals.
2. Find out what makes your staff tick
How happy are your staff on a scale of 1-10? Conduct a health check to find out the answer and do this regularly to ensure you are helping them to either be happier or maintain their happiness at work. Always concentrate on the positives, ask what makes them happy at work and what would make them happier.
3. Elect a well being champion/champions
Well being champions are employees, who choose or are chosen to focus on improving the wellbeing of their fellow colleagues as part of the company wellbeing initiatives. They should be passionate about well being themselves and be a positive role model for employees. Their role should be to raise awareness of available activities, to facilitate or come up with new activities, and to collect feedback from staff.
4. Putting your programme together
There is no set definition for a workplace wellbeing programme and it will depend on the results of your health checks and conversations. Be holistic in your approach, health and well being isn’t just about salads and jogging, it encompasses emotional and works health, as well as physical.
5. Create a productive and positive working environment
People work better in a productive and positive environment. Prevent fatigue and headaches with good lighting, stimulate brain function with inspiring colours, and encourage collaborative working with separate spaces designed to encourage team working.
The workplace is often a breeding ground for bad eating habits. Overcome this by providing free healthy nutritional snacks and drinks and encourage people to eat away from their desks with a separate eating area.
Research has shown that devoting work time to exercise can lead to higher productivity. Implement a cycle to work scheme, provide on-site yoga or fitness training sessions (a great chance for a bit of team building in addition to wellness) or coordinate walking meetings, instead of cooping your colleagues up in a boardroom, step outside or walk around the building.
8. Emotional Wellness
The way employees think and feel has a direct impact on everything from productivity to communication. It has been reported that one in four people have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Promoting good mental health can be one of the most important steps to improving an organisation.
9. Enlist the help of others
Enlist the assistance of specialists. Four has worked with business psychologists Carter Corson, who have conducted various sessions to assist our busy team, including a recent session on ‘managing resilience’. We have also worked with yoga and mindfulness experts ‘Stretching the city’ on a range of strategies to assist with well being and life coach Amanda Brown at Cloud 10 who has advised on strategies for helping employees to be happier at work.
10. Keep with it
Ensure that you consistently update and work on your strategy and policy adapting to the needs of your employees and listening to their views and thoughts to ensure an effective and productive policy.