01 July 2019 | Nancy Hey
Nancy Hey explains what organisations can do to improve wellbeing in the workplace.
Work really matters to your wellbeing. It's one of the findings we can be most confident about given results from studies. And the workplace matters too, as your workplace affects your wellbeing.
Having interesting, purposeful, engaging work with good relationships, achievement (getting things done) and enough time and money to have a life outside work to do the things we care about are essential.
A lot of people I speak to in a whole range of sectors say: "Okay, I'm convinced that I should do something about wellbeing - whatever that is." But they don't always know what to do.
So what can we all do to be happier at work?
The 'five ways to wellbeing' are simple daily actions we can build into teams and workplaces: give, be active, keep learning, connect, and take notice.
Most organisations do ad hoc 'wellbeing' things and don't have a formal strategy but there's clear evidence that having one will improve wellbeing and performance at the same time. To build a plan, start with the workplace drivers of wellbeing:
1) Health and relationships;
2) Security and environment; and
Then, find out what matters most in your area, devise a plan and monitor the impact of your initiatives.
I believe that the workplace can foster the wellbeing of the nation. After all, when we improve workforce wellbeing, we take that home to our children, our partners, our friends and our communities. And that's when real change happens.
Wellbeing isn't just a bandwagon to be jumped on; improving it is a crucial step organisations must take sooner rather than later for the good for every employee. The wellbeing conversation must continue but, more importantly, ideas for improvement must be actioned and the effect looked at. It's time to walk the talk.
Nancy Hey is a wellbeing professional and coach