By Nicola Davenport.
Congratulations! You work in or run a business that has declared its commitment to policies and practices that benefit the health and wellbeing of staff. So why aren’t you reaping the promised benefits of a happier, more motivated, more productive team?
1. The staff tasked with delivering and running your workplace wellbeing programme don’t have the time or expertise to set it up or sustain it, so good intentions fall by the wayside.
2. You raced down the healthy workplace route without developing a clear strategy: what are your goals? How and when you will achieve them? How will you measure success?
3. Your goals are unrealistic: you are trying to fix too many problems at once, seeing workplace health and wellbeing as a finishing post rather than an ongoing journey.
4. You forgot to get employee buy-in. Without active input from your staff, healthy workplace initiatives are unlikely to succeed and it will take longer to reap positive results.
So, given the undoubted benefits of supporting efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of your staff, what should you as an employer be doing to ensure that any steps you take are successful and cost-effective?
Here’s your four-point plan for a winning workforce wellness strategy:
1. Empower your employees: appoint an enthusiastic individual to head up your workplace wellbeing programme or, even better, set up a committee of staff from a variety of departments and levels of seniority.
2. Don’t feel you have to do it all yourself. Got staff that want to take part in a sponsored activity? Sign up as a company team for an existing event. Not sure how to create a realistic, manageable wellbeing strategy? Get outside help (remember, you can access FREE expert assistance via Merton’s Healthy Workplaces Service).
3. Consult! Start an internal dialogue about health and wellbeing at work to make sure that staff throughout your organisation are aware of what you’re trying to do; ask them what they want so your strategy meets their needs, rather than what senior management thinks they need.
4. Make sure workplace wellness goals are a good fit with your company culture. What suits an office-based 9-5 environment will not be the same if your staff work shifts, are largely home-based or spend most of their time on the road.
If you’re an employer in Merton wanting to encourage healthy workplace practices, get in touch for information and support from our dedicated Healthy Workplace Consultant Nicola Davenport Nicola@mertonchamber.co.uk / 020 8944 5501 . Follow us on social media: Twitter @HealthyMerton and facebook.com/healthymerton/