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Simple ways to boost physical and mental wellbeing in your workplace

Wellness

Posted on: Wednesday May 25, 2022

by Julie Stayte, Chief People Officer

Physical and mental wellbeing may seem to be separate, but they are much more interconnected than we often realize. A person’s overall health and wellbeing are a sum of a variety of factors that include physical and mental health, diet, and sleep – amongst others. Good wellbeing is found in striking and maintaining balance in these important areas.

Getting back to basics – what does good physical and mental health look like?

Like most things – the answer is subjective to the individual. It depends on a person’s age, lifestyle, and family history and individual wellbeing goals. Alternatively, you can consider how good you feel. Our experience tells us that when we feel good, we perform well, and this is true in all areas of our lives: work and personal.

As people leaders it’s key that we find ways to reinforce the value we place in our people’s health, this can be achieved through a few simple ways:

1. Encourage a life in motion

With Bike Week coming up in June this could be the perfect time to look at a cycle to work scheme. Cycling is one of those rare activities that most people can take part in from friends, families, couples, and even colleagues. Don’t be afraid to have an extended promotional campaign. Get your teams out in the sunshine and moving for as long as the good weather permits. Steady and consistent exercise is more likely to have a lasting impact on their physical wellbeing.

More than likely you will have some colleagues who are not interested in cycling and that’s okay. There are plenty of ways to get active and receive a dose of happy hormones. You could try sponsored charity walks or fun runs. Motivation can be a deal breaking obstacle to exercise and your staff knowing they’ve got the support of their colleagues could be the push they need. Easy to set up, they could be organised as one offs or as part of an ongoing initiative with different goals each time. Find out what matters to your team and help them tap into stores of motivation, they will be physically and mentally better for it.

2. Lead by example

The rise of social media has ushered in the age of the influencer. Love or hate them, they serve as a reminder of the power of an effective role model. Though it may feel like influencers exist only on our screens, that isn’t true. We all possess a certain level of influence over those around us. As people leaders, we are all familiar with this. Taking that knowledge further, employers could benefit from leaning into everyday influencing to model good physical and mental wellbeing habits to their workforce.

This could be as simple as company senior leaders sharing stories of overcoming physical or mental health struggles. At Personal Group this is an area we’re actively cultivating. We recently appointed Dame Kelly Holmes as our resident Chief Wellbeing Ambassador. As part of her role, she’s been instrumental in developing some inspirational wellbeing content on the new Transform module of our flagship benefits platform, Hapi. Beyond Transform, her incredible story of Olympic triumph in the face of serious mental health problems inspires and motivates our workforce. Good habits modelled by influential people can have a positive effect. Simple examples include cycling to work, eating well and setting healthy work life boundaries.

3. Introduce benefits that reflect your team  

Employee benefit packages are no longer a nice to have. In the wake of the pandemic and record-breaking delays for NHS services, employees are in search of ways to support their overall health. That’s the challenge that proactive employee wellbeing platforms such as Hapi aim to solve. The right benefits package is not the one that’s trending on Google, it’s the one that meets the specific needs of your team with actionable insights.

A balanced package will encompass diet, fitness, money, and mental health to provide 360 wellbeing support. Access to valuable services such as an Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) or Online GP equips staff with vital help on their terms, in and out of work. Mind and body taken care of staff can perform at the best of their ability unhindered.

Our new complete wellbeing solution Transform is now live, find out how to transform your staff’s wellbeing

For more advise download our mental wellbeing report and physical wellbeing report. 

You can also call contact us to speak to one of our employee benefits experts.

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