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Why wellbeing is not just a simple list of employee benefits

So you provide health insurance to your employees. Tick. You give your employees their birthday off. Another tick. And there’s access to a great discount scheme where they can save on a range of everyday essentials, great work! But ensuring the wellbeing of your workforce goes much further than that. If you want a happy, healthy, motivated workforce, it will take more than just some tangible benefits.


You understand the value of employee benefits and that it is important to provide your workers with something meaningful as well as the wage you are paying them. You know they have a place in your business to attract and retain top talent but what else are you doing for your team members to promote wellbeing in the workplace?


In this article, you will find out why a consistent approach to wellbeing is just as important. You will be presented with a few things to ponder and with tips to ensure your benefits sit alongside other wellbeing pillars in your organisation.

Employee Benefits, Mind It Ltd, Wellbeing workshops, wellbeing webinars, wellbeing training, wellbeing consultancy, Leeds, England

According to My HR Toolkit there are a number of advantages to offering your employees a great benefits package. Most notably they can help boost morale, energy, and productivity. If they are perceived as worth, having employee benefits can also help to keep your workforce happy and can demonstrate your commitment to invest in them. But what else supports your employees to feel good and function well throughout the year?


What your team members really need

Based on our experience of supporting over 60 clients with their wellbeing strategies for the past six years here’s what else you want to get right:


1. YOUR TEAM MEMBERS WANT TO FEEL VALUED AND CARED FOR

Your employees want to be valued as a person and known for who they are, not just the role they play for the organisation. Encourage managers to get to know their team and regularly check in with them. This could be as simple as asking about their evening regularly to an impromptu non-work related coffee chat every so often.


2. YOUR TEAM MEMBERS REQUIRE AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THEY CAN THRIVE

Your employees will need to feel comfortable in their surroundings. Whether that’s from an office, from home or a mixture of both, a physical workspace that supports productivity is a must. You’ll also want to create a culture where leaving your desk to take regular breaks and staying hydrated is encouraged.


3. YOUR TEAM MEMBERS NEED TO FEEL SUPPORTED IN THEIR ROLES

Benefits can be seen as superficial if you’re not actually supporting your employees with the work they are responsible for. Consider what learning and training opportunities you currently offer to your employees. How do you ensure they are flourishing? You could also refresh your mind on The NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines for workplace health and develop relevant management practices that support wellbeing. It’s also worth familiarising your organisation with The Health and Safety Executive’s six main sources of stress (demand, control, support, relationships, role, change) so you can spot the signs early enough and take action.


4. YOUR TEAM MEMBERS NEED ACCESS TO PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND TEAM WELLBEING SOLUTIONS

Depending on your employees' specific needs you’ll want to make sure you can support them on all three levels. What options does your organisation currently have? If you are looking for inspiration you can find a whole range of examples on our wellbeing workshops page. One important thing to keep in mind here is this: it is not about what you think the employees need, it is about what they want to see happening in the workplace and are comfortable taking part in. There is nothing worse than being forced to attend a workshop we feel highly uncomfortable with!

Make sure you ask your team members first, your wellbeing offer will be well received and much more impactful.

5. YOUR TEAM MEMBERS WANT TO SEE HEALTH AND WELLBEING BEING PRIORITISED FROM THE TOP DOWN

Not only by senior leadership implementing supportive wellbeing policies and procedures but by leading by example and acting as role models. Are your team members currently on board with this? Seeing the CEO at the water cooler or in the staff room eating lunch away from their screen is a great way to demonstrate the importance of breaks, for instance. And this is very true for HR professionals too: remember to prioritise your own wellbeing too!


Here is a testimonial from the HR team at University of London. We supported them with a series of webinars throughout the pandemic, and the overall programme had a very high positive impact:


The wellbeing programme created and curated by Mind It has being going well. The colleagues that have taken part have all found the sessions really beneficial and have appreciated the support during a difficult year.

_University of London

Employee Benefits, Mind It Ltd, Wellbeing workshops, wellbeing webinars, wellbeing training, wellbeing consultancy, Leeds, England

Practical steps to support your team members

Having got this far down the article you are now beginning to appreciate that employee benefits don’t necessarily reflect wellbeing in the workplace and you’re starting to think about examples in your own organisation. So before you close your browser and forget everything you’ve read and the thoughts you’ve had, here are some practical things you can do imminently to move forward with enhancing your employee benefits' programme.


1. TALK TO YOUR PEOPLE

You want to understand what your existing employees think of the benefits you currently offer (you could also review exactly which benefits are being used as part of this process) and what other wellbeing initiatives they would like to see introduced. Or not! You don't want to start or continue wellbeing initiatives that your team members would not use. To help with understanding what type of employee benefits to consider, you might want to check out this article by Zenefits about the worst employee benefits. You can ask your team members' opinion using online surveys and running a few in person interviews or focus groups. If you need a bit of support with this our door is always open!


2. ENHANCE YOUR WELLBEING IN THE WORKPLACE KNOWLEDGE

Our blog is full or resources about wellbeing in the workplace, so have a look around, have a read, and build your knowledge. As a start, you might want to read our other recent blog posts on The Benefits of a Consistent, Structured Wellbeing Strategy and 5 tips for a happier work environment and happiness at work to further understand the topic of corporate wellness.


3. BRING US ON BOARD

Get an impartial view of your current wellbeing offer and how you can complement this alongside the perks you offer. Is it something that is consistent throughout the year rather than the occasional wellbeing day here and there? Evaluate where you might need a little more focus. You can do this simply by talking to one of our corporate wellbeing experts and getting their feedback. If you have any questions you can always send us an email at info@mind-it.co.uk.


4. SHOWCASE YOUR DEDICATION TO CORPORATE WELLBEING

If you are confident in your wellbeing offer, add this commitment to all job adverts and consider using testimonials from existing team members that highlight the extra steps you take. If existing employees are championing working for your organisation, it will encourage top talent to want to come and join the team!


You CAN be an attractive organisation to work for, not just because of the employee benefits that you offer, but also for the holistic approach to wellbeing that you follow.

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