MAKE A DIFFERENCE | workplace culture / mental health / wellbeing

Workplace Wellbeing Takeaways From 2021 As We Look to 2022

The final ‘Make a Difference’ Webinar of the year highlighted best practice actions that were seen across workplace health and wellbeing in 2021.  The session also gave an insight into what changes organisations could make to skyrocket employee health and wellbeing in 2022 and beyond.

In this article, Renee Clarke shares her key learnings from the session.

False economy

For me, the most important takeaway from the session was around developing a long term, targeted strategy rather than offering ad-hoc short-term interventions.  The consensus was that whilst offering something is often better than offering nothing, without a clear strategy, both time and money were being wasted.

Needs analysis

It was stressed that organisations often lack the skills and knowledge of workplace health and wellbeing so follow the flock and offer what they think employees need rather than what they actually need.

A prime example of this was Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).  More and more organisations are offering staff the opportunity to become Mental Health First Aiders without assessing the impact of the training on both the newly fledged trainer and the organisation.

A whole-person approach

Whilst there was agreement that any form of mental health training within an organisation is important, it should be seen as part of a wider targeted and holistic offering.  A holistic view looks at how other areas of life such as the working environment, physical health, social interaction, and finances can impact health and wellbeing rather than focusing on one area such as mental health.

Attention on prevention

When it comes to offering a targeted and holistic workplace health strategy, it was agreed that organisations should take a 3-tier approach and offer prevention, intervention and protection.  The session highlighted that far too often workplace health and wellbeing was reactive with not enough emphasis being placed on the prevention of poor health and wellbeing.

Unlocking Return on Investment

Understanding the audience needs is key to offering this 3tier approach and it was agreed that higher ROI/VOI was achieved when organisations took an evidence-based needs analysis rather than guessing what employees need.

Understand the individual

Undertaking a needs analysis can support organisations in developing a bespoke workplace health strategy rather than adopting a one size fits all approach.  A simple employee survey can highlight key drivers for improving health and wellbeing across the organisation.

For example, manual and office workers have very different roles and this may impact their health and wellbeing needs differently and should be highlighted in survey results, this information can help organisations personalise their offerings.

EQ is the new IQ

It was agreed that Emotional Intelligence (EI) plays a key part in workplace health and wellbeing. Andy Holmes from Reckitt highlighted that mental health is on a continuum and occurs every minute of every day. Having high levels of EI within the business will create an environment where people are aware of each other’s needs not just when crisis strikes.

EI doesn’t just fall to the role of the line managers it is about creating an awareness that everyone can impact a colleague’s day either positively or negatively.

Simplify, target and measure

Understanding what works, what doesn’t and why is vitally important to the success of a workplace health programme.  When there are too many offerings and not enough uptake, a programme can lose momentum.  Ensuring that each intervention is targeted and measured will determine the success of the workplace health strategy and result in positive outcomes for both the organisation and its people.

Are these the insights you would take from the webinar? Draw your own conclusions. You can view the video of the webinar free simply by entering your contact details when prompted here.

About the author

Renėe Clarke is the founder and CEO of Work Well Hub. She helps HR managers and business owners to reduce the costs associated with poor employee health and wellbeing through consultancy and training. Renėe has been featured in HR journals, TV and radio and is passionate about creating great places to work. This passion is backed up by a Masters’ Degree in Workplace Health and well-being and she is the ‘go-to expert’ for all things health strategy-related. Renėe has designed an online course called ‘Implement a Workplace Health Strategy in Four Simple Steps’ which guides users through an end to end process of designing, delivering and evaluating a workplace health strategy in their organisation.  You can contact Renee at Hello@workwellhub.com or via the website www.workwellhub.com