How to create a successful employee wellbeing strategy

Did you know that 66% of frontline workers say they often feel stressed at work? 

In fact, we recently conducted a survey that revealed Midwifery, Social Care and Bar and Hospitality as the best stressful occupations to work in. 

Obviously, that number is way too high and it’s time to focus on the well-being of the people that helped get us through the pandemic. 

When looking for an employee wellbeing strategy, it’s often biased toward the office worker. Talking mostly about remote working and hybrid work models. 

Well, actually the global workforce is 80% deskless! Surely it makes sense to steer these conversations toward these workers. After all, those are the people that have been working continuously throughout a pandemic and now they are expected to carry on like before? Something needs to change.

The working model is evolving rapidly for the office worker. What about those who cannot work from home?

What does the future of work look like for them?

The first step is to create an employee well-being strategy for frontline workers, one that helps elevate stress and avoid the possibility of employee burnout.

Why is it so important right now?

Workplace wellness has been long overdue in a lot of businesses, now is the time to bring it to the forefront of conversations and strategies. By creating a well-thought-out strategy and plan you can help to reverse employee burnout, reduce the stress that we know they are feeling and increase employee retention and absenteeism. 

By investing in your employee wellness strategy now, you’ll be saving costs going forward. With fewer people going off sick with burnout, or turnover costs and more people engaged and productive. It’s a win-win for the company. 

Work stress attributes to the following: 

  • Employee burnout 

  • Absenteeism 

  • Intention to leave 

  • Staff turnover 

  • Bad productivity

Work well-being attributes to the following: 

  • Less sick days taken as staff are usually healthier 

  • Team building 

  • Workers being more positive about their workplace and leaving good reviews 

  • Better productivity

  • Stronger retention 

The Great Resignation has taught us that if you are not looking after your employee's wellbeing, they WILL leave, and go somewhere that does.

The steps you need to take 

Start by: 

  • Asking your staff what they want or need for their employee wellbeing. You could do this with a simple Google Form 

  • If you already have initiatives in place, look at the gaps, why aren’t they working?

  • Identify the key areas to work on

  • Work out where this fits in your company values 

Some example questions to ask your employees would be:

  • What are your energy levels like after work?

  • Have your sleeping habits changed since working here?

  • What moods do you experience at work?

  • Has your life outside of work suffered as a result of work?

  • Do you often worry about finances?

  • What worries you most about work?

  • Do you worry about your job security?

  • How would you rate your mental health at work?

  • How would you rate your stress levels at work? 0-10

  • Do you feel like you are supported by the company for your mental health?

  • What could we do to improve your work/life balance?

  • Do you feel valued at work?

Once you have the feedback from the staff and you’ll identify the gaps in the company, you can start your planning stage.

At this point you need to answer the following questions: 

  1. Why are you creating an employee wellness strategy?

  2. What has the staff said they want and need?

  3. Who will be responsible for each part?

  4. What do you currently do? 

  5. What do you need to do? 

  6. How much budget and team resources do you have for this?

  7. What do your competitors offer? 

Next, you’ll need to secure leadership buy-in

You will likely need to present your case to the higher-ups. This may be a daunting process, but as long you have answered the above questions and you know why it’s so important to focus on employee wellbeing in 2022. You’ll do great. 

One tip to help get your leadership team on board is to go to them with your own company data. Do you already have cases of high sickness and absenteeism that you could share?

  • Show them team sickness records

  • Show them the employee engagement survey results 

  • Show them existing initiatives that other businesses are using and tell them the results

  • Use the exit interviews to identify trends related to health and wellbeing

It’s hard to get a budget at the best of time, but a recent study from Deloitte said ‘for every £1 you invest in your employees, £5 is returned through reduced absenteeism, presenteeism and staff turnover. 

The higher-up are invested, so let’s plan your strategy 

Next up you actually have to plan and develop the strategy! Here are a few tips to inspire your employee wellness strategy.

  • Write out a clear vision and objectives. Your previous research will help you with this and help determine the key priorities 

  • Agree on your budget and team resource

  • Determine your KPIs 

  • Select an initiative. Your initiative or programme should reflect the research you’ve done on what the team has said they need

  • Partner with a company

  • Plan the launch

Staff wellbeing ideas

With your team not being desk-based, you need to be able to offer them apps they can use on their phones or face-to-face solutions. Be mindful that people work different shifts so it will need to be something that anyone can access at any time.

There are many types of staff well-being ideas that you can focus on but here are a few options to get you started:

Mental wellbeing 

  • Managing healthy workloads

  • Duvet days 

  • First aid courses for mental health 

  • Mental health training for managers 

  • Free counselling and mental health sessions 

  • Free mediation access 

Here are some companies that you may want to partner up with for this: 

Physical wellbeing 

  • Discounts on healthy subscription boxes 

  • On-demand fitness resources 

  • Healthy cooking classes 

  • Exercise challenges 

  • Gym memberships or discounted 

  • Free fruit available 

  • Free massages 

Financial wellbeing 

  • Discounts on everyday purchases 

  • Season ticket loans 

  • Money off meals 

  • Gym membership discounts 

You can partner with companies like:

Launch your wellness plan and measure the success 

It’s time to launch your wellness initiative to the company. You'll need to ensure that everyone knows about it and feels comfortable taking the time to use it. This can be especially difficult if your team are not a simple email away. Here are some communication ideas:

  • An in-person team meeting 

  • One-to-one meetings to explain the initiative 

  • Post on the company intranet to post on?

  • Create posters and signs around the workplace

  • Appoint health and well-being champions 

Monitor the initiative and evolve 

You will need to regularly monitor how the initiative is performing. You can do this with regular employee engagement surveys. You should also monitor sickness and turnover to ensure that the initiative is having a positive effect. 

See what your employees are saying about you on Breakroom

When employees are stressed, burned out and don’t feel like the head office really understands the frontline, it's only natural that they turn to sites like Breakroom to see what else is out there. 

Over 25k frontline workers have told us what you’re really like as an employer. Check out what they’re saying about you here

If you’d like to claim your profile so that you can monitor your score and reviews click here to register. 

Published on 5 May, 2022