by Helen Davies, of citrusweb.co.uk
What are the business benefits of #Wellness Wednesdays?
Last month, I attended a truly inspiring event called All About You: Wellbeing in the Workplace. It was organised by WINN at Worcestershire County Council and Indigo Well, a local business delivering mindfulness resources and publisher of the quarterly Indigo magazine which aims to raise awareness of mindfulness and wellbeing practices to local businesses.
Indigo Well’s co-founder, Jane Doyle, kicked off the event by highlighting a time when she had been at an event with the late, great Body Shop founder and entrepreneur, Anita Roddick. As we know, Anita was a trailblazer for non-animal testing and environmentally friendly beauty products – of which there are thousands available today.
Jane explained that she owed her inspiration to Anita’s business vision, which was all based around her core belief: “Don’t found a business, found a cause.”
What insightful advice! Many years later, this is still a model that many successful modern businesses are following today. From the start, I knew I was going to be part of a very special day. All About You was a very polished and professional event from start to finish. I left feeling calm, positive, inspired and hopeful.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the 11 speakers, each one with their own heartfelt purpose, as they explained with eloquence and passion what their unique cause was all about.
These fantastic speakers ranged from Dr Lizzy Bernthal, explaining with gusto how we can ‘Release our Potential’ and build resilience, and Karen Ward from Meraki Nutrition, teaching us how we can take control back of our health through the food we eat, to Lucy Chatwin from Newson Health, who was raising awareness of the issues surrounding the perimenopause, and the advice and support that’s available to women (and men). And those are just the three that popped back into my head first!
We also took part in a Heart Math session organised by Pam Clark, Co-Founder of The Emporium of Health; a Sound Bath for Relaxation, conducted by Angie Latham; a herbal tea ceremony, courtesy of Pukka Herbs; and also learned how to be selfish, just for a little while, while experimenting with the beautifully scented Temple Spa products.
Having known Jane for several years, I knew her passion for holistic health and wellbeing and had been keeping an eye on how her business was going. So, of course, when the invite arrived, I was keen to support her by attending her thoughtfully orchestrated and information-packed event. However, being a busy business owner, I also thought about what I would like to learn from the day.
Being involved in marketing and social media, I am fully aware of how many companies have started to invest in wellbeing for their employees. Many bigger companies, with dedicated staff and teams to run these initiatives, are already organising these types of events regularly and reporting the benefits on their LinkedIn and Instagram channels. It’s working – they share that their staff seem happier and that the company is getting good press from all the nurturing activities they have invested in. It seems to be a win:win for everyone concerned.
So why weren’t my fellow SME business owners doing the same, I wondered? My best guess is that it’s due to a few barriers that still need to be broken down:
- SME business leaders don’t properly understand or truly believe in the benefits
- They haven’t got the time and resources
- They’re just not sure where to start, or what to do
What are the benefits?
Better Wellbeing in the Workplace can:
- Reduce sickness and absenteeism
- Increase employee productivity
- Create a more resilient team
- Give your business a competitive edge
- Reduce your staff turnover
- Help staff feel more motivated
- Attract better candidates into the business
- Enhance your company reputation
Plus, have you thought of the marketing benefits?
- Show your staff you care
- Show your clients you care
- Create non-promotional content
- Hold easy-to-organise events
- Create fun social media content
- Help raise your business profile for all the right reasons
- Showcase your staff having a great time
- Thank your staff for their hard work
Why bother with employee wellbeing?
70 million working days are lost to mental health – equivalent to £2.4 million lost a year, according to the Mental Health Foundation. With 1/3 of people struggling with long-term mental health issues, many of which remain undiagnosed, there is a clear need for mental health support in the workplace.
Put simply, we don’t know what our staff are going through – so we need to be aware of, and help and support them with these issues. Looking after our staff and showing that we care about them demonstrates to our employees and our clients that we are nice people. We are caring, trustworthy and likeable. We are not just money- and results-focused; we care on a deeper level.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? These are just a few of the benefits of looking after the wellbeing of your employees. How can B2B clients start implementing wellbeing in their workplace? Jane asked me whether I thought the businesses I work with were receptive to introducing Wellbeing in the Workplace. I think a lot of the time busy SME business owners, don’t fully understand the benefits and they think it’s just another thing they have to add to their long list of things to do.
I asked Jane what her advice would be. Put simply, “Just start!” And she’s absolutely right. It doesn’t have to be difficult, there are so many wellness practitioners out there – all backed up with significant experience, skills, scientific evidence, facts and figures. You could simply choose one Wednesday a month and ask a Wellness company to come in and do their thing. Easy, right?
3 simple ways to implement regular wellbeing events in the workplace
- Start small with a subscription to Indigo Magazine. Indigo is more than just a quarterly wellness magazine. As an online resource, employees can access their copy of Indigo Well anytime they like. It contains interactive, guided wellness-activities that are easy to do, many of which can be done at a desk or in the workplace. To subscribe simply fill out your details and sign up to this information packed resource that is sent directly to your inbox once a quarter. Subscribe here.
- Start a #wellbeingwednesday: #wellbeingwednesday is the popular hashtag for organised wellbeing events run on Wednesdays. Simply choose a wellbeing-activity that’s free, simple and can be run on a regular basis. For example, ‘Wellness Wednesday Walk’ or a Wednesday yoga session.
- Join an accreditation scheme: Many local councils run wellness initiatives for employers to follow. This helps set a framework for you to follow and then you can also be accredited and raise your awareness to other companies who are part of the scheme. For example, Worcestershire Works Well is an amazing initiative run in conjunction with Worcestershire County Council. It is available to all Worcestershire businesses with 5 or more employees: Worcestershire Works Well. For businesses based in Gloucestershire, there’s the Gloucestershire Healthy Workplace Award, run by Gloucestershire County Council. http://hwglos.org/resources/promoting-a-healthy-workplace/ http://hwglos.org/about-us/award-accreditation-process/
What are the costs if we choose to do nothing?
- Increased sickness and absenteeism
- Reduced staff productivity
- Disengaged and unmotivated staff
- Vulnerable, sensitive and inflexible workforce
- Lose out to your competitors
- Staff looking for a better place to work
- Damaged company reputation
I’d like to hear what you would suggest… Would you like to discuss implementing a wellness campaign for your business? We can start small, start scheduling regular dates in a manageable way and begin to gain positive feedback, better reputation, and fit and healthy staff too. You could even find your company will have an accreditation at the end of it or better still be up for a good employer award.
Sound good? If you would like to discuss how to start a wellbeing campaign that’s right for your business, and implement a successful marketing campaign to sit alongside it, please get in touch, I’d love to help.