With a corporate wellbeing strategy in place, now you’re ready to design and implement a wellbeing programme for your workplace. This could be a new initiative for your organisation, or you may already have an existing programme in need of refreshing. It’s a good idea to periodically review your programme to make sure it’s still competitive, meeting the needs of your employees, and aligned with your strategy. Corporate wellbeing programmes usually run year-to-year or quarter-to-quarter. How often you refresh your programme depends on a variety of factors including the size of your organisation, the resources available to you, and the tenure of individuals in your HR team (learning from the experience of new hires can be valuable). In general, it’s sensible to review your programme at least once a year to assess its effectiveness and make any adjustments. Perhaps you’ve noticed a decline in employee engagement with your current suite of initiatives, or you would like to make your offering more attractive to prospective new joiners to stay competitive. Creating a new wellbeing programme from scratch doesn’t need to be complicated either. Below we outline some simple steps to follow to ensure your corporate wellbeing programme is a success.
If you haven’t done so already through the planning of your wellbeing strategy, identify the specific needs and concerns of the employees. Smaller businesses can usually skip the process of defining a strategy and go straight to work on the programme itself. You can identify staff’s wishes through surveys, focus groups, and discussions with team leads. Cast your net wide to make sure the results are well-representative and inclusive, catering to a variety of preferences and lifestyles.
Develop a comprehensive plan that addresses a range of health and wellness areas, such as physical activity, stress management, nutrition, and mental health. You may already have some areas of focus you identified for your strategy. We recommend starting in broad terms before drilling down to more specific ones. For example, from improving physical fitness you might choose to tackle lower back pain, especially if staff feedback supports this aim.
Consult with experts and outside providers covering a variety of services. You may wish to include fitness classes, health screenings, counselling, and wellness workshops. If this is a new venture for you, we have an entire article devoted to the important step of choosing a corporate wellbeing provider.
Once you’ve chosen your suite of wellbeing sessions and services, promote them through various channels, such as instant messaging platforms, email newsletters, posters around the office, and taster events, to ensure that all employees are aware of the resources available to them. These communications should be varied and ongoing to ensure engagement remains high and to avoid them becoming background noise. Sending periodic reminders of scheduled events, as well as services with on-demand access, will go a long way towards maximising your investment. You may wish to enlist the help of nominated ‘wellbeing champions’, including those at a senior level, to rally the troops and raise the profile of what’s on offer during all-hands meetings.
Evaluate the programme regularly to determine its effectiveness, monitor engagement, and make necessary adjustments to ensure its ongoing success. Encourage employee feedback to continuously improve the programme and make it more relevant and engaging. Having processes in place for receiving feedback will help to keep the conversation going between HR and your staff, so that your programme can adapt to the evolving needs of your workforce. This could take the form of a dedicated email address, e.g. [email protected], or a web page containing an electronic form.
To ensure the longevity of your programme, it is essential to have the buy-in of senior leadership and management and a commitment to ongoing investment and resources. The feedback and data you collect from participants of the programme, combined with data days missed due to staff sickness, will be a huge help in securing their support if you can demonstrate that the initiatives are providing tangible results.
For your programme to be more than just a box-ticking exercise (the cliché of the office fruit bowl!), a commitment to employee wellbeing needs to be integrated into your company’s core mission and values. This should be reflected in the company culture and every aspect of business practice, including company policies. For example, by offering flexible work schedules, being transparent around career progression, and actively promoting work/life balance. That is to say, context and consistency is crucial in order for your initiatives and messaging around wellbeing to be well-received.
Finally, make sure to celebrate your successes via your company’s intranet or social media channels, to reinforce the wellbeing-positive culture you’re promoting with your programme. This is a great way to foster engagement and visibility internally, as well as helping to attract the best talent as part of your recruitment efforts.
We hope these ideas have inspired you to revisit your company’s wellbeing programme and look at it anew – whether it’s in need of an overhaul or just a few small tweaks. To find out how The Office Yoga Company can support your wellbeing aims with our range of activities, get in touch and one of our friendly team of experts will reach out to you shortly.
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