1. Mental wellbeing
Employers are encouraged to implement a number of processes, including:
Stress risk assessment: Recognising that work-related stress can have a profound impact on health and wellbeing, performance, job satisfaction, absenteeism and retention. Commitment to risk assessing employee stress on a bi-annual basis to support employee welfare is good practice.
Wellness action plans: Encouraging staff to engage with these easy, practical ways of supporting their mental health at work can help identify triggers, mitigate stress risks and promote a positive culture and better performance. The plan is usually a detailed document completed in consultation with an employee recording best ways of working as well as best ways of managing difficult situations.
Mental health first aiders: Training for staff to become workplace mental health first aiders will help to recognise the signs and symptoms of common workplace mental health issues as well as how to guide a person towards the correct mental health support.
Employee assistance scheme: These should be made available for all staff, particularly those who may need moral and mental support during difficult times. These are often independent, external organisations working to a robust, professional code of conduct to support the member of staff who needs assistance. Dependent on the nature of the issue, the schemes can provide counselling or advice by fully qualified professionals on weekdays and weekends.
Skip level meetings: One-on-one meetings to improve communication and relationships between general staff and senior management. These encourage open-door policies, offering an opportunity to share insight about work, the team, welfare and staff culture.
2. Physical wellbeing
Employers are encouraged to put a number of processes in place, including:
Cyclescheme: An employer cyclescheme is a great way to encourage physical exercise. It also helps to improve the employer brand. The scheme usually offers savings for the purchase of bicycles for general purposes (including travelling to and from work).
Fruit in office: Offering free fruit as a healthy snack should be encouraged as it is economical and helps promote a healthy diet.
Gym scheme: An employer gym scheme is a popular way of promoting physical health. Some employers opt to have built-in gyms or offer reduced prices to local gyms for their workforce.
Safe workspace: Employers are encouraged to ensure the office space is safe, tidy and ready for all staff to use. Employers can maintain this by regularly risk assessing the office space, maintaining appropriate hygiene levels, conducting display screen equipment assessments, using an efficient building management system and effective facilities maintenance.
3. Social wellbeing
Encouraging social inclusion for all staff is a great way of maintaining staff enthusiasm and engagement:
Annual social programme: This consists of a calendar of events facilitated by the employer promoting inclusion and social activity for all staff. Examples could be staff gatherings for religious events, monthly/quarterly socials, staff awards, etc.
Flexible working policy: Employers are encouraged to have clear and modern flexible working policies accessible to all staff. This can help promote employees to develop better family ties as well as more time for social activities.
4. Financial wellbeing
Promoting financial stability is a positive and ethical approach for employers to take. Poor financial wellbeing can lead to stress and wellbeing issues which in turn can lead to absenteeism. Ways of encouraging financial wellbeing could include:
Financial planning courses: Having a partner or an L&D provider who can support staff with annual optional financial planning as well as awareness courses to support wellbeing.
Techscheme: A technology benefit that allows staff to buy the latest tech products, paid over a set period of time at reduced rates.
Salary reviews: Remaining open-minded to adjusting salaries with reference to the cost of living. Job roles need to be reevaluated, especially when they increase in workload or duties.
Pensions advice: Staff should be reminded of free, confidential and independent money and debt advice from the government’s money and pensions service. You should ensure your pensions providers are able to provide free and impartial advice on the organisational pension scheme and its investments.
5. Encouraging the use of annual leave
Making use of staff annual leave regularly is also recommended as it gives employees the opportunity to recuperate and spend time outside work. This in turn promotes both physical and mental health. It also rejuvenates hardworking staff members.
The tips above promote employee wellbeing, good culture, employee satisfaction, best practice and health and safety due diligence. These have been recommended in line with the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance and CIPD-related research.
R Franka is an HR business partner and independent writer
Read the first in the 'Five tips journals' series on single central records here