Creating an Effective and Achievable Staff Wellbeing Plan

Created: Monday, March 23, 2020, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

Updated: at

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By Craig Bulow, Corporate Away Days

Employees in the UK take over 13 million sick days per year as a result of work-related stress, depression, and other mental health issues. Another important statistic is that stress costs the British economy almost £4 billion a year.

Looking after employee wellbeing is clearly of great importance yet REBA (Reward & Employment Benefits Association) reports that only 8% of boards of directors actively drive their company’s wellbeing policy.

Wellbeing Plan
Image: StockUnlimited

A wellbeing plan can help to improve a company’s culture, environment, and long-term productivity by improving the wellbeing of the staff.  So, let’s look at how you can work with your staff to create an effective wellbeing plan in your business.

1. Bring Together a Wellbeing Team

Get people involved and have a collaborative approach. For example, you could have:

  1. Wellbeing working group: Encourage volunteers from across the organization to join a working group to design, publicize and monitor wellbeing activities.
  2. Wellbeing champions: Encourage employees from different parts of the business – those with enthusiasm, or a particular skill or sporting talent – to volunteer to organize and deliver parts of the wellbeing program and sell the ideas to everyone. One volunteer can act as group coordinator.

2. Create a Fit With Your Brand and Vision

It is important that your wellbeing policy matches your company brand and vision. Set out what you, as a company, are prepared to offer your employees that shows you are looking after their wellbeing.

3. Match to Your Employees Needs

When designing a policy think about the people. For example, some businesses have a much younger workforce while others tend to attract older employees. Likewise, some businesses have more women or more men. Look at your staff demographic and design a policy that meet their needs.

4. What Should You Include?

There is a distinct difference between a Wellbeing Policy and an Occupational Health Policy.

A Wellbeing Policy aims to set out calls to actions for initiatives, activities and events that have a wellbeing focus to engage individuals.

Gather ideas and suggestions from your wellbeing team and use them to develop the wellbeing policy document.  The aim is a clear, concise document, so you’ll need to filter the suggestions and, as a group, decide what stays in.

At this stage, you may need external help – someone who understands workplace wellbeing and can help navigate through all the ideas and ensure that a coherent, balanced policy is created that caters to all the staff, and is achievable.

Every Wellbeing Policy should include:

  1. A short introduction about why caring for wellbeing in the workplace is important and why the business is championing this
  2. Clear advice on the three key elements to a healthy sustained lifestyle are Sleep, Diet, and Exercise – so ensure these are covered in the policy document
  3. Describe clearly what the company offers to help care for employee wellbeing. For example, do you have free gym membership or a person who comes in once a week to give chair massages, or a quiet space for relaxation? Are you committing to offering a number of Away Days per year to help with employee wellbeing?

Away-days put individuals in the moment whilst being present with the people we spend most of our lives with. Being out of the office puts a new perspective on how we see each other as individuals in a non-work way. This encourages openness and understanding and builds stronger relationships.

To be effective, Away Days need to be activities that we would book or experience ourselves, in our own time and happily pay for.

  1. Are you arranging some wellbeing classes, e.g. on nutrition, or meditation? Do you give paid time off to staff to attend counseling sessions? Whatever you offer – make sure it is clearly listed in the document and details of how to access the benefit are also included.
  2. Show how you are going to create a fun, creative, collaborative and social atmosphere at work. It can be as simple as just talking to one another, to begin with. You can encourage this is by e.g. having a break – out area or collaborative section of the office where talking is encouraged, where people show their interest in others, what are they working on, etc.

5. Include a Sanity Check

It’s always good to get an independent wellbeing expert to look over the document, offer advice on any changes or missing elements and to ensure you’re within the law.

6. Spread the Word!

Distribute the wellbeing policy to ALL staff. Then keep wellbeing messages alive with including employee newsletters, payslips, video screens in common areas etc.

7. Review Every Year

Once a year gather your wellbeing team together and review the policy. Did it work over the last 12 months? Who took advantage of the opportunities on offer? Did it cater to all staff needs? Where some people left out? What could be improved? How could you expand it over the next 12 months?

8. Report on Wellbeing

Include information about your Wellbeing Policy in your public-reporting, e.g. your annual reports and accounts. This demonstrates to employees, potential employees, investors and other stakeholders that you are observing good practice and that this is having a positive effect on the organization.

A policy that shows you put wellbeing at the heart of the business can help attract customers too.

9. An Addition to Employment Contracts

The Wellbeing policy can be an addition to the employment contract. If it is good enough, it can be used as a competitive edge to attract and retain the best talent – saving on expensive recruitment costs.

A good wellbeing plan will have a positive impact on your business by improving morale, creating a more engaged team and increasing productivity and overall company performance. In addition, an appropriate policy for your workforce will attract talented people and help to keep them with you.

Craig Bulow
Craig Bulow is the founder of Corporate Away Days, a corporate wellbeing events company delivering engaging, inspiring and exciting events focussed on Mindfulness / Wellbeing and Reward / Recognition activities. Corporate Away Days also creates, designs and builds corporate wellbeing policies and provides leading experts for interactive workshops, seminars and talks on improving mental health and overall wellbeing.

Every Corporate Away Days event and activity is chosen with wellbeing as its focus, helping to encourage employee engagement, foster connections and build relationships within the business.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.

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