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Wellbeing @ Work – Where to start?

First off we need to have an understanding of the term Wellbeing.  Wellbeing is an umbrella or holistic term that encompasses everything that’s makes us well in Mind, Body & Spirit.  It’s way more than just been physically fit or absent of illness.  To me Wellbeing is the difference between being getting by and being able to thrive.

You need to consider the rationale for investing time, money and effort into building a wellbeing initiative.  First we should all have the human investment.  By that I’m talking about empathy and the fact we should care about the people around us.  The likelihood is I personally don’t know you but I wish you well.  We rush off to work, do what needs to be done but how often do we spend time really being there for the people we work alongside?

Secondly we must consider the business needs for wellbeing.  In 2016 there were 11.7 million working days lost to stress, anxiety and depression and over 8.8 million days lost to work related musculoskeletal disorders.  The average amount of time off per case were 24 days for mental health and 16 days for Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSD).  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it costs a fortune for employees to be off work.  Investing in wellbeing should be the first port of call when it comes to absenteeism and presenteeism.

Thirdly we have a legal responsibility to look after the people within the business.  Do the managers within your business know the legislation they need to adhere to and if not do they know where to find it?

Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
Equality Act (Disability) 2010
Management of Health & Safety at Work Regs 1999

Now that you have considered the reasoning behind why you should invest in wellbeing the next thing to think about is how.  Here are a few key things to consider;

Do you have a budget?  If so how much?
What causes absenteeism in your business?
What would the employees like vs what does the business need?
How will you structure the programme?
How will you assess the programme?
Can you bring in any help?

You need to remember that a wellbeing event, week or month, will drain your budget and may have little effect.  My personal recommendation is plan a minimum of a year in advanced.  Wellbeing after all isn’t a plaster (band aid) you can stick on to fix a bad culture.  Wellbeing is a long term investment that is needed to change the way work feels and the way people think.  It’s about the business facilitating health and wellness to spark a little inspiration for the people to take control of their manageable wellbeing.

Engage, Inspire & Create Positive Change – UK Wellbeing Coach

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