A company culture that truly supports workplace wellbeing can be tough to master. It’s all very well and good putting an exciting programme of wellbeing activities in place, but it’s often difficult to get employee buy-in.
That’s why it’s important to develop a wellbeing strategy that’s designed around your people. Run insight surveys and questionnaires to find out which areas your employees need further support in. This will help you to identify where you should channel your efforts. For example, if employees are struggling to find time to exercise, why not look into running on-site fitness classes? Similarly, employees may need addition advice and support when it comes to mental health or discussing mental health in the workplace. You can’t truly support your people unless you know what help they really need.
Working with a wellbeing provider is a great way to ensure your people receive professional support. But wellbeing experts can’t be on-site all day, every day. Yet to really embed wellbeing into your company culture, a business needs its people to be completely engaged and informed. That’s where Wellbeing Champions come in.
What are Wellbeing Champions and why are they important?
Wellbeing Champions are a voluntary team of advocates who work to promote wellbeing activities throughout your business.
Training at least one person within each department to be a dedicated Champion will ensure everyone within the business has team wellbeing support on-hand. Employees should know that their Wellbeing Champions are available to turn to, providing a listening ear when needed. Of course, line managers, the HR team and ultimately the senior leadership team should always be contacted with any serious matters, but employees may appreciate a friendly and informal chat with a Champion if they are struggling to reach out for whatever reason.
New starters should also receive an induction with a Wellbeing Champion. This will help all new employees to see from the get-go how important wellbeing is to your business, thus are more likely to get involved in the activities and services you provide. Businesses always train new employees so they are able to adapt to company-specific policies, procedures and ways of working. Ensure a business’s workplace culture is also part of the induction process.
Wellbeing Champions also keep activities going within the business. They come up with new, fresh ideas to promote wellbeing and encourage their teams to take part. This means wellbeing is always at the forefront of your employees’ minds, demonstrating how important it is for the business. Employees are more likely to become advocates and truly care about your business if your business demonstrates it cares about staff members too.
If you work with a wellbeing provider, your Champions can help to amplify their hard word, thus making the most of your provider’s time and maximising the benefit of the services your business receives. Champions should receive all the training they need to ensure they’re confident and educated about their role.
The benefits of being a Champion
Becoming a Wellbeing Champion is not a totally altruistic decision. Wellbeing Champions are given additional training to improve their own skills and knowledge, which is then passed on to their colleagues. Being part of a group of like-minded people with similar goals to make the working environment a better place motivates individuals and gives them new purpose outside of their day-to-day role.
People who feel connected with a brand, encouraged and engaged while at work are more likely to be motivated and in turn motivate others. Your Champions are likely to be your brand’s biggest advocates as they are responsible for making meaningful change within the workplace. Harness this and appreciate your Champions. Small motivations such as providing special lanyards will help reward this group for their hard work.
Encouraging employee advocacy
Employees can soon feel disengaged if activities and services aren’t promoted throughout the business. It’s a snowball effect – the more people take part, the more others take note and join in themselves.
Anyone within the business can be a Wellbeing Champion – but they must be passionate about becoming an advocate for health, fitness and wellbeing. It’s a voluntary role but one that is invaluable in creating a network of positivity throughout the business. Ensure there are enough Champions within your company to spread the word and make a real positive difference to your workplace culture.
Regular Wellbeing Champion meetings will ensure your company’s wellbeing strategy stays on track. The actions of these meetings can be filtered down throughout your departments so everyone within the company knows what’s coming up and how they can get involved.
From regularly-updated wellbeing boards throughout the office right through to staff newsletters, Wellbeing Champions can ensure all members of your team understand the benefits of good wellbeing and become advocates themselves.
Andy Romero-Birkbeck, Founder & Director – We are Wellbeing Ltd