6 Ways Companies Can Encourage Employee Health and Wellbeing

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Looking after your staff and promoting good employee wellbeing is the right thing to do, but there is also a clear business case for doing so. By encouraging employee health and wellbeing, you can discourage absenteeism and presenteeism and thus increase productivity, outputs, and profits. There are various ways you can promote good health and wellbeing among employees of your company.

1.      Recruit Mental Health First Aiders

Recruiting mental health first aiders or mental health champions can help to show employees that you are taking this issue seriously. It also provides focal points for employees to speak to when they are going through difficult times, especially if they don’t feel comfortable approaching the human resources team.

The staff members appointed as mental health first aiders or champions will not be responsible for any diagnoses, but they should be able to signpost employees to organizations and resources where they can receive help.

2.      Be Open About Health and Wellbeing

One of the best ways to encourage good health and wellbeing among employees is to be open about it. When senior members of the leadership team or board of directors are open about their own health and wellbeing struggles or successes, it can encourage others to do the same and help to create an open culture.

Include wellbeing updates regularly in any employee newsletters or updates, and encourage senior members of staff to promote conversations on wellbeing and avoid language which stigmatizes health conditions.

3.      Implement Regular Initiatives on Health and Wellbeing

Throughout the year, communicate regularly with staff members on health and wellbeing. Use key dates in the calendar, such as Suicide Prevention Day or World Mental Health Day, to let your team members know about any resources which are available to help them.

Give your employees ideas of things that could help their wellbeing. For example, communicate the benefits of eating well or practicing healthy habits. Share information about local mental health charities or other resources they can use. You could even share an easy template to use for meal planning or other forms of self-care. Promote peer-to-peer sharing of ideas and tips which help other people.

4.      Offer an Employee Assistance Program

Employee assistance programs usually come with a cost, but they can be invaluable in helping employees with their health and wellbeing. Many employee assistance programs (EAPs) offer a range of support, including financial help, legal advice, and general counselling. Let your employees know that this is available and encourage them to use it if they feel they need to.

EAPs will usually allow employees to use their services anonymously, helping to build confidence and remove any anxieties about information sharing between colleagues.

5.      Promote a Caring Culture

External support programs and sharing of useful resources will have little impact if the company as a whole does not promote a caring and compassionate culture.

Some ideas to promote a caring culture could include regular training on safeguarding, diversity, and inclusion, as well as placing emphasis on speaking up and sharing experiences of harassment or abuse in the workplace.

6.      Focus on Feedback

Proactively look to get feedback from your employees about how they feel towards their job. This will not only help the company to improve in terms of employee relationships, but it will enable you to understand more about what employees are looking for and what might attract new potential staff.

When staff leave your company, ask for feedback about why they left and what might have encouraged them to stay.

There are a variety of ways to encourage positive health and wellbeing among your staff members. It can increase productivity and build a healthier culture across the whole organization.

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