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We Ask the Experts

What wellbeing support are staff looking for?

Premier Foods Murphy Hyperoptic

The workplace wellbeing agenda has come to the forefront in the last few years. Research published in the CIPD’s Health and Wellbeing at Work 2021 survey found that 75% of employees believe that senior leaders have employee wellbeing high on their agenda, up from 61% the year before. Separately, statistics from insurance company Towergate Health and Protection found that, of 500 HR decision-makers, 86% believed that their staff required more health and wellbeing support at work.

While the above data has shown that supporting wellbeing is important (and is an area employers are looking to improve), not all employees are the same. They will have different roles in the company, different wants and needs and, outside of the company, different lifestyles and responsibilities, all of which can determine the type of wellbeing support that they need.

As David Wilkinson, Group HR Director at Premier Foods, told myGrapevine magazine: “Colleagues need wellbeing support that is more individual to reflect their own needs, as they have different wants and needs.”

But, what exactly is your staff looking for when it comes to wellbeing support? This is the very question we asked our experts this month. Read their advice below.

Advisory Board Member

David Wilkinson,

Group HR Director, Premier Foods

“In today's changing workplace, it is important for HR teams to be aware that wellbeing is an increasingly important topic. We have more diverse workforces, wider age ranges, and an increasing awareness of physical and mental health through education, more open conversations, and social media.

“So, colleagues need wellbeing support that is more individual to reflect their own needs. It is not just about being physically fit for work (although of course that is still important) but also about mental and emotional wellbeing. If we support our colleagues in these areas, employers will see benefits in engagement, morale, and contribution. It does though require a shift for line managers, who need help to recognise that the first responsibility as a manager is to have a fit and healthy workforce.”

 

Advisory Board Member

David Wilkinson,

Group HR Director, Premier Foods

“In today's changing workplace, it is important for HR teams to be aware that wellbeing is an increasingly important topic. We have more diverse workforces, wider age ranges, and an increasing awareness of physical and mental health through education, more open conversations, and social media.

“So, colleagues need wellbeing support that is more individual to reflect their own needs. It is not just about being physically fit for work (although of course that is still important) but also about mental and emotional wellbeing. If we support our colleagues in these areas, employers will see benefits in engagement, morale, and contribution. It does though require a shift for line managers, who need help to recognise that the first responsibility as a manager to is to have a fit and healthy workforce.”

 

Advisory Board Member

Dawn Moore,

Group People and Communications Director,
Murphy

“Employees are consistently looking for wellbeing support that clearly is part of company strategy. Wellbeing should be considered a core part of ‘business as usual’ – not something that is a particular initiative or a special programme. Wellbeing should be part of a meaningful, strategic approach rather than just a collection of benefits.

“Employees also look for companies that recognise that there is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to wellbeing support. Everyone is individual and it therefore follows that wellbeing needs are varied. These needs often encompass physical and mental wellbeing support, but also extend to things like financial wellbeing, social wellbeing and environmental wellbeing. As a minimum therefore, employees look for physical, social, environmental and psychological wellbeing support in any company approach.”

Advisory Board Member

Dawn Moore,

Group People and Communications Director,
Murphy

“Employees are consistently looking for wellbeing support that clearly is part of company strategy. Wellbeing should be considered a core part of ‘business as usual’ – not something that is a particular initiative or a special programme. Wellbeing should be part of a meaningful, strategic approach rather than just a collection of benefits.

“Employees also look for companies that recognise that there is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to wellbeing support. Everyone is individual and it therefore follows that wellbeing needs are varied. These needs often encompass physical and mental wellbeing support, but also extend to things like financial wellbeing, social wellbeing and environmental wellbeing. As a minimum therefore, employees look for physical, social, environmental and psychological wellbeing support in any company approach.”

HR Expert

Naleena Gururani,

Chief People Officer,
Hyperoptic

“At Hyperoptic our employees’ wellbeing is of utmost importance to us. We introduced ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ which encourages focus on financial, mental and physical health. We put in place a company-wide, two-hour weekly no-meeting time embargo – for staff to focus and take a breather from meetings. We also offer a Wellbeing or Chill Room in our offices, where we can take some time away from our desk, to have a moment of quiet or meditate. In our Belgrade office we have also introduced ‘Sweet Tuesdays’ and varied sport activities – practical things that support the teams’ quality of life and work. Having a hybrid working approach has also been of great value for us, as employees are able to be flexible and work around personal commitments while also enjoying face to face connection with their colleagues.”

 

HR Expert

Naleena Gururani,

Chief People Officer,
Hyperoptic

“At Hyperoptic our employees’ wellbeing is of utmost importance to us. We introduced ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ which encourages focus on financial, mental and physical health. We put in place a company-wide, two-hour weekly no-meeting time embargo – for staff to focus and take a breather from meetings. We also offer a Wellbeing or Chill Room in our offices, where we can take some time away from our desk, to have a moment of quiet or meditate. In our Belgrade office we have also introduced ‘Sweet Tuesdays’ and varied sport activities – practical things that support the teams’ quality of life and work. Having a hybrid working approach has also been of great value for us, as employees are able to be flexible and work around personal commitments while also enjoying face-to-face connection with their colleagues.”

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