It may not come as a surprise that a key theme we are seeing across all sectors and specialisms is wellbeing – our health and happiness – particularly in the workplace. This is at the top of the agenda for many businesses and an important conversation for the HR professionals we speak to everyday.
“Wellbeing is particularly prominent during a time where many of us still work from home.”
As an HR recruiter at Frazer Jones, I focus on sectors across health, wellbeing, fitness, pharma and life sciences. This puts me in touch with people in these spaces who, like me, are interested in how business and HR leaders can support their employees’ wellbeing.
The challenges of remote working
“As employees and leaders, we aren’t always able to come home and close the door on our workday as our workspace has now become our personal space too.”
Wellbeing is particularly prominent during a time where many of us still work from home. While flexible and agile working has contributed to a better work-life balance, it also comes with some challenges. We aren’t always able to come home and close the door on our workday as our workspace has now become our personal space too.
“Work-life balance is continually becoming one of the most important factors when deciding to take a job and whether to leave one.”
It’s more important than ever to keep our recipes for wellbeing success close at hand and for businesses to become more acutely tuned into the needs of the individuals. This is especially true for the world of generation Z where wellbeing and work-life balance is becoming one of the most important factors when deciding to take a job and whether to leave one.
Recipes for wellbeing success
If you’re an HR professional or leader looking to improve wellbeing in the workplace, here are some pillars and ways to support yourself and other employees:
- Have regular check-ins and appraisals so employees know where they stand, what they are doing well, opportunities they would like to have, identify training needs etc.
- Map out performance plans and career progression so employees know what they are striving towards and have a sense of purpose and direction in the workplace
- Hold local charity days where employees have the opportunity to give back. This supports your company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals while giving back also helps our own mental health
- Educate managers so they can start to play a bigger role in the wellbeing of their teams on a more granular level
- Create mentee/mentor programmes to further develop employees
Social and community wellbeing
- Creative clubs and/or communities with common interests
- Host team activity days, inclusive socials, events and/or workshops
- Create a supportive, diverse and inclusive culture where everyone feels they can belong
- Recruit leaders who incorporate recognition into their culture and help employees feel valued (which is shown to amplify wellbeing)
- Create a supportive and open culture, encouraging leaders to talk openly about their challenges or troubles they have faced (e.g., someone’s journey with mental health or grief to encourage sharing and communication – it’s good to talk and know we are not alone)
Onboarding and offboarding
- Create a strong onboarding and offboarding process for employees as both are stressful milestones
- Implement a robust onboarding process where employees feel welcomed by their manager and their team members but also by the wider company. This gives them a clear plan for the first day, week and month
- Think about introducing buddies across other departments and teams for new starters to feel more at ease from day one and start to get to form relationships across the wider teams.
- Focus on offboarding in much the same way is equally as critical
- Give access to a financial advisor or money workshops
- Normalise conversations around money to encourage employees to access advice where they need it, such as how to budget
- Perform annual salary reviews and support work pensions and life insurance
- Consider benefits such as childcare support, subsidised gym or travel loans
- Offer a free lunch or breakfast
Physical and mental wellbeing
- Educate mental health first aiders within the office to spot early signs in others
- Provide a quiet space where employees feel safe with access to someone such as a counsellor or member of HR
- Offer activities to help reduce stress and create calm, focus and positivity – like yoga or the use of meditation apps
- Dedicate a wellbeing hour where employees can book time out in their line managers’ diary to discuss problems they are facing relating to their wellbeing
- Host wellbeing days and offer support packages
- Consider bereavement counselling – an increasingly chosen benefit
There are many wellbeing incentives and benefits companies are providing for employees. We can see businesses realising have a compelling moral and human responsibility to support their employees’ wellbeing.
Don’t just tick the boxes
Happy and healthy employees lead more productive lives inside and out of the office. This supports retention and recruitment strategies, ESG objectives and above everything makes people feel better.
“Not everyone feels comfortable giving written answers to employee surveys.”
But these wellbeing initiatives shouldn’t be a tick-box exercise or thrown together hastily. Equally it’s not one-size-fits-all – it’s about tailoring them to the needs and individuality of employees.
Looking to the future
Personalisation will be key and data can play a huge part in identifying the trends. Not everyone feels comfortable giving written answers to employee surveys no matter how confidential it might seem to be. To collect accurate data, businesses can consider ways to gather perspectives in a way that makes employees feel protected.
Finally, I think managers will play even more of a key role in supporting employees wellbeing alongside HR leaders.
Get in touch today to discuss your hiring needs or career.