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Corporate Wellbeing Strategies & Expert Tips for HR

Employee Wellbeing
January 28, 2022
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In the U.K. alone, there were 17.9 million working days lost in 2019-2020 due to work-related stress, anxiety, or depression. To combat employee absenteeism, improve employee engagement, and promote a workforce that feels happy, many organisations are prioritising corporate wellbeing. 

These programs can help to create a positive working environment that can alleviate stress and promote a more satisfied workforce. 

Let’s take a look at what employee wellbeing entails and how to implement it.

What is Corporate Wellbeing?

Corporate wellbeing refers to employer-sponsored programs that support the long-term health of employees. In turn, companies can reduce the costs associated with employee absenteeism and employee turnover. 

One of the major reasons for employee absenteeism is poor mental health (which can correlate with less than optimal physical health). 

Corporate wellbeing programs are designed to reduce employee anxiety, stress, and frustration. As the focus on corporate wellbeing programs grows, so does the technology that helps to support it. 

Innovative solutions known as wellbeing platforms are empowering organisations and their people to proactively manage and support employee wellbeing. These powerful tools provide actionable insights from real-time mood and self-diagnosis that employees can use to better support themselves.

Not only does having a corporate wellbeing program in place help to retain current employees, but it will also work to boost your brand reputation. In turn, this could help with acquiring and recruiting talent who are drawn to your organisation because you have demonstrated that you care about your team’s mental health. 

Why is Corporate Wellbeing Important in the Workplace?

Workplace wellbeing programs help to deliver a vast amount of benefits to the organisation and its employees. 

Here are some of the most notable upsides you can expect by incorporating a corporate wellbeing plan: 

1. Better performance: 

Even if an employee shows up to work, it doesn’t always mean that they are present. 

When employees feel healthier and happier, they perform better. 

When employee wellbeing programs are properly integrated within the organisation, employers can play a part in helping to reduce stress on behalf of their team members. 

This allows employees to show up focused on their jobs, allowing them to maximise their productivity levels.

2. Increased staff retention rates:

According to Westfield Health, organisations that properly support their employees' health are four times more likely to retain them. Your workforce also suffers from less sick days and a reduction in taking paid time off due to less bouts of stress, anxiety, or burnout. 

3. A supported workforce:

There’s no arguing that people get sick. It’s inevitable, and this spans both physical and mental wellbeing. When employees feel good and have the support they need, they can lower their anxiety and stress, which will help them to perform optimally and efficiently. 

They can think more freely and push the limits of what the company can achieve. So, the best option is to always support employees to the best of your abilities, which includes corporate wellbeing programs and employee wellbeing platforms. 

4. A happier workforce: 

When employees feel like their employers care about their health, then they are happier at work. The old adage of “you get what you give” rings true. When employers care for their employees, employees care more to help achieve business goals. 

What are the Challenges of Corporate Wellbeing and Remote Working?

When it comes to corporate wellbeing, many initiatives have kicked off within physical work settings. This means that companies have invested in offering on-site grocery stores, on-site fitness centers, dry-cleaning services, and other amenities within the physical space of work. 

However, there’s been a rising trend in remote working. As such, employees in these scenarios don’t get the opportunity to take advantage of the on-site amenities. Therefore, organisations have to shift how they are presenting wellbeing opportunities to their remote workforce.

To do so, organisations can:

  • Check-in with employees: to understand what they value and provide these options (i.e. more paid time off, paid gym memberships, flexible schedules, access to counseling, etc.) 
  • Leadership and management can model wellbeing: by setting boundaries and prioritising their own mental health 
  • Start small at the team level: to discuss what employees need on an individual level rather than focusing on an organisational level 

Many organisations are implementing employee wellbeing platforms such as LUME, which supports employees in increasing awareness of their mental wellbeing and provides them valuable tools and resources to better support themselves. Good wellbeing platforms also provide detailed insight to businesses so that they can take a preventative approach to wellbeing, rather than only being able to react after the fact.

Why is Trust Important for Corporate Wellbeing?

Trust is important in every type of relationship. This means that when it comes to employers and employees, there’s no exception. 

As many organisations begin or continue to allow for remote working or flexible working options, trust becomes even more paramount. Rather than having to constantly monitor or track your team, you can build an organisation that values and trusts that team members are doing what needs to be done in their own time. 

In terms of wellbeing, the concept of autonomy plays a role in generating a happier and healthier workforce who feels less controlled and monitored. Autonomy is based on trust. 

How to Implement Remote Corporate Wellbeing?

Whether your organisation operates in-person, remotely, or a mix of both, a corporate wellbeing program can still be initiated. 

To begin implementing employee wellbeing remotely, here are some considerations:

1. Rethink Reward Systems: 

When people work remotely, you don’t always see the time they spend on the task, you only see the results. So rather than focusing on the time it takes to get the job done, it’s more important to focus on the quality of work being completed, and the outcomes and results the work brings. 

To establish transparency, communicate goals with employees and the measurements by which you will track progress. This will help to align expectations and foster success.

2. Ask for Feedback: 

When employees work remotely, managers can be disconnected from the needs of their employees and support may need to be given in different ways compared to employees in the office. 

Corporate wellbeing at office may therefore need to be different to that provided for remote workers. Everyone values aspects of employee wellbeing programs differently. For example, some employees may prioritise the option to have more flexible hours when they work remotely, whereas others may prefer to have more paid time off. 

It’s useful to survey your employees to find out what corporate wellbeing benefits are more important to them on an individual basis and what support they prefer to have.

To understand employees needs and give the best support it’s advisable to incorporate a wellbeing tool that can measure your employee’s mood in real-time. 

A wellbeing platform like LUME provides them with the space and place to slow down and actually document how they feel, which leads to generating awareness around their mental wellbeing, the factors that impact it and ultimately take proactive steps to improve it.

3. Role Model Behavior:

When working remotely, an employee’s understanding of what the organisation expects is based on two things: 

- Modeled behavior

- Communicated expectations. 

As such, if managers are contacting employees at every hour and not shutting down to separate work from life, employees may feel subconscious pressure to do the same. That’s why it’s important for the organisation’s leadership to showcase their own personal focus on wellbeing in order to demonstrate that it should be an employee’s own priority, too. 

Image source: Unsplash

How to Create a Corporate Wellbeing Program?

Corporate wellbeing programs look different for every organisation. Additionally, they can evolve and expand over time. To get started on creating an employee wellbeing strategy within your organisation, here’s a look at some options that you can include:

1. Physical Fitness

Employers can have a positive impact on the level of physical fitness that employees take part in. For example, employers can promote taking walks at lunch or creating team building exercises that incorporate physical activity. 

Consider setting up a day where your team can take part in obstacle courses and team challenges rather than going to a happy hour and drinking alcohol. This way, you can build camaraderie, boost problem-solving skills, and positively impact physical performance all at the same time. 

2. Stress Management 

As referenced, stress can lead to anxiety and burnout and be a major cause of employees calling in sick or decreasing their productivity levels at work. 

Organisations can help to reduce workplace stress by providing stress management training and strategies, provide massage treatments as a complimentary benefit, or offer yoga, to name a few ideas. 

Companies can also massively benefit from supporting their employees with resilience training and tools. An effective workplace wellbeing platform should have this as part of their offering. 

3. One-on-Ones

Managers should regularly check-in with employees. It’s important to establish open communication between both parties so that they don’t just communicate when things are going wrong.

Instead, by initiating regular one-on-one check-ins, employees can build their trust levels with management and will be more likely to bring up issues should they need support. 

4. Technological Tools

There are wellbeing platforms that can greatly improve a corporate wellbeing strategy. For example, a tool like LUME is designed to help employees and employers understand workplace mental wellbeing. 

The platform offers a way for organisations and employees to take a preventative approach to supporting with employees’ mental and emotional wellbeing. Employees can track their mood over time, and understand what is impacting it. It also provides them with relevant tools and resources to better support their mental wellbeing and resilience.

Employers also gain insights into the current status of their team’s mental wellbeing, which can help in preventing problems early on and direct actions and initiatives to better support them. 

What are Examples of Employee Wellbeing Strategies?

To offer some inspiration for your organisation’s corporate wellbeing programs, let’s take a look at two companies that have initiated programs successfully. 

The software company Asana provides their employees with nap rooms, so whenever they feel they need to recharge or take a break, employees have the freedom to rest. They also offer unlimited paid time off. 

Another great example is from Google, who is often touted to be one of the best employers. Google’s campus provides a look at how to get corporate wellbeing right in the physical office environment. The campus has on-site healthcare services, fitness classes, cooking sessions, and more. 

As you can see, corporate wellbeing ideas run the gambit of large and costly initiatives to small changes that can greatly improve your employees’ lives. 

The Bottom Line 

Corporate wellbeing comes down to the understanding that better supported employees means better results for the business. A happy workforce will not only reduce an organisation's costs, but it will also result in upsides like boosting retention, maximising profits, providing better customer service, and overall supporting a more desirable work environment. 

By focusing on both physical and mental wellbeing, employers have the opportunity to prioritise employee wellbeing to benefit everyone involved. 

Check out how wellbeing platforms like LUME can help your organisation and take your employee wellbeing to the next level.

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