Everything has shifted in light of COVID-19, and the pursuit of workplace wellbeing has never been so important. The pandemic has offered us an opportunity to rethink the workplace and to put people’s health and wellbeing first. As we spend around 60% of our lives working, it makes sense to start implementing some key changes in the workplace.
What is health and wellbeing in the workplace?
Wellbeing encompasses a nexus of many different things like physical health, mental health, emotional health, intellectual stimulation, job satisfaction, fulfilment, purpose, work-life balance and many more. All of which is hugely important for the health and happiness of employees and ultimately for the success of the company.
An effective corporate wellness program should be at the core of how an organisation fulfils its mission and carries out its operations. It’s about changing the way business is done, making wellness your business asset protection plan, if you like. A bespoke corporate wellbeing program can provide a holistic experience that embodies your organisation’s culture, brand and values, it can inspire innovation, boost productivity and enhance employee engagement.
Strategically tailored and successful corporate wellbeing services can help you empower your team with the knowledge to make healthy lifestyle choices and provide them with the tools to incorporate these modifications almost effortlessly. In return, you’ll be able to develop and retain the workforce that performs at their optimal capacity, misses fewer days due to illness, and feels energised both mentally as well as physically.
Why is corporate wellness important?
Did you know, the 131m working days are due to sickness in the UK and as a result, our economy loses an estimated £91 billion from poor employee health? Let these figures sink in as they are astounding!
Let’s talk about nutrition and exercise. Official figures from the NHS in 2017 revealed that only third of adults consume the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. The same report revealed that 65% of adults are not eating a healthy diet, 35% sleeping less than 7 hours and at least 28% are exceeding alcohol guidelines. According to Public Health England, as a society we are around 20% less active than we were 50 years ago and, worryingly, this is predicted to rise to a staggering 35% by 2030.
One area of particular note within the office environment is work-related stress which is believed to represent 70-80% of all doctors’ visits. The latest estimates from the 2012/2013 Labour Force Survey showed that out of 1,053,000 individuals, 50% suffered from sickness such as stress, depression or anxiety in the workplace. This figure is not only going to have a large impact on the efficiency of the staff involved but the overall productivity of the organisation that these staff are employed by.
These figures sound quite worrying. The good news is we can all do something about it. Implementing small, consistent and sustainable changes in the workplace will give you endless rewards as a business.
What are the 4 benefits of health and wellness?
There are so many good reasons to have an employee wellbeing programme in your organisation.
1, Builds employee engagement and effective teams
It has been shown that corporate wellness programmes align the objectives of the employer and employee more closely. Employees at organisations with an established health and wellbeing culture are more than twice as likely to be engaged with its mission and goals. The leadership team has an important role when implementing health and wellbeing at the workplace. If they are leading by example the rest of the organisation will follow in their footsteps. A wellness culture means that employees work together better and make the most of their collective talents. Also, important to note that engaged employees are less likely to jump ship to the competition.
2, Reduces stress and improve mental health
Mental ill-health costs UK employers almost £35bn a year through lost productivity, sickness absence and staff turnover, according to the Centre for Mental Health, a research and policy charity. Whilst a little stress can be a good thing, too much has a damaging effect on people’s ability to perform at their best. If employees are stressed, they’re not likely to be that engaged in their work. On the flip side, engaged individuals are less likely to experience work-related stress. From a physiological point of view, stress may also impact our physical health as it drives inflammation and can make us more prone to infections. Nutrition-centred wellbeing programmes can help reduce stress in many different ways and not only that, it will improve team-spirit too.
3, Reduces sickness and absenteeism
Absenteeism costs money, has a negative impact on team performance and reduces productivity. Research by Britain’s Healthiest Workplace found that British employers are losing an average 30.4 days of productive time per employee, per year, due to time off sick or under-performing in the office as a result of ill-health. Alarmingly, that equates to six weeks of time. If we support our employees’ wellness, encourage openness and trust, they’re more likely to be engaged and less likely to be off sick too.
4, Improves overall physical health
Eating well in the workplace can have a significant impact on overall health and well-being. Nutritious food can improve concentration and cognitive function, improves immunity and digestion, boosts brain function and concentration and maintains good energy levels and improves motivation throughout the day – overall, boosting an employee’s workplace performance. It is well documented that employee well-being leads to higher creativity and productivity. The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that optimal nourishment can raise national productivity levels by 20%. Healthy employees are happier, calmer, more engaged, sleep better and get sick less often.
How do you promote health and wellbeing in the workplace?
Essentially, the best way to promote health and wellbeing in your organisation is to continuously engage the people who will promote and who will enjoy the initiatives and programmes you have in place. It takes strategy, structure, effort, commitment and momentum to do wellbeing well. When done right, this continuous process delivers value and tangible benefits to your whole organisation.
Here are some tips on how to get the ball rolling:
- Always involve a cross-section of your employees in developing and implementing your wellness program. Perhaps appoint a wellness team that includes members across all departments and from various levels of seniority. This type of team can be really successful at encouraging participation, championing initiatives, explaining benefits to the company and the individuals. They can also collect a lot of valuable feedback and insights from employees to the leadership team and vice versa.
- Company ambassadors can add value to your wellness initiatives as they can help deliver key messages and plans relating to the program. They can drum up attendance for some exciting events like our Health MOT or Clinic days. Find out more here.
- Provide a wellness calendar on activities, workshops, webinars and health focus which can give your employees something to look forward to. For example, a cooking workshop or our unique IV pop-up service can be an exciting opportunity to engage employees.
How do you improve workplace wellbeing?
When devising your strategy for corporate wellbeing programmes, be clear on what your objectives are and what outcomes you’re looking to achieve. The process of putting strategic steps in place will be hugely beneficial to you and your employees. To create and implement a wellbeing strategy, you will need to initiate conversations with your workers and welcome their feedback on what they want out of a corporate wellbeing initiative. The programme is for the health and benefit of your employees so it makes sense to listen to their feedback and what they are looking to get out of it. An environment of openness and clear communication is itself a facet of workplace well-being, so just by getting the ball rolling, you are making a difference.
There are two layers of the desired outcomes which ultimately will benefit each other.
1, Organisation specific: reduce costs, increase productivity, minimise absence, improve available facilities.
2, Employee oriented: happiness, work-life balance, job satisfaction, improvement of individual health and lifestyle habits and overall health.
Tailoring your programmes with these outcomes in mind and constantly review their effects. Always look for tangible and evidence-based results.
We can also provide our popular Annual Wellbeing Strategy to take care of all your workplace wellbeing needs from employee research to delivering the programmes and collating feedback. Get in touch with a member of the team today to discuss how we can help guide your wellbeing strategy.
What are the three factors that influence the workplace health and wellness of employees?
1, Leadership and culture
Having visible support from the top of your organisation can go a long way towards promoting wellness. Getting the CEO and senior managers involved can add credibility to the programme and enhance engagement across all teams. Attendance of senior managers to one of our workshops can really increase excitement and engagement within the company.
2, Provision and use of workplace wellness interventions
Create a bespoke programme that will have your employees excited and will benefit the performance of your organisation. Our Cooking workshops and webinars offer an exciting opportunity to learn valuable tips that will enhance staff’s health, enthusiasm, happiness and productivity. Find out more here.
3, Facilities and services
Our corporate nutritional practitioners will be able to review your offerings of fresh fruits and vegetable and healthy snacks. We can also guide you to create an environment in your staff kitchens where healthy meals can easily be stored and prepared. Our practitioners can help you review your equipment such as smoothie makers, fridges and freezers and review your current options in the site’s vending machines.
Take a look at our full programme of corporate wellbeing services to choose the one best option for your team.
How do corporate wellness programmes work?
As a nutrition clinic, we will primarily focus on healthy eating and improving your staff’s nutritional status as we feel many corporate wellness packages fail to take advantage of the quick, tangible wins nutrition can achieve. When healthy eating is included in the wellness programme, it’s often just a workshop here, a free fruit offering there which is simply not enough to truly make a difference. Yet, if implemented well, nutrition programmes can offer widely untapped potential. Especially in the current climate when most people are working from home, don’t have to commute and they have their kitchen at their fingertips.
We will work closely with you to tailor our corporate wellbeing packages to your specific needs. Here are some of the areas we will explore before we embark on a project with you:
- What are your key objectives on company and employee level?
- What needs to be invested to achieve them?
- What key issues are you looking to resolve?
- What is your timeline?
- How are we going to measure the results of the program?
- Who needs to be involved, internally and externally?
- How could we best engage your employees?
At the London Clinic of Nutrition, we offer a wide range of corporate wellbeing services, workshops, demos and many more. Find out more about our services here or contact us for an informal chat to see how we can work together.