Businesses across the UK are beginning to understand the value of employee wellbeing programmes, especially as the divide between work and home life continues to soften. In our most recent article, we will be exploring what employee wellbeing is, the ways you can improve your strategy and some employee wellbeing programme ideas for inspiration. Read on to learn more about Employee Wellbeing Programmes.
What is Employee Wellbeing?
Employee Wellbeing, or sometimes Workplace Wellbeing, can refer to every aspect of working life. This stretches from the quality and safety of your physical working environment to the climate and organisation of the team. Put simply, employee wellbeing is the impact that someone’s job has on their overall health and happiness.
Many different factors influence employee wellbeing. Some can be physical, some social, some psychological and others environmental.
Why do I need an Employee Wellbeing Program?
A recent survey by the CIPD found 56% of long-term leave is caused by mental health, making it the largest cause of absence. Having said this, only 40% of UK businesses have an Employee Wellbeing Program in place. Implementing a positive strategy that protects the mental and physical health of your people will create an environment for individuals to thrive. Good health and mental wellbeing can be a core driver of employee engagement, thus improving performance.
What makes an employee wellbeing program successful?
When creating an employee wellbeing program, you need to approach it with a holistic view. A wellbeing program should focus on the following to be as successful as possible:
Mental Health - Mind says that 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health problems in a given year. Whilst mental health can’t be seen, it’s important to prioritise it in the workplace. It’s common for mental health to take a toll on work-life, so protecting your employees has never been more important. Including Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) is a highly effective way to help your employees seek action if their mental health is suffering. This service is confidential and can help your staff manage personal or workplace issues that are playing on their mind.
Physical Health - When employees are healthy, they are happy. A happy workforce makes a loyal workforce, keeping your staff turnover low. Health programmes have several added benefits, aside from reducing employee absenteeism. When considering your employee wellbeing programme, consider what makes employees healthy. Whether that’s a discounted gym membership or providing healthy snacks in the workplace, there are options for everyone.
Does your business have private health cover for its employees? Offering health benefits and insurance to your team is a great way to keep staff happy and healthy. Find out about our wide range of insurance plans at Equipsme, or learn about Comprehensive Health Cover for your employees.
Other Benefits - Once you have catered for mental and physical health in your programme, it’s time to look at the bigger picture and consider some out of the box wellness ideas. What else can make your employees feel happy at work? Some companies relieve financial pressure by offering season ticket loans or childcare vouchers. Supporting employee wellbeing can also fall under the ability to work flexibly, generally having more freedom at work and being able to freely voice opinions about the company.
Examples of Employee Wellbeing Programmes
If you’re looking for ideas to get started, discover a couple of excellent wellbeing initiatives in the workplace from some leading organisations below.
The most popular search engine in the world has a very generous well-being package for its employees. Google offers free meals (from in-house canteens) to all employees and visitors, whilst also hosting regular cooking classes to strengthen workplace relationships. Some offices also have gyms and therapists on-site, available to use during breaks.
National Health Service
The National Health Service offers a comprehensive employee wellbeing programme that focuses on mental, physical and financial wellbeing. Like many companies, NHS employees have access to transport discounts, such as Cycle to Work and season tickets. The NHS also offers flexible working hours, and depending on the person’s role, staff can choose which hours to work and when. Individuals can also purchase days off and top up annual leave when they are low.