Go back

All is well: How to promote wellness in the workplace

March 1, 2024

Happy and healthy employees mean a happy and healthy business. In order to reap the benefits of a healthy workforce, businesses must proactively support their employees’ wellbeing, on every level. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about promoting employee wellbeing in this blog.

Why is a corporate wellbeing strategy important?

Companies must consider employee wellbeing as central to their HR policy. This is because employee health has been linked to higher productivity and better performance. Think about it: if you feel happy and healthy you’re going to be able to focus more, produce better results, and bring your whole self to work.

Unfortunately, however, in such a tumultuous time, the workforce has been suffering from poor wellbeing overall. 53% of employees have done their job in the last three months despite not feeling well, while over 25% responded that work has had a negative impact on their mental health.

It’s not enough to simply want your employees to be healthy, no matter how good your intentions are! In order to make a real impact and improve the wellbeing of your staff, a serious and robust plan must be drawn up to ensure you are proactively seeking feedback, supporting your employees in stressful situations, and providing the basis for improvement.

Employee wellbeing strategy examples to include in your plan

In order to create an effective employee wellbeing strategy, you must consider the different aspects of health that should be included in the plan. A holistic view, which includes every facet of wellbeing, will help you reduce absenteeism, lower presenteeism, and combat stress within your workplace. So, what are the types of wellbeing you should focus on?

Mental wellbeing

There are so many stressful parts of modern life, no one needs their workplace to add another layer of anxiety! Considering your employees’ mental health is vital, as this could make the difference between a productive, enthusiastic, and engaged workforce, and one that can’t wait to leave the office at the end of the day.

You should, first of all, consider the elements that could induce stress in your employees. Are managers taking people’s feelings into account? Is the workload manageable? Does your organisation provide a work-life balance or do employees never clock out? Is your company culture supportive and helpful, or is it creating unreasonable expectations?

Once you’ve figured out what components in the work itself could impact mental health, you should also consider external factors. Are many of your employees parents? Is their commute to work long and tiring? Do they have the tools and capabilities to handle stress or unforeseen circumstances? Have they experienced any trauma or other upsetting events?

Depending on your workplace’s particulars, some actions you can take to improve your employees’ mental wellbeing include:

  • Flexible and hybrid work
  • Mental health days
  • Volunteering days
  • Bereavement leave
  • Therapy or meditation sessions
  • A subscription to a meditation app

Physical wellbeing

Physical wellbeing is central to an employees’ ability to perform — inside and outside of work. Physically healthy employees take less sick days, are able to fully participate in the professional and social activities associated with work, and feel better prepared.

With so many temptations to live an unhealthy life — junk food on every corner, gym memberships costing an arm and a leg, and office hours that encourage a sedentary lifestyle, can all contribute to poor physical health among your staff.

Assuming all employees want to be physically healthier, but lack either the motivation or the tools to be able to improve it, you should implement steps that help with these. For example:

  • Supply healthy snacks/lunches at the office
  • Provide fitness classes or resources
  • Host healthy cooking classes
  • Start a step counting challenge
  • Offer discounted or subsidised gym memberships
  • Purchase additional health insurance
  • Encourage employees to cycle to work
  • Introduce standing desks and walking meetings

Financial wellbeing

Financial wellness is a sense of security regarding someone’s own financial situation. Financially healthy people know that they can afford to pay their bills, put money aside regularly, and protect themselves in case of an emergency.

As an employer, you hold a serious influence over your employees’ financial wellbeing — after all, you’re their main income source. This means you have a particular responsibility to ensure that your staff have high levels of financial wellbeing. And with 34% of adults in the UK feeling anxious, 29% stressed, and 10% hopeless regarding their finances, this responsibility is more important than ever.

The best way to support your staff in terms of financial health is by giving them appropriate salaries that are matched for the market rate as well as inflation. However, financial health isn’t simply about how much money people have, but also how they handle it. Here are some ideas for supporting your workers’ financial wellbeing without raising their salary:

  • Provide financial education courses
  • Offer discounts and perks, especially when it comes to everyday purchases (for example, work clothes, coffee, or groceries)
  • Supply free breakfast or lunch
  • Give employees cashback schemes

Further reading: How to improve financial wellbeing

How to improve employee wellbeing

In order to create an effective employee wellbeing strategy, you must consider the following steps:

1. Evaluate your current situation

In order to be able to firstly set goals and then assess improvement, you first need to benchmark and evaluate your current state of employee wellbeing. This can be done by collecting information about your competitors and the rest of the market, and see how you compare. For example,you can check how your salaries weigh up compared to market rates, whether the perks you offer match competitors.

You can also review your position by looking inside, rather than outside. Asking employees to complete wellbeing surveys and questionnaires can provide you with important insight into the perceived health of your staff, while ensuring managers incorporate questions about wellbeing into 1-2-1s can help you identify any gaps you need to address.

2. Create goals and objectives for the wellbeing strategy

Once you have a picture of your staff’s wellbeing, it’s time to decide what you want to improve. These goals can’t be amorphous or ambiguous, because you’re going to have to continuously come back to them and test your implementation and progress.

For this purpose, we recommend using the SMART format for objective setting: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. ‘We want to improve employee wellbeing’ does not tick the box, however, ‘we want to increase our employee happiness score by 5% within the next year’ does — it specifies exactly what it is that you’re trying to achieve, it’s reasonable (20% might be too much!), it directly impacts wellbeing, and it states when you’d like to achieve this by.

After you’ve set these goals, you should prepare a roadmap with actionable steps to achieve this. This can be increasing salaries, introducing different programmes, or providing certain perks.

3. Look for feedback

It’s not enough to set the wheels in motion — you must continuously review and evaluate your objectives and progress to ensure you’re on track and to adjust your plan accordingly. This should be done by reviewing data, as well as requesting feedback from employees and managers.

One way you can do this effectively is by introducing periodic anonymous surveys into the mix. Quarterly wellbeing surveys can help you make sure you’re improving as well as that your staff’s needs haven’t changed, while the anonymity allows employees to be more open about their requirements without worry.

In the Thrive platform, you can send your employees periodic surveys created by our team of certified occupational psychologists, and get all the insights in one place, comparing previous results.

Want to learn more about how Thrive can help you improve your staff wellbeing? Book a demo with us today.

Stay in the know

Subscribe and get Thrive's latest updates and articles straight to your inbox.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.