Since mid-2016 we’ve been trying to get a better understanding of what workplace wellbeing really means for our customers. Among other insights, we found that many wellbeing champions encounter the same hurdles when progressing initiatives. The most common challenges include:
Most workplaces are already doing lots of things to promote wellbeing, but these aren’t always co-ordinated. Changing culture takes time, and a planned approach is more effective than one-off events.
Naming your programme is a good place to start. Connecting your initiatives through branding will help raise awareness of wellbeing across the workplace.
International evidence shows that getting leadership buy-in from the beginning will help set you up for success (WELCOA, 2017). Often there can be scepticism around proving the value of wellbeing but there are plenty of business cases and case studies to help demonstrate the value of investment (VOI), (WELCOA, 2017).
To see a real culture shift, leaders need to visibly ‘live and breathe’ the principles of wellbeing as well as commit resource and funding. This doesn’t necessarily mean training for marathons or becoming a yogi, it can be as simple as communicating their support of wellbeing initiatives, or leading by example and giving it a go.
Wellbeing means something different to each of us, which can be why it feels like a challenge to get your team involved with activities. Carrying out assessments will help you better understand the needs of your workplace, prioritise areas for improvement and identify a starting point.
You’re not going to please everyone, but getting the team involved with assessments and feeding back your findings will help them feel valued and drive engagement. There are lots of different tools you can use, from online surveys and interviews to policy reviews and audits. A good old fashioned suggestion box can be a non-threatening way of getting ideas.
If these challenges sound familiar – you’re not alone. At Wellbeing Now 2017 – Culture & purpose, we’ll aim to help you tackle these challenges and more! See you there!
WHO (2010). Healthy workplaces: A model for action for employers, workers policymakers and practitioners.
WELCOA (2017) – Wellness Council of America.