No longer a ‘nice to have’, a workplace wellbeing initiatives are an essential component of a company’s culture. But to be truly impactful, a successful programme needs to be promoted and championed across the organisation. Drawing on our 12 years experience of delivering workplace wellbeing initiatives to hundreds of clients across the world, we’ve shared our top tips to help promote wellbeing in the workplace.
Get Senior Leaders and Management on board
The support of senior figures is integral to the success of your workplace wellbeing strategy. Ideally senior leaders will attend wellbeing sessions, setting the precedent to younger employees of the importance of taking time for your wellbeing.
If leaders and managers can’t physically attend the wellbeing sessions themselves, then they should promote and talk about them – encouraging their staff to take the time to attend. Some of our clients have a senior figure ‘sponsor’ a wellbeing event, preluding it with a personal introduction or sharing a story of their own wellbeing or mental health.
As well as setting an example to the rest of the organisation, senior managers should attend wellbeing sessions for their own health and wellbeing. 96% of leaders feel some degree of burnout and 60% of people leave their jobs as a result of ineffective management. Therefore for leaders, looking after your own wellbeing and that of your team is a business priority.
Shout about your workplace-wellbeing-initiatives far and wide. Be sure to utilise all your internal comms channels
Ensure everyone knows about your wellbeing at work plans. Promote wellbeing in the workplace on your company intranet, in your email signature, on your company social media accounts and hashtags. SKY have a @skyhealthandfitness instagram account, promoting all the goings-on at their wellbeing hub.
Don’t neglect effective offline marketing too, e.g like posters around the office (on the back of toilet doors is always a good one). Obviously, mentioning at the end of staff meetings of the company town hall will also help spread the word.
Give Workplace Wellbeing initiatives the TIME they deserve
We’re firm advocates of a lunchtime meditation session or a sweaty HIIT class to end the working day, but also urge our clients not to shy away from scheduling workplace wellbeing initiatives during the working day too. Companies wouldn’t hesitate to schedule some IT or other kind of L&D training in the working day. So why not organise wellbeing and mental health training in working hours too?
Make Wellbeing at Work PERSONAL
Never underestimate the power of sharing and vulnerability to promote workplace wellbeing initiatives. Emotionally driven narratives increase the level of engagement. So whether it’s an employee opening up about their mental health struggles, or someone sharing how much their office yoga class has shaved minutes of their marathon time – keep the conversation going!
We never fail to be the amazed by the depths to which people share in our mental health at work webinars. We know their words provide huge comfort and encouragement to staff going through similar experiences.
VARIETY is the spice of life: Make sure your wellbeing programme reflects a diverse and varied workforce
Not everyone wants to do office Pilates, nor is everyone going to be interested in a Financial Wellbeing workshop. One of the key driving factors to promoting and implementing a successful wellbeing programme is variety. Offering a range of sessions – covering different content, at different times of the day, of different durations and in different formats (e.g. Virtual and in-house) will mean there’s more opportunities for everyone to get involved.
What’s more, teaming up with a Workplace Wellbeing provider, like Stretching the City will give you access to hundreds of different wellbeing classes, workshops, teachers and experts. Saving you the time and struggle of searching for multiple wellbeing suppliers yourselves.
Not sure where to start when choosing your wellbeing offerings? Ask your staff, which takes us to our next point…
ASK your staff what workplace wellbeing initiatives they actually want
Whoever’s planning your wellbeing strategy isn’t a mind reader and can’t be expected to know the wellbeing preferences of the whole organisation. So we strongly recommend you send out staff wellbeing surveys and weave wellbeing into appraisals and staff 360s. You can also leave sign-up sheets for office yoga or massage in the staff kitchen to gauge interest. Later, be sure to ask for their thoughts and feedback. We end all our wellbeing webinars with an online staff survey and are always hungry for feedback on our exercise classes and office massage. We urge you to be too. It will provide valuable insight and data for tailoring and tweaking your wellbeing strategy moving forwards.
Weave HEALTHIER CHOICES in to your company culture
If your company provides drinks and snacks, consider what you’re providing. We’ve had a meeting to discuss promoting wellbeing in the workplace in many client’s meeting rooms, with nothing but biscuits, croissants and caffeinated drinks on offer. Add nuts, seeds, healthy snack bars (we like Deliciously Ella, Nakd and Boost balls) to your office food shop. Then there’s no excuses for unhealthy food choices when the 4pm slump strikes.
Consider also your policy on bringing back sweets from holiday or whether there’s a healthier alternative to the staff birthday cake. Waitrose and Sainsburys both offer vegan, ‘free from’ cakes. But the healthiest alternative is to make a lower sugar, healthier version yourself. Try some healthy cake recipes here.
Factor in SOBRIETY to your work social events
Following on from the point prior, remember not everyone wants to drink at work events. Boozy work ‘do’s are ingrained in British culture. Particularly pre-covid, when much of the comradeship between teams was created in the pub. We’re all for after-work drinks, but be sure to include the non-drinkers too. Having drinks in the office? Make sure your fridge is stocked with some no or low alcohol treats as well as the usual boozy suspects. Some of our favourites, including Seedlip and BrewDog beer featured here.
Get some Support from Workplace Wellbeing Experts
Working with a workplace wellbeing provider, like Stretching the City, we’ll support you at every stage to promote your wellbeing programme. We’ll help unpick your staff surveys, making recommendations for the best workplace wellbeing initiatives to implement. What’s more, as the ‘one stop shop’ for all things workplace wellbeing, we’ve got the best wellbeing teachers, experts and facilitators at our fingertips. This will save you significant time looking for them yourself. Looking for a sleep expert or a mental health at work trainer? We’ve got you covered. We’ll also help you along the way to promote the sessions and analyse their effectiveness and ROI afterwards.