Updated: Jan 6
Four things you can do to achieve kickass levels of wellbeing in your business, and make yourself a more attractive employer without spending a fortune on apps, or software.
While well-being is becoming increasingly important for businesses, it can also be increasingly challenging for a variety of reasons. Many businesses feel stuck or overwhelmed with well-being and don't know where to start. This blog is going to show you how well-being isn't a challenge, but an opportunity for your business, and how you can seize that opportunity without having to spend loads of money on apps or software or even using any type of external provider because the truth is, you already have all of the solutions for great wellbeing within your business.
So firstly, before we jump into the four key things, let's take a brief look at why well-being is becoming more of a challenge and why your business is perfectly positioned to address it. For most of human history, a basic level of good health has been guaranteed by the environment because people had to work together in communities, they had to be active, they had to eat healthy foods because that's all that was available. They couldn't eat too much food because it was available in limited supply. They slept naturally because there was no artificial lighting to disturb them. So for most of human history, a basic level of good health has always been guaranteed.
Obviously, there have been lots of challenges throughout human history as well. Today, that's changing. Life has improved exponentially, but with the improvements that come with life, well-being is becoming more of a challenge. We've got artificial lighting, our jobs are more stressful, our jobs are more sedentary, we have access to processed food on mass, and we're less connected. We compare ourselves to people on social media. There are lots of factors that are leading to increasing levels of poor physical and mental health. This is particularly important for businesses because poor well-being essentially affects the bottom line. When well-being is poor, physical or mental, it leads to increased absenteeism in the workplace, decreased productivity, and decreased innovation.
In today's business landscape, these things are more essential than ever before. Businesses are becoming increasingly agile and having to adapt to the ever-changing environment. They are having to be creative and innovative, and the only way that can happen is through having people who are engaged and want to be at work, and who work together and think hard and work hard when they are together. And that can't be achieved with poor well-being.
So, what are the four things that you can do to improve well-being in your business without spending a fortune on apps or software?
Host 2-4 health-based workshops a year.
These should be hosted by a manager or leader. The goal of these isn't to provide the recipe for perfect well-being, but more to create a forum where people feel connected and listened to. These workshops can be anywhere from 2 hours to a full day and should cover a key topic of well-being, such as movement, nutrition, sleep, mental health, and stress management. The key to good results is not trying to provide all of the answers but getting everyone to share their stories and make room for questions. What are the key challenges? What can we do to help with this? What changes at work would make this better? By doing this, you make it clear that well-being is part of your culture, that you value your people, and that you make your people feel listened to. The learnings from these days can then lead to team-based well-being habit-building challenges, which brings us to the next point.
1. Host 4+ 4-week health challenges throughout the year.
It's not a lack of knowledge that leads to people struggling with their health and well-being, but a lack of focus. Life gets busy and people let things slip. If people just needed the knowledge to be healthier, then most people in the world would be in peak physical condition because they have access to the internet. When people are around other people that are prioritising their health, they are 40-60% more likely to make improvements themselves. Humans are wired to work in groups, not solo. So, at least 4 times a year, host simple health challenges in your organisation. It works well to break your business or departments into teams and award points. Give people time at least once a week to discuss their progress and challenges. At the end of the challenge, make a point of celebrating success, sharing stories, and giving prizes or donating to a chosen charity of the winning person/team. A person can form a habit over a 4-6 week period, so by doing this, you are helping people improve their well-being for life. Simple challenges could be 10,000 steps a day, 800 grams of fruit and vegetables daily, and 7.5 hours of sleep a night.
2. Link the work of every team and individual to the vision of your organisation.
Humans are hardwired to work towards meaningful goals in teams. When people know that the work they are doing is having a positive impact on the bigger picture, they feel a deep sense of meaning and purpose that is essential for wellbeing. When people feel that the work they are doing is just work, they feel unfulfilled and unhappy. The knock-on effect of this can't be understated. When a person feels fulfilled in their work, they are 3 times more likely to report having a good quality of life. Adults spend the majority of their waking hours at work or working. If they feel good about this, they are more likely to have good energy levels and self-esteem, which increases the likelihood of them looking after themselves. If their work drains them, they will have less energy and less self-esteem, which means they are less likely to look after themselves. Make it a system in your business to make time daily and weekly to discuss how teams' and individuals' work has contributed to the vision of the business and seek out customers.
3. Provide at least one day a year for your people to volunteer or support a community-based project.
Giving people the opportunity to give back and make a difference in their community can have a powerful impact on their well-being. It helps people feel connected to something bigger than themselves and gives them a sense of purpose. Plus, volunteering has been shown to have numerous physical and mental health benefits, including reduced stress, improved mood, and increased life satisfaction.
In summary, there are four simple things that you can do to improve your well-being in your business without spending a fortune on apps or software. By hosting 2-4 health-based workshops a year, running 4+ 4-week health challenges, linking work to the vision of the organisation, and providing at least one day a year for volunteering or supporting a community-based project, you can create a culture of well-being in your business that benefits both your employees and your bottom line.
Remember, the key to improving well-being is not about providing access to information or knowledge, but about creating an environment and a sense of community that supports and fosters good health. By utilising the resources you already have within your business, you can create a culture of well-being that will make your business a more attractive employer and lead to increased productivity, innovation, and overall success in well-being.
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Mike Jones Better Happy Founder
Mike founded Better Happy in 2018.
He now works with a variety of businesses ranging from small accountancies up to large organisations such as Travelodge on improving employee happiness. Mike's vision and the vision of Better Happy is 'Every employee happy, every business thriving