Aside from the new wave of mental health awareness after the pandemic, there are still big wellbeing killers in the UK workplace today. From rising medical concerns such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer, to conditions of working all be it either in the office or at home. With the many things for employees to worry about on a day-to-day basis, employers and HR alike are making efforts to re-engage employees.

Most workplaces are implementing new wellbeing plans for their employees but for the small business community who don’t have the experience of providing such support, it’s a case of asking yourself a few questions about what you can do:

1) Have you asked employees what they need?

The simplest and most effective way to understand what your team needs and wants is to simply ask. This is the first step you should take and implement as it’s the fastest way to gather primary data, you can do so using surveys, creating forums, and putting together a committee or having a workforce representative.

2) Do your employees understand their risk factors?

This needs 2 factors of consideration. The first is that you should have explained potential workplace hazards in your onboarding process, if you haven’t, it’s easy to put together a simple document and hand it out to the team. The second is that it’s worth considering putting together a simple and accessible Online Health Risk Assessment. This can help employees to understand their own personal risk factors and make their own unique and individual steps to reduce their risks.

3) Have you explained how to utilise Benefits and the relevance of wellbeing?

Your wellbeing support needs to keep up with the latest lifestyle changes. For example, in-person GP appointments have been reduced, obesity levels are rising and working from home is on the rise (which impacts the UK mental health landscape). As a result of these current trends, you should adapt your well-being benefits to cater to these issues. For example, making GP appointments accessible online virtually. But explain their benefits in a more personal manner, don’t just hand them a list of wellbeing solutions. That’s not engaging enough. An example of a good explanation is explaining to younger employees who may see the value in knowing there’s fast-track support for sports injuries or telling older employees that there are physical therapy options if they’re facing age-related physical changes.

4) Can you create layers of communication?

In most workplaces, there is a hierarchy of positions. The same applies to workplace health & wellbeing, there are people you go to for support and others for guidance which is why you should consider applying different roles to different employees forming different lines of communication between them all. For example:

Educate Line Managers

Keep them in the loop and up to date with all aspects of benefits, they’re the first point of contact for employees when they need support and they need to know how to point them to the right place for support.

Appointing Benefits Champions

This person can be from either the HR team or any employee who is an advocate for any specific benefit you’re offering. It’s effective and easy to appoint a health and wellbeing champion across all benefits.

Building Communication

Don’t settle for just telling them about their benefits. During check-ins and 1-2-1’s ask how they are and offer them wellbeing solutions that you have available based on their current needs.

5) Think with the end in mind

Health and Wellbeing plans are often put to the side, but there has never been a more important time to put your employees first. More employees are resigning because of burnout and younger employees are more likely to move to a workplace with good mental health support benefits. The end goal of taking these measures is to retain and attract employees, ultimately it comes down to the effort you put in.

If you’re interested in providing health benefits on a budget, we can help you build a benefits plan that’s as cheap as £5pcm per employee.

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