Managing wellbeing is seemingly much easier when you’re dealing with a smaller team. You can keep a close eye on an individual’s temperament, productivity and output. It’s easier to analyse employee retention rates and absenteeism. Your business’s management structure is much simpler.
As businesses grow, it’s more difficult for owners and senior managers to ensure a consistently positive company culture. Different departments have their own way of communicating, and bad habits can be quickly formed. A poorly trained manager can have a huge impact on the way wellbeing is supported, and how comfortable employees are in opening up or sharing concerns.
There are some key ways businesses can ensure wellbeing maintains a strong part of its company culture.
1. Line manager training
It’s a line manager’s key responsibility to look after their team. They make sure their direct reports are hitting their goals, performing well and achieving great results for the business. Line managers should also support their team’s wellbeing, recognising the link between wellbeing, engagement, motivation and productivity. If an employee is happy, healthy and supported while at work they’re more likely to deliver.
Managers should be trained to recognise key signs and symptoms of low employee morale and feel confident in starting conversations around employee wellbeing. By encouraging these open, honest conversations within each team you can ensure company culture remains positive.
2. Wellbeing Champions
A dedicated Wellbeing Champion per department will help to ensure wellbeing activities are promoted throughout your business. Wellbeing Champions are your in-house wellbeing advocates, making sure that your employees are aware of the importance of wellbeing and encouraged to engage. As your business grows, your team of Wellbeing Champions will expand.
Offering new starter inductions with a Wellbeing Champion is a great way to make sure new employees are engaged with activities and initiatives from the start. Employees who are engaged with wellbeing activities are more likely to have high morale and productivity, so don’t miss out on a valuable opportunity to highlight your business’s wellbeing programme from the get-go.
3. Utilising technology
You should consider implementing new technologies, such as wellbeing apps, to support employees both in and outside of work. This will give your team the empowerment to look after their own manageable wellbeing. There are many ways apps can help: from improving diet right through to trying mindfulness techniques.
Your Wellbeing Champions and external wellbeing provider can’t be ultimately responsible for your employees’ wellbeing. Individuals must be given the tools, advice and support they need to make key lifestyle changes and improve their own wellbeing. A great way to do this is to recommend apps individuals can use to support them in their wellbeing journey.
4. Company-wide initiatives
Organisational silos can be tough to break down. Each department may have their own way of communicating with one another and run their own individual wellbeing initiatives or team activities. Ensure that, as your business grows, your wellbeing strategy includes every employee across each department. Run company-wide wellbeing seminars, fundraisers or other activities to encourage separate departments to connect with one another. Use wellbeing to bond people within your organisation, regardless of their role.
Employee Assistance Programmes are also a great company-wide way to enhance wellbeing. Employees are more likely to seek help and treatment if they’re financially supported to do so.
5. Using external providers
Unless your business is a wellbeing specialist, you won’t be best placed to organise internal wellbeing programmes and services. Turn to the experts to help develop a tailored wellbeing strategy, including seminars and health checks. Your wellbeing partner will then upscale your programme in line with your business growth, ensuring company culture doesn’t suffer as your business expands.
6. Communicate effectively
All organisational change should be communicated with employees. Review your internal comms and decide the best way to ensure transparency within the business. Monthly internal newsletters, regular videos from your senior leadership team and internal training sessions will help all employees to feel involved and informed. As your business grows, you should communicate important changes or developments with all employees. Allow them to share your successes and strive towards improvement – the more invested an employee is, the more likely they are to stay and perform their best for your organisation.
Businesses don’t have to sacrifice employee wellbeing in order to grow and evolve. Instead, develop a comprehensive wellbeing programme to run alongside other changes and growth plans. This will help to ensure employees feel supported through organisational change, potential reshuffles and other developments.
Every business goes through periods of change. This doesn’t mean employee wellbeing should be compromised. By putting a wellbeing strategy in place now, businesses can future-proof their company culture.
Andy Romero-Birkbeck, Founder & Director – We are Wellbeing Ltd