What can you do to support your employees’ and improve workplace wellbeing in these cold, dark weeks of winter lockdown?
The press is full of stories of how we’re moving less, feeling more stressed, and under more pressure as a result of the pandemic. This all comes when Blue Monday – labelled as the most ‘depressing’ day of the year – is upon us.
Although nobody can change the weather or banish the pandemic, there are plenty of ways to offer support and practical help to your workforce and improve workplace wellbeing to help carry them through these challenging times.
Foster an open environment
A recent study shows that almost 9 in 10 employers are concerned about their employees’ mental health because of COVID-19. One of the best ways to offer support is to create an environment in which open conversations and frank discussions are encouraged year-round.
You could host a virtual coffee morning where issues such as anxiety, loneliness, stress, and depression are discussed – encourage more senior members of the company to share their stories of mental health challenges, enabling junior staff members to share concerns if they arise. Having a designated Mental Health First Aider on your team can help initiate these conversations.
Make sure that managers are offering regular, informal check-ins with their teams, so that they quickly have a feeling for any concerns individuals are experiencing. Elevate have a brand new mental health training webinar designed to help support your team remotely. You could also encourage managers to send wellness or care packages to their team members, to show that they understand that these weeks are hard. Be sure to include any staff currently on furlough.
Work in wellness
As a company, you can create systems to make wellness part of the working day – it could be that for the first 5 minutes of every meeting everyone’s requested to be on their feet, perhaps the weekly company update starts with a meditation, or maybe employees are encouraged to get off video once a week and instead take a walking phone call.
You could also take advantage of free online exercise sessions, such as our FREE virtual wellbeing series, including yoga and Pilates – why not encourage your employees to join us and get moving?
Alternatively, if you’re ready for a full programme of wellness classes delivered online for your employees, we’ve got that covered too.
Ask your people
Before you start planning out your corporate wellness calendar, packed full of mindfulness and stress-busting workshops, run a short staff survey. What are the issues they’re facing? How would they like help?
Are they stressed from juggling home school, work and household jobs? Are they lonely because they live by themselves? Does their back or neck hurt constantly because of poor desk set up? Is there a low-cost piece of equipment that would transform their working day? Are they self-isolating?
Ask them and find out! We can manage this survey, create a bespoke report and use the results to tailor your wellbeing programme. Contact us to find out more and we promise to be in touch within less than 24 hours.
Support employees where they need it
Once you’ve worked out what issues are most relevant to your people, decide how best to support them.
You could create a series of virtual wellness events, covering mindfulness, eating for health, resilience and mental wellbeing. We have workshops across all these areas and more (including our FREE series!). Get in touch to find out more.
If loneliness is an issue for your staff, see if you can create informal social opportunities for employees or offer links to local community support networks. You could also check out our ‘virtual connections’ webinar with clinical psychologist Hazel Harrison.
Every Thursday in January and February, we’re offering FREE virtual wellness sessions. Choose from yoga, Pilates, breathwork, stress management, posture 101 and meditation. Invite your employees and support their wellness through this challenging time.