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Enhancing Employee Wellbeing – a People Centric Approach

It’s the start of another new year and 2021 is looking to be the year of new possibilities following the disaster that was 2020. With many employees still working remotely (for now or forever?) and with a rise in anxiety for those considering heading back to the office there is a real and direct need for employee wellbeing strategies to be in place in any organisation.

Enhancing employee wellbeing is key to improving organisational performance and is delivered through an employee wellbeing strategy which can be continually developed to ensure the needs of employees and the workplace are being met and to continually ‘course adjust’ to achieve the best possible business culture. Importantly, an employee wellbeing strategy will be unique to each organisation, its people and its needs.

It is a sound judgement to promote and invest in the wellbeing agenda of your organisation, which will lead to increasingly resilient, engaged and productive employees. A people-centric workplace has a culture that focuses on employees first, as well as customer service interactions, before focusing on profits. Essentially, emphasizing the “human” element of human resources, leadership, and business interactions and communications. An employee wellbeing strategy is therefore an essential piece of the people centric leader’s toolbox.

What is included in an employee wellbeing strategy?

Generally wellbeing is split into the following areas:

  • Social and Emotional: Focusing on Mental Health, Employee Engagement, Relationships bot in and outside of the workplace and understanding accomplishments and challenges.
  • Physical Health: Focusing on Physical wellbeing such as Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise and regular rest breaks.
  • Financial: Supporting employees with Budgeting, Financial Planning, Retirement planning, Financial Advice and Debt Management.

5 Top Tips

As January marks a ‘reset button’ for many with the oncoming new year it is a great time to be thinking about communicating your wellbeing strategy. Some top tips are included here:

  1. Focus on Health Promotion – are your employees aware of what you actually have available to them? Do you know what is available to employees? Often HR leaders are responsible for owning and managing contracts with benefits or ‘perks’ providers but how often do you review the content of those perks and draw employee attention to the platform? Consider running an article in the employee newsletter or regular communications to signpost people to your EAP, Occupational Health or Fitness offering.
  2. Focus on a positive workplace – over the past year many have changed the way they work, moving into flexible working practices which are far more tailored to specific individuals based on their home life (it is a shame that for many businesses it took a Pandemic to see the value in this) but, do not simply assume when the pandemic comes to an eventual end that employees will wish to return to their former working practices – start to think now about how you can tailor the workplace or working arrangements for various employees and still meet the needs of the business.
  3. Consider non-financial recognition – Money isn’t everything! For many employees a simple thank you made publicly is a massive confidence booster – especially if this isn’t something that you do regularly. Many collaboration tools are available to ‘recognise’ co-workers or your employees including Professional Social Media – why not give Kudos on LinkedIn when someone has gone over and above?
  4. Revisiting business values – do you have a clear set of business values which are authentically yours? Identify those values and identify any areas of the business or operations that you feel may be at odds with those values – discuss that with employees and peers to see if your views are shared (and to show that you care about those values). The values relating to employee wellbeing should be clear and easy to identify.
  5. Consider the individual – Think about how you focus on mentoring and coaching individuals and identify what areas of personal growth the employee might need – identify how you can measure this across the business – what tools do you have available to log what kind of skill or behaviour gaps there are in teams and how this affects their ability to perform.

Throughout January the team at Phase 3 will be delivering a series of wellbeing articles and knowledge events – make sure you follow us on LinkedIn and subscribe to our next event: Absence management and Best Practice on the 13th January at 10.00 Am by clicking here.

This blog series is written by James Proctor, Director of Consulting & Services at Phase 3.

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