Seven steps to building a culture of employee wellbeing
16 June 2023
For your employee wellbeing initiative to be effective and impactful, you need to embed it into your culture. It takes buy-in from the top and cross-business collaboration. It's worth it, and we're giving you the seven steps to follow to make it happen.
Employee wellbeing has become a bit of a buzzword in the last few years or so, but do you know what it means and how to create a culture that puts wellbeing at its heart?
Wellbeing at work is all about how our work life, whether that’s our tasks, stress levels, and work environment (wherever that may be!) affects our overall health and happiness, both in and out of work. As well as encapsulating physical health effects from work, like incorrect deck setups and back problems, or eye strain from a screen, it’s also about how our work life can affect our mood and mental health.
When we achieve positive wellbeing at work, it can help us reach our potential, be productive and creative every day, build strong relationships with our colleagues and be able to manage any stress that crops up.
Having a culture that looks at wellbeing at work, isn’t just the right thing to do for your employees. It also benefits employers.
Five benefits to creating a culture of wellbeing:
Reduce employee absenteeism
Create a happy workplace
Boost productivity and motivation
Attract and retain talent
Improved employee engagement
If you’re not sure where to start, here are our 7 steps to building a culture of wellbeing at work.
Step One: Understand the five pillars of employee wellbeing
When we look at employee wellbeing, physical and mental health are often the first to mind. But did you know that there are five pillars of employee wellbeing?
Mental and emotional wellbeing: creating an environment where people can be themselves and support mental health issues.
Social wellbeing: promoting collaboration, as well as creating opportunities for connection and relationship building.
Financial wellbeing: reducing the stigma around money pressures, as well as providing education, support, and tools to help with finance management.
Physical wellbeing: supporting employees in making positive physical health choices and introducing schemes and initiatives that can help.
Digital wellbeing: creating an environment where tech is there to improve how we work and ensures everyone has the tech they need, but is also trained on best practices on how to use it.
Step Two: Get senior leader to support and act as role models
When making any change in a business, your senior leaders need to be onboard, and this is particularly important when looking at wellbeing at work. Any communication you do about your wellbeing programme should highlight that leaders care about employee wellbeing to show staff that they’re valued at all levels of the business.
Also, it’s important that your leadership team act as role models for the wellbeing programme, as leaders who actively participate in your schemes and initiatives can encourage other employees to do so.
Step Three: Understand the needs of your employees
If you want to support your employees' health and wellbeing, it’s key to talk to your employees to understand what they would want from a wellbeing programme. Find out what they’re worried about, any problems or concerns that come up during the day, and what they need support with.
You could do a survey or questionnaire or gather up a panel of employees across different departments and levels and put in a session to talk about it.
Step Four: Use employee feedback to form the basis of your strategy
Once you’ve spoken to your employees and understand what they need from a wellbeing strategy you can start to look at the areas you can make an impact. For example:
If your employees are struggling with managing stress or having mental health issues, then you could look at introducing an Employee Assistance Programme which offers them free confidential advice 24/7 from BACP accredited counsellors whether that’s face-to-face, email or phone.
For staff who are having money troubles you could look at offering Financial Wellbeing Services like education and saving options, and you could look at Pluxee Discounts or Salary Sacrifice Schemes to help them make their salaries stretch further and spread the cost of certain things over time.
We can all feel isolated from time to time, and if your workforce is struggling with that, you could look at different initiatives to try and bring people together.
Step Five: Define your goals
The next step in creating a culture that focuses on wellbeing at work, is understanding what you want to get out of it. Are you looking to improve employee retention or boost morale, happiness or productivity?
Setting goals really helps you focus on what you want to achieve, but also understand how you are doing. They can also help you evaluate if things need to change.
Step Six: Share your plans
Having a great wellbeing programme won’t work if no one knows about it. Whether you’ve focused on wellbeing at work before, or this is your first time, it’s important to launch it with a bang.
Make effective use of all of your communication channels and highlight the benefits of wellbeing and what’s now available.
Try to do more than just emails. You could look at videos from people who’ve used the benefits or senior leaders talking about the new programmes or even experts in wellbeing as well as sending out free resources.
Step Seven: Make sure line managers are trained and ready to support
Our managers are our connection to the business and the source of information for communication. They’re also often the first person we will, or should go to, if we’re struggling at work.
Managers should be trained on what support is available for employees, understand the steps to access any wellbeing initiatives and have easy access to any materials they might need. It can be difficult to have conversations on subjects like mental health and financial troubles, so make sure your managers have advice on how to have these chats with their team.
How Pluxee UK can help!
We know it isn’t always easy to know how to offer a comprehensive staff wellbeing programme that benefits all employees. If you want to learn more about the ways you can support your employees health and wellbeing, why not get in touch with our experts? They can help guide you through solutions and plans you can put in place to help your staff.