Why Workplace Wellbeing and Mental Resilience? Helping to build a positive and productive workplace culture.
The latest in our 'Why' series, we explore workplace wellbeing and mental resilience and the balance you need to achieve to make it happen.
People are your most important asset and their most important asset is their health and wellbeing. That’s why we believe it makes good business sense to help look after it.
But what is it?
According to the World Health Organisation, health and wellbeing is “a state of complete physical, psychological and social wellbeing. Not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
So in the workplace, it is about much more than encouraging the physical fitness of your employees – a common misconception – but rather a holistic appreciation of health and wellbeing and the development of strategies that support it.
By finding this balance between the physical, psychological and social, your organisation is much more likely to develop and embed a wellbeing approach that supports a more a resilient and productive workplace culture – an advantage that can certainly give your business the edge in our increasingly competitive and changeable environment.
- Physical wellbeing: Looks at health and fitness and how employers can support increased health and activity levels to support improved attendance and productivity. Also considers nutrition and hydration, access to medical support and prevention as well as opportunities for rest and relaxation.
- Psychological wellbeing: Considers the mental health of employees including stress, how supported they feel and how psychologically safe they are in their teams and decision-making. Looks at building a sense of purpose with meaningful goals, growth and development, relationship building and having work that is matched to skills with appropriate challenge.
- Social wellbeing: How employees interact in the workplace including the relationships they have with colleagues and managers. Considers how connected, involved and networked they are and what opportunities there are to develop. Also looks at work-life balance, appropriate reward and recognition, an understanding of the ‘whole person’ and support to achieve financial wellbeing too.
So how can your organisation achieve this balance? For us, it comes down to developing a strategy that considers three crucial perspectives.
The Organisational Perspective
By this we mean building a work culture and infrastructure that respects and encourages health and mental wellbeing.
In a nutshell, everything your organisation does needs to be focused on your employees and how they can be developed to better support their health and wellbeing and in turn, your aims and objectives.
Think policies and procedures. Job roles and structure. Benefits and support mechanisms. Values and behaviours. Communication. Everything you do as an organisation needs to consider the impact on workplace wellbeing and culture.
Top Tip! Consider making health and wellbeing part of who you are as an organisation – making it part of your culture and informing everything you do. This could then inform how you approach projects, how you develop policies, your working environment and more, as well as frame the behaviours you want to see from your people.
The Leadership Perspective
Leaders and managers play a vital role in influencing engagement levels and in turn the impact on health and wellbeing. They are also the front line in preventing, identifying and supporting workplace wellbeing issues as they arise.
You need to encourage and develop your leaders and people managers to be role models with the tools, techniques and mind-set to support workplace wellbeing. This includes the development of a safe environment where employees are challenged and encouraged to thrive.
By owning and advocating health and wellbeing for themselves, they are more likely to do so for their team and ultimately help to embed it as part of your workplace culture.
Top Tip! Build self-awareness amongst your leaders and managers so they can better manage and protect their own health and wellbeing and how they approach and react to issues within their team. More self-awareness can help them to develop better team dynamics generally, reducing the risk of health and wellbeing issues due to lack of managerial support.
The Individual Perspective
This refers to your employees being respected as individuals and given opportunities to understand, embrace and thrive with their own health and wellbeing.
It isn’t enough to have health and wellbeing initiatives available. Your people need to have the awareness, support and confidence to seek help when needed and take positive steps.
Encourage self-awareness and remember that efforts to support individual health and wellbeing will only work if they meet your employee’s needs and they feel able to own it. Be open and consultative, particularly where changes may need to be made such as with flexible working approaches.
Top Tip! Encourage a culture of self-help and awareness. Give employees the opportunity and confidence to seek support and move forward without fear of stigma or negative impact on their working life. Ensure any initiatives such as employee assistance programmes, medical support or occupational health channels are clearly communicated and easy to access.
To help you find out more, we’ve pulled together various resources and links that explore workplace wellbeing and mental resilience and how it can support your people, your workplace culture and in turn performance.
- Listen to our podcast (below) as our Ambition Coaches explore Workplace Wellbeing and Mental Resilience, sharing top tips and insight.
- Download our Why…Workplace Wellbeing and Mental Resilience? slideshare for a quick overview and links to wider reading.
- Book one of our free breakfast events exploring key people management themes including workplace wellbeing. You can search and book your place here.
- Download our Why... Workplace Wellbeing and Mental Resilience? Infographic with key stats and top tips.
- Download our Psychological Safety slideshare for a more detailed look at mental health and resilience issues in the workplace.
- Read our Stress Awareness Day blog for top tips specifically linked to work related stress.
- Take the opportunity to really explore your approach to health and wellbeing with a facilitated session or bespoke support. Find out more about our workplace wellbeing services here.
- Find out more about the Health and Wellbeing Award from Investors in People, a framework to help you plan, progress and evaluate health and wellbeing activity.
More from IDG
We hope you find all of these resources interesting and a good starting point for your organisation to explore workplace wellbeing and mental resilience in more depth.
If you’d like to talk to us about your experiences in more detail and how to shape your strategies to effectively develop a wellbeing culture, we’d love to hear from you.
Improve, Develop, Grow Podcast: Episode 5 - Why Workplace Wellbeing and Mental Resilience?