Workplace Wellbeing – a strategy for business growth

What does an impactful workplace wellbeing strategy look like?

Employee wellbeing and engagement are certainly the buzzwords for recent times – but what does an impactful workplace wellbeing strategy truly look like?

I would argue that as an employer and as an accountant I would like to get my money’s worth from the staff wage bill. Staffing costs are often the largest profit and loss expense item, sometimes made worse by long term staff sickness. It can be a challenge to see where a wellbeing strategy will help. How does it work and is it measurable?

Value is created or lost in the overall strategy and this applies as much to wellbeing as it does to sales.

In reality much is spoken about mindfulness and staff perks, but not many employers see it as a way to improve how they do business. My thoughts are that if you want to employ the whole person including leveraging their true intelligence and voluntary creativity for the benefit of the business, then you must sustain the whole person. So consider this – how much do you focus on training? and how much do you focus on wellbeing?

If technical training is the way the machine works, then wellbeing is the oil and servicing schedule. It is not a one off quick fix, it’s a culture of good practice.

If you want your business to grow and you want your team to take on more, a wellbeing strategy can give you an edge.

What is workplace wellbeing at its best?

At its best, workplace wellbeing is a contract between employer and employee which is equally weighted. The employer agrees to be responsive and facilitate a structure in which the employee can thrive. The employee agrees to take care of themselves and bring the best version of themselves to work. Our research has discovered that many wellbeing strategies have a singular focus – such as upon mental health by promoting mindfulness or upon physical resilience by offering discounted gym memberships or fruit in the office. This makes measurement of results unclear and the benefit to the business as a whole is limited

How can you achieve it?

More effective outcomes are achieved where individual participation is matched and supported by a wellbeing culture and where it covers the areas of mind, body, spirit and vision. This may mean learning new skills. Learning how to communicate effectively to get the best outcome from a difficult conversation does as much to reduce workplace stress and thus improve wellbeing, as flexi-time so that you can make it to the gym. When coupled with techniques for improving mental wellbeing, support for the physical body and understanding the common goal the effect is a more impactful and ultimately more sustainable. It is also measurable. Each company will focus on a different area of measurement depending upon the business model, but a reduction in sick days, increase in employee engagement and increase in output can all be measured.

A company culture is not just an high level vision from the board – it lives and breathes with team behaviour and within the parameters of what you reward and enforce on a day to day basis.

Workplace wellbeing is a fulfilling and productive option for those which choose to adopt it, but be under no illusion, there is no room for fluffiness here. This is about personal responsibility and corporate responsibility – with both sides stepping up and agreeing to change.

This is about both corporate and personal development.


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About The Author

Sharon Critchlow

Sharon Critchlow is a Wellbeing Advocate, speaker and facilitator at Discover Your Bounce for Business. Passionate about people being the best they can be she is a Time To Change Champion for mental health and holds a Masters level qualification in strategic coaching for performance. Sharon is a qualified accountant and has 20 years experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector.