Essential terms used by HR and their meanings.

Workplace wellbeing

Fostering wellbeing in the workplace is a core function of the HR team in any organisation. Creating an organisational culture that champions workplace wellbeing can have a considerable impact on productivity by reducing workplace stress and increasing employee engagement.

Having a wellbeing strategy for the organisation will help ensure that all aspects of wellbeing are identified and that activities like performance reviews and learning and development plans can incorporate monitoring and education.

What is wellbeing in the workplace

Workplace wellbeing has many different elements that will have an effect on a variety of areas of the employee experience. The importance of each area will vary greatly from individual to individual, so it is essential that all have been given consideration so that managers and HR representatives have access to the information and tools they need when challenges are identified.

Using people analytics, employee surveys and providing open channels of communication are essential in monitoring the wellbeing of the individual and the organisation. The four core areas that should form a starting point for a wellbeing strategy are:

  • Mental wellbeing – high stress, increase workload and unexpected events can often be highly detrimental ensuring that all employees can discuss mental health, often a difficult subject to communicate about, and that both informal and formal support networks are accessible, supporting better mental wellbeing across the organisation.

  • Physical wellbeing – ensuring good general health of the workforce is especially important in remote and desk-based workforces or in high-risk work environments. Encouraging regular physical activity and providing benefits that facilitate physical activity for workers (and their families) but considering regular health checks for eyesight, annual flu jabs and healthcare support should also be part of the physical wellbeing conversation.

  • Financial wellbeing – financial worries can be one of the main causes of stress outside of work, so ensuring that your employees are well equipped to manage their finances with guidance, advice and carefully considered benefits that can assist in managing their cost of living, can make a significant positive contribution to workplace wellbeing.

  • Professional wellbeing – having a career goal, understanding how they can achieve it and feeling supported by the organisation will help positively shape employee experiences and encourage engagement. Ensuring that performance reviews, reward & recognition schemes, and development programmes support them in their setting and achieving their aspirations will aid in more active career management.

Supporting wellbeing at work

Workplace wellbeing needs to be actively participated in by all levels to ensure the maximum benefits are realised. Consider the following when managing wellbeing in the long-term:

  • Communication – it can often be difficult for people to discuss wellbeing issues, fostering an open and two-way discourse is essential to allow staff to talk about challenges they may be facing. Providing external options for discussion will also allow people to open up if they feel uncomfortable doing so with colleagues.

  • Data collection & analysis – collecting data, from time and attendance to employee surveys, will allow more analysis and informed decision making. It can highlight concern areas that had not been identified before and can provide opportunities to flag potential problem areas to be proactively engaged with before they become a significant issue.

  • Collaboration – as wellbeing needs will differ from individual to individual, encouraging the active participation of employees and a collaborative approach will help to make activities beneficial to all. Providing opportunities for feedback and open discussion will be vital in tailoring the wellbeing plans.

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