As a Trainer I am a firm believer in the power of education and more specifically that if you understand how something works you are more geared to deal with it. This is true of any of the topics I find myself speaking on in the workplace, everything from sleep to stress and exercise to ergonomics. I am passionate about what I do and thankfully there are many passionate HR teams out there that want to do good by their people. If there is one thing I have learnt in my ten years of corporate delivery is that planning is everything!
The easiest thing in the world is to throw money at a EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) and expect it to work but employees are too smart for that. They can smell a “tick box” exercise from a mile off. Some of the best Organisations I have worked with often spend the least but what they do is spend time planning and creating a culture of wellbeing aka “The Holy Grail”.
Other valuable lessons I have picked up along the way is the people don’t want to be preached to but they are likely to pay attention if they can see that you buy into your own ideology. So as a cake eating, coffee drinking and occasionally sleep deprived guy with a passion for health and wellbeing I like to think I fit the bill. Wellbeing is about finding the balance, its not about abs, looking good in yoga pants or demonstrating how “clean” your diet is on Instagram.
Wellbeing is a holistic term that encompasses mind, body and soul and in relation to the workplace should be facilitated by every organisation. It shouldn’t be seen as a week of health checks or a support line phone number but as an attitude and as a empathy for the human beings we work alongside. In the work place we should be able to thrive mentally and physically. Small measures over time will create the culture but it must be ingrained into the ethos of the organisation.
For me this should always start at the top. Ensuring managers buy into it is essential to the take up of wellbeing initiatives. So many times I have delivered a seminar to a smaller group because a manager doesn’t see its value. My job in part it changing sceptical managers into encouraging influencers. Great managers lead by example.
We obviously cant force employees to eat fruit, practice meditation or go to bed early but we can facilitate wellbeing. Every company has the ability empower its people with knowledge, motivation and ongoing support. Just like behaviour change, culture change takes time. Throw money at a quick solution and it won’t stick. Invest in your people and they’ll love you for it.
Engage, Inspire & Create Positive Change – UK Wellbeing Coach