Another user, Clare Josa, Director of Education and Training at Beyond Alchemy Ltd, added: “Taking wellbeing this seriously shows true leadership.”
Elsewhere, Maxine Hourigan, Head of Resourcing & Inclusion at Sweco UK, praised the idea: “Such a small gesture, but speaks volumes!”
What can HR learn from this?
New research recently found that less than half (44%) of UK firms have a comprehensive wellbeing strategy in place. This is according to data published in Aon’s UK Benefits & Trends Survey, which also discovered that 70% of employers do not have a designated budget for health and wellbeing.
These figures coupled with the stats sharing that mental health issues have increased among employees indicate that employers and HR teams should take a look at their wellbeing initiatives and how these can be improved to provide the appropriate support.
Therefore, considering the concept of a ‘wellbeing day’ similar to what Channel 4 rolled out may be an option for HR leaders. However, if all staff cannot be off at the same time other initiatives could also be considered.
For example, hosting regular wellbeing sessions that inform staff about how to manage their wellbeing or introducing additional annual leave for employees to take a break could all help to boost a workforce’s welfare.
And Kirstin Furber, People Director at Channel 4, is keen to ensure wellbeing continues to be a fundamental part of Channel 4’s HR strategy, as she told HR Grapevine that communication is key to achieve this.
“Regular communication about where we’re going, what’s happening today, two-way communication of where I am struggling, how do I need to make change, what am I hearing, how do we need to do things differently, and that really starts with a very natural conversation about wellbeing and how to get the best for yourselves,” she concluded.
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