10 Tips for Employee Wellbeing
Stop dangling carrots, 10 Tips to actually improve office wellbeing
Not too long ago, whenever HR were brave enough to put their heads above the parapets to suggest making employees’ lives better, they always had to justify it to the board in financial terms. “If you keep them around, you won’t have to pay for recruiters!”, “If they only work their contracted hours, you won’t be liable!”, “If an employee isn’t sobbing in absolute frustration, they can sell more products!”. We have no idea how you did it so gracefully for so long – Bravo.
Thankfully, we look at incentives for employees differently now. If you build a place where people are happy, comfortable and proud to work, the benefits will follow. They just won’t be your only goal.
So, in the spirit of making lives better, we’ve put together some of our favourites tips for making your office a genuinely great place to work. And what could be more satisfying than that?
More than 53% of millennials want to make a positive impact with their work, and they’re willing to change jobs to do it. But not every organisation can be the most spiritually fulfilling, so why not soothe those itchy feet and sponsor volunteering during work time? And don’t forget to find out which causes mean the most to your colleagues.
Don’t reward presenteeism
Another relic of a less-than-perfect past. Presenteeism is all about being seen to be in the office above and beyond the call of duty. This has two big problems: working beyond contracted hours causes conflict between colleagues, and also causes people to turn up ill. In fact, since 2010, instances of staff turning up to work whilst ill tripled. Make it clear that you’ll judging people on doing their job correctly, not on clocking up hours. Or spluttering through meetings while their colleagues nervously eye up the emergency exits.
Ambitious people will always have big dreams. You can either be the company that makes room for those dreams, or stops being a destination for those ambitious people. Your teammates have plenty on their bucket lists, make sure leaving for another job isn’t on there too.
Promote physical health
It’s no coincidence that the rise in desk-based work has also seen a rise in gym memberships. People need somewhere to get their heart pumping. How about lunchtime yoga, a running club, cycle to work schemes or subsidised gym membership? Or a step counter challenge using peoples’ phones, where they’re free to go for an afternoon wander to hit the big 10,000. You could even set up a group using an app like Strava for the cyclists and runners to motivate each other and make recommendations.
Little good things
Keeping colleagues hydrated and hunger-free should be a given – and shouldn’t be limited to the last Friday of the month. Instead of trying to make money with vending machines, add new incentives for employees with a range of tasty drinks and snacks. Regularly rotate what you offer, except for chocolate Hob Nobs. Always have those.
Flexibility, including WFH
Sometimes, if you listen carefully, you can still hear non-smokers complaining about the breaks that smokers have taken from work. But if all of your staff feel the freedom to take breaks whenever they want, you avoid this kind of in-fighting. Similarly, life is unpredictable and work is increasingly online, so offering everyone an option of working from home improves quality of life immeasurably. Whether it’s waiting for a boiler repair, needing some time away from office noise, or simply wanting the extra hour in bed, everyone can find something to love about it.
Nobody wants to feel stuck in a rut, but there are only so many role promotions available. That doesn’t mean that you have to waste the time in between. Offer a library of useful books – and time to read them. Help people shadow the people in roles they’d love to be in. Run ‘What’s next?’ workshops, and help people work out why might be a great choice for their next step, and which skills colleagues have been particularly impressed by.
Beta test your brainwaves
Whether you’re considering standing desks, duvet days, or any other incentives for employees, why not run an Early Adopter scheme to see if it’s right for your office? That way the more adventurous types can stretch their legs, without pushing everyone out of their comfort zones.
Put a focus on mental health
This should go without saying –and deserves more than a single bullet in a list like this. It’s every company’s responsibility to build a channel for employees to discuss mental health concerns without stigma or judgement. Anxiety, stress and depression will often make it incredibly hard to reach out for help, so making access as easy as possible is absolutely necessary to help your most vulnerable colleagues.
Recognition is everything
HR departments have been doing incredible work at recognising great contributions from staff, but the approach needs to be universal. There should never be the ‘good manager’ who actually makes their team feel appreciated, it needs to be at the heart of your culture. Whether this takes the form of early finishes, little tokens of gratitude, or a simple thank you, gratitude is the fuel that keeps people engaged.
Now, if it’s those little tokens of gratitude you’re keen on (yes, it’s that time again), you could do much worse than Asda for Business gift cards. Available for thousands of products in any denomination, they’re flexible enough for every workplace situation.
Your industrious colleagues can use them on everything from groceries to gadgets to garden furniture, at over 600 Asda and Asda Living stores nationwide –or online at George.com if they fancy a new look. Simply click here to get started, and enjoy discounts from your first £1,000 spend.
Happiness in the office is like art: it’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it. And it’s a thing of beauty.
Start painting your own wellbeing masterpiece today.