Recently, there seems to be a lot of talk in the HR world about wellbeing and happiness at work. Whilst this is great to see, it’s not always translated into action in businesses.
So, it was a pleasant surprise last week when over 40 businesses turned up to the launch of the Happy at Work Hub at Penny Brohn, Bristol.
The Happy at Work Hub is an initiative from an organisation called PES which brings together a range of expert wellbeing practitioners to make your wellbeing strategies shine.
Having had the great opportunity to get lots of businesses together talking about wellbeing, what were the key takeaways from the event?
Tip 1 – Start with a plan
In fact, start by actually asking your employees what they want from wellbeing at work. Whilst it’s great to put on some wellbeing activities, make sure they’re things your staff will value. A good start is by understanding the current health and wellbeing of your employees, so you can use this as a baseline. You could do some research into relevant questions, the HSE’s management standards indicator tool could be a good start.
Tip 2 – Make a business case
You’ve gathered all the info you need to make an informed plan of action to make your business a better place to work. But without the consent from your directors it’s unlikely the plan will get off the ground. To make an effective business case you’ll need to show your FD the money. There’s loads of research out there that proves happier people make for happier business, you could start with this PWC report which states for every £1 spent on wellbeing you’ll see a £3 ROI.
Tip 3 – Listen
Once you’ve got an idea of what your employees want and brought together your research and some ideas for action, make sure it actually happens. Your staff might be happy telling you what they want once, but if you aren’t seen to act on it they are unlikely to want to tell you again.
Tip 4 – Leaders and Culture
During our discussions, an attendee gave the example of an egg throwing competition they had put on as part of their wellbeing activities. The basic concept was a simple one, employees got together to see how many eggs they could throw through a hoop. At the start of the event, no-body wanted to throw their egg, but when the directors came down and lobbed it into the hoop everyone wanted a go. Whilst seemingly trivial, this story illustrates that without the buy in from your senior management, behaviour is unlikely to change for the better.
Tip 5 – Variety is the spice of life
Wellbeing seems like a huge topic – in attendance at the event we had practitioners who were experts in nutrition, mindfulness, mental health and financial wellbeing to name but a few. Your wellbeing plans should have a range of different initiatives, the reality is we’re all different and whilst some might like to be out on the field with an ex-army soldier on a boot camp, this isn’t going to work for everyone.
You can read more about Workplace Happiness at PES here.