Most of us know by now the benefits that an employee wellbeing programme can have on the health, motivation and productivity of employees (take a read here for a great review if you don’t believe us!)
But what does an effective employee wellbeing programme really look like? And how can you ensure you’re not simply ticking a box? Our founder Ruth shares her learnings from her 13 years of working in employee wellbeing.
Ask what people want – we know that what one person needs and wants when it comes to wellbeing at work is often far removed from another. Some people would love a lunchtime sweaty HIIT class whereas others will have this covered and would much prefer a session exploring communication style or an interactive cookery session. Gauge interest using a survey or focus groups before kicking off or planning your wellbeing programme for the year to ensure you’ll get maximum engagement and more bang for your buck! Giving your employees choice and autonomy is an essential element of the self-determination theory – read more below on why this helps to boost wellbeing and motivations!
Make it social – it’s been shown that activities promoting connectedness are strongly linked to optimal motivation and wellbeing – something known as the self-determination theory (you can read more about that here). So while it’s great to offer perks such as membership to a meditation app, a gym membership or a fruit bowl, activities involving human interaction cannot be overlooked. Lunchtime workshops, running groups or shared volunteering opportunities can not only build team bonds and cohesion but also boost individual happiness through shared connection and experiences. In fact, a 2018 study found that in companies with a volunteering programme, employees are more engaged and report higher levels of both autonomy and support from their co-workers and supervisors.
Be flexible – flexibility is one of the traits of resilient people and we also believe is a trait of an effective and resilient employee wellbeing programme. The needs of employees will be determined by factors that change throughout the year, so while it’s a good idea to have a rough plan of activities, don’t be too rigid with your plans. Gather feedback to see what’s working and what’s not and be sensitive to any unforeseeable circumstances such as redundancies, industry changes or environmental factors that could influence the needs of your people.
Don’t simply follow the trend – ‘no fads’ is a key element underpinning all of Elevate’s offerings. And while it’s great to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to wellbeing, it’s important not to get caught up in the hype and offer your people something truly relevant to them. Are you offering a mental health workshop because you’ve heard it’s what you ‘should’ be doing? Or because you’ve really taken the time to speak to people about what they need and would benefit from?
Don’t tick a box and move on – mental health tick, nutrition tick, fitness tick. It’s easy to think that by offering one workshop on a subject you’ve ‘done’ it. But like with all behaviour change, it needs ongoing effort to reap reward – consistency, motivation, relevance, support and ease. What are you doing to follow on from the sessions you’re running? Are your sessions specifically tailored to the culture and pain points of your organisation? Can you provide ongoing support for those wanting to commit to long term change?
Think cheap is always best! – As with anything, it’s often easy to go for the cheaper solution when faced with two options. But like any bargain option, you could be sacrificing quality for quantity. When choosing your employee wellbeing provider, ask yourself the following questions: Are the facilitators qualified in the subject matter or simply good presenters? Is this important to you? Does the provider have experience of working with similar companies and can they share some testimonials? Is the provider offering simply an ‘off the shelf’ solution or are they truly tailoring to meet the needs of your employees?
If you believe you’d like to implement a wellbeing programme with no fads, no jargon and no judgement get in touch today, we’d love to speak to you! firstname.lastname@example.org