Mental and physical wellbeing are being increasingly acknowledged in workplaces – and rightfully so. With the stigma around mental health subsiding as more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of wellbeing, how can businesses effectively prioritise employee wellbeing to prevent absenteeism and encourage employee retention?

In this blog, we will cover 6 ways in which businesses can do exactly this:

  1. Wellness programmes/sessions

Offering employees the opportunity to attend wellness programmes/sessions during work hours is a great way for them to take a little break from their workload to help prioritise their wellbeing. These can be meditation sessions or even fitness classes that can boost their concentration and motivation, so once the session has ended, they are able to head straight back into their work with a clear mind. 

  1. Employer-funded health insurance

Employer-funded health insurance is a great employee benefit to implement if businesses haven’t done so already. Things like group dental insurance is a unique benefit that can attract new employees and retain existing ones. With the constant pressure on NHS and staff shortages, private healthcare is becoming a better option for many who are tired of the NHS’ waiting lists. With employer-funded healthcare, employees can take advantage of this and take better care of their health, especially for complex health issues.

  1. Regular wellbeing seminars/discussions

A core aspect of prioritising wellbeing within the workplace is to normalise it and encourage conversation about it! This means that businesses should organise regular wellbeing discussion or seminars to not only get employees talking about it, but to also help them become more aware of its importance and what it entails. Even if it means bi-weekly or monthly seminars, it is key that businesses encourage employees to be open towards discussions of wellbeing. 

  1. Assign an advocate for championing wellbeing within the workplace

On top of this, businesses should also consider assigning an employee to be a champion of wellbeing within the workplace. In other words, this is a ‘wellbeing officer’ – someone who others can go to for advice and someone who is responsible for planning and implementing wellbeing initiatives. This can be separated between departments, so each department has their own wellbeing champion, or it can be a sole person in the HR unit. 

  1. Cultivate a welcoming and encouraging workplace culture

Workplace culture is critical to employee wellbeing as it can influence their morale and mood. As a result, businesses should actively cultivate a workplace culture that is understanding and empathetic of others, which can empower employees to listen and discuss wellbeing. A work culture that is willing to help and lift up employees can have positive impacts on wellbeing, especially as employees will feel heard and valued.

  1. Better work-life balance

A holistic approach to wellbeing within the workplace is crucial, so businesses need to expand their vision of wellbeing from simply physical wellbeing to also include emotional, financial, and more. In particular, encouraging a better work-life balance is key to helping employees with their emotional and social wellbeing. This could be in the form of work from home opportunities and/or flexible working hours.