Employee wellbeing was one of the three things mentioned in the previous blog around improving job satisfaction and it’s also a principle of Good Work. In the blog, it was recommended that employers have a holistic approach to wellbeing when supporting employees. This blog will expand upon this and give some recommendations to employers to support their teams.
What is meant by a holistic approach?
The medical definition of holistic, from Oxford Languages, is “the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.” In other words it’s understanding that there are different things that affect our wellbeing and that these can be interconnected. It’s not just about the problem but what factors are feeding into the problem. This means that employee wellbeing is not just dependent on our work life, it is also dependent on our home and social life too. Employers are at an advantage if they consider this when having provisions in place to support with wellbeing.
Five things to support staff wellbeing
Here are five things employers can do to support staff wellbeing:
- Encourage an environment of connecting with other people: Whether it’s at work or outside of work, having moments throughout your week to connect with colleagues, friends and/or family will help individuals to feel less isolated especially those working from home. Employers can encourage virtual or face to face get togethers which allow staff to have a moment where they can break away from their work and engage in some fun activities. If there is a preference for one-to-one conversations, then having a “buddy” system for regular catch ups with someone inside/outside your team could be an option.
- Giving to others: acts of giving and kindness can help improve mental wellbeing. If available, employers can encourage employees to take advantage of volunteering days. Mentoring is a brilliant way for leaders/managers to give support and guidance to junior staff and in turn help them feel part of the company. Sometimes little things can go a long way and leaders/managers within the organisations can add a bit of spontaneity with random acts of kindness towards their colleagues.
- Having trained wellbeing professionals: This could be a wellbeing rep(s) and/or mental health first aiders. Having trained wellbeing professionals on hand for employees when they need it can give them that opportunity to get a handle on tough moments personally and professionally. The trained professional could be internal or external and will give people quick access to someone to speak to, without them having to do a lengthy search. The wellbeing professional(s) can also influence company culture in a positive way by encouraging a more compassionate working environment. They can also offer specific group provisions like meditation to help colleagues improve mental wellbeing.
- Understanding the link between money and mental wellbeing: A study by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) in 2020 found that 29 million adults in the UK don’t feel comfortable talking about money despite 48% admitted to regularly worrying about finances. The charity Mind has a section on their website about money and mental health and has stated that: “Worries about money can have an impact on your mental health. And your mental health can affect how you manage your money.” Employers can support in a similar way to having wellbeing reps. Giving staff easier access to trained professionals internally/externally can help staff who may be experiencing money challenges.
- Developing their employees: For individuals learning boosts self-confidence, gives them a sense of growth and adds to their purpose. Staff development can include training, mentoring/coaching and shadowing opportunities. Having a tailored approach towards development allows individuals to move towards their career goals and impacts positively on motivation and mental wellbeing.
For employee wellbeing, it’s helpful that employers have a holistic approach to implementing provisions. Five recommendations have been made but a holistic approach also means a flexible approach. Understanding that wellbeing can be impacted in different ways, recognising what the workforce needs, and adjusting to meet these needs, will help employers maintain a happy and healthy workforce.
Would you like to start a conversation with an organisation committed to helping you improve the diversity and engagement of your workforce? Get in touch and we’ll gladly help you understand how Good Work can support your recruitment strategy. Email us at email@example.com.
Written by Jags Lota, Marketing Content Officer at Shaw Trust.
Did you miss the last blog? Click here to read the blog about improving job satisfaction.