We all know that wellness at work is good for everyone.
Stress accounted for 37% of all work-related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health in 2015-16, that’s 11.7 million working days lost. According to mental health organisation Mind, 42 per cent of employees in a UK survey had considered resigning due to workplace stress.
This is what we are doing
How we create and maintain a positive working environment is an on-going topic in the boardroom for us here at Futureheads. We have always invested in keeping our staff happy and engaged at work, and introduce initiatives to promote wellness to help our staff be happy and productive.
To give you just a few examples:
- We recently introduced ‘Reset days’. These are two, ‘no-questions-asked’ days people can use (as an extension to our sick leave policy) to take extra time out when they need it.
- Free massages – every month we offer a 30-minute massage during office hours from a trained masseuse to help with back and neck issues, and help reduce stress.
- Working from home days – everyone can choose to do this up between four and eight days a year.
- We run weekly yoga sessions. Every Thursday an experienced yoga teacher comes to our office to run a one-hour class for our staff.
- We also host a regular Wellness Week, which includes nutritional advice, yoga sessions and wellness incentives including prizes. This year we also ran workshops on recognising and managing stress at work.
Benefits are a boost, but culture is vital
Employee benefits, of course, are great – they all add value to our staff, but for any of these to really help everyone feel happier and more productive there needs to be the right culture in place to connect these initiatives together.
We appreciate the kind of benefits listed above might not always be possible for every business. Investing in your business culture, however, is essential.
We work hard to ensure Futureheads’ culture reflects our motto and we measure the success of our approach through tangible results, such as our low staff turnover and awards.
Start with your business culture, if you get that right then the initiatives can complement it. Not all businesses can offer yoga, or reset days, but everyone can embrace a company’s culture – and looking after people, being aware of wellbeing and offering support should form part of that culture.
Here are steps that any business can and should take to get the culture right.
Celebrate successes – big and small
Recognise everyone and say thank you. Here at Futureheads it’s not just about placing a candidate, it’s about acknowledging all the steps that happen along the way – the first, second or even third-stage interview, and recognising that there have often been several people involved in the placement process.
When things go wrong
Avoid a blame culture, instead use failures as learning opportunities. Wash ups are a vital part of this. Take the time to do these and use the hindsight to learn from the experience.
There’s more to life than work
Out of work stuff happens. Flexibility and time off keeps people feeling supported. Offering working from home days can be a simple step.
Learning and development culture
Promote people’s strength. Get people doing what they are good at so that they add value. Empower them by making an expert in that area, perhaps get them to train others. Feeling valued increases motivation, and people can use that motivation to work on other areas that need development.
Be ethical, honest and transparent
Our company motto is simply: ‘Work hard and be nice to people’, and that means everyone: colleagues, clients and candidates.
It may sound simple, but to do that every day – when there are targets and financial goals to meet, and everyone is super busy, can be tough. We need to be vigilant and keep open communication up with everyone. As founders we try to infuse and reflect that approach throughout the business.
Or, if you want some advice on building a culture of wellness in your team, come chat to us in confidence. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
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