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As more and more organisations are realising the long term benefits of wellbeing investment there’s still many businesses out there lagging behind.  We’re often challenged by old school mentalities that either don’t get it or they are just to “Manly” to admit that some people need more support.  As a wellbeing provider one of my key roles is to take the non believers and persuade them that looking after their people will both benefit themselves and the organisations.   

I recently delivered a talk at a local university to support the launch of their new wellbeing strategy.  With approximately 250 employees sat in the lecture theatre the conversation moves onto the topic of sleep, so I asked the attendees to put their hand up if….

>They struggle to get to sleep – approx 1/3 of the room with hands up 
>They have broken sleep – approx 1/2 of the room with hands up 
>They wake up feeling unrefreshed – approx 2/3 of the room with hands up 
>They feel lethargic while at work – approx 3/4 of the room with hands up

Now whether you’re a wellbeing advocate or not what you can’t do is say that 3/4’s of your workforce feeling knackered isn’t going to have an effect on morale, productivity and your bottom line.  Now remember these questions were only asking about sleep experience, we didn’t mention nutrition, energy levels, being active, mental health or personal resilience to stressors. 

The reality is that for all employees workload is going up, KPI’s are on the rise and expectations are exceeding last years.  While all this is happening the humans are not evolving fast enough to meet the demand, resulting in poor physical, mental and social wellbeing.  Businesses are without doubt there to make money this is the fact, but this can only happen long term if the people can work, live and ultimately thrive.  

If you want your people to thrive here are my top five tips:

1.Listen to them!  An easy one but often overlooked.  Find out what’s important to them.
2.Ensure they get enough rest time but also empower them to switch off.  Thinking about work 24/7 isn’t good for anyone.
3.Make wellbeing accessible i.e.  Drinking water, fruit and somewhere to de-stress. 

4.Communicate effectively, lots of employee energy is wasted on worrying about things that have not been effectively communicated or rationalised.  

5.Create a long term wellbeing plan, make sure it fits your people and your business.  Off the shelf approaches seldom make much difference.  

Andy Romero-Birkbeck, Founder & Director We are Wellbeing Ltd

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