4 ideas on how to deliver joined-up wellbeing on a budget
In the HR world, employee wellbeing has taken precedence. Why? Research demonstrates how the health and wellbeing of employees can have a dramatic effect on levels of absence, motivation, engagement, and the overall performance of employees at work.
It’s therefore crucial that businesses have a comprehensive wellbeing strategy in place to support their employees to help them feel their best when they come into work.
When approaching this, it’s important to acknowledge that wellbeing is multi-faceted. It encapsulates emotional wellbeing, physical health as well as individuals’ financial position. All of these things have an impact on an employee’s happiness and ability to do their job. That’s why a joined-up approach is the most effective for any business. It ensures that whatever an employee is going through, they have a relevant support system in place that can adequately meet the needs of employees.
For businesses with a limited budget and resources, a holistic wellbeing programme might seem like an impossible task, but there are plenty of ways to deliver effective support that can be tailored to a company’s capacity and requirements. Here’s how:
Before you decide the exact wellbeing features you want to implement, you need to gauge the requirements of your employees. What support is relevant to them? What will have a meaningful impact on their lives? There’s no point creating a wellbeing strategy without the input of your employees, because they are the ones that will be using what you provide, after all.
Whether you send out a survey, conduct focus groups across different departments/locations, or simply ask your employees what they want, you’re gaining a clear idea of what wellbeing features are favoured by employees and can then create your strategy accordingly. This also means that you won’t end up investing in products and services that are irrelevant to your employees, which add little value to your business.
You don’t need to look far to find an abundance of fantastic free wellbeing resources that cover emotional, financial and physical wellbeing. These can be used to facilitate a holistic wellbeing programme because you don’t need to limit your budget to one specific area of wellbeing, your employees can get support in all areas.
For example, Public Health England have a number of helpful toolkits for employers that cover: sleep and recovery, mental health, physical activity, healthy eating and healthy weight. These are downloadable guides that are packed with lots of useful information about various wellbeing topics and provide key steps to help your business effectively support your employees in a range of wellbeing areas. And because there are different toolkits for different areas, you can choose the ones best-suited to your employees’ needs to build a tailored wellbeing approach.
For the financial side of things, there are free platforms that specifically provide useful advice, tools and services that will support your employees’ financial wellbeing. For instance, PayPlan offer free debt advice and free debt management plans. Your employees can use their services and speak to a qualified debt advisor for free, either online or on the phone. The Money Advice Service is also a free platform that will give your employees access to a range of services that covers areas such as debt, mortgages, budgeting and saving.
So, if your business has a limited budget and/or resources, these services are a great option because they cover a wide range of wellbeing areas and give your employees the tools to address their needs. What’s important, of course, is making employees aware of these resources, so a comprehensive communications plan should also be devised once you have confirmed the details of your wellbeing strategy.
Another way to effectively deliver a holistic wellbeing strategy, is to create partnerships with wellbeing providers. By doing this, your employees can get access to expert advice, products and services in different fields and get support that will really make a difference.
Financial wellbeing providers are truly valuable because they are the experts. They can deliver helpful tools, services and guidance directly to your employees. For instance, Smarterly have a workplace ISA which means employees can invest and build healthy savings habits direct from their pay. Neyber, on the other hand, offer a range of services designed to give financial support to employees in the form of educational workshops, seminars and podcasts, as well as affordable loans and salary-deducted savings and investment products.
Wellbeing providers aren’t limited to finance either, there are a number of companies that offer Health Cash Plans, Employee Assistance Programmes and free counselling services. For example, your employees could improve their physical health with the help of fitness and wellness companies like Incorpore, who provide discounts at over 3,500 gyms and health clubs across the UK.
A more cost-effective method would be to opt for a wellbeing provider that delivers a central wellbeing hub – a space that has everything built into one platform. A hub is a real advantage for any business wanting to deliver a holistic wellbeing strategy because it brings together all emotional, financial and physical wellbeing resources into one central access point for employees. So, all employees have to do is log in and they can then use any wellbeing service provided to them, with ease.
You can also adapt certain aspects of your business to make your culture more well-being friendly. Referring back to point one, think about how your working environment could change to meet the needs of your employees. How can you make work a more positive place for your people?
One key cultural feature that can form part of a joined-up wellbeing programme, is flexible working. Not only does it facilitate a healthy work/life balance, but it can also be helpful for employees with financial concerns. Being able to work from home once a week, for example, will reduce the amount of money an employee has to spend travelling to work. It can also be financially beneficial for employees who would otherwise have to spend money on childcare.
Flexible hours on top of this also means that employees can fit work around their home life. So, if someone needs to take their car to the garage or attend a doctor’s appointment, for instance, they can do so without any stress and without having to use any of their holiday.
Tangible wellbeing solutions are indeed valuable, but culture is also essential because you need to create an environment where employees can consider their emotional, physical and financial wellbeing in their day-to-day lives at work.
It’s all about creating a culture that supports wellbeing. By placing an emphasis on healthy lifestyles as well as demonstrating that you care about your employees’ lives outside of work, you are embedding a holistic wellbeing approach into the very framework of your business.
To find out about how we’re helping thousands of employees through our health and wellbeing hub, click here.