I was lucky enough to speak with a prestigious London organisation yesterday to discuss their approach to employee health and wellbeing. During the conversation I was reminded of just how many activities employers are already doing which come under the banner of wellbeing. As the conversation unfolded it became clear that the organisation was already offering a suite of health and wellbeing benefits including occupational health services and counselling. Their excellent learning and development interventions were also clearly (to me) supporting intellectual and career wellbeing – enabling and encouraging employees to develop their curiosity and grow new neural connections, so vital in our sense of personal wellbeing. But they didn’t necessarily see these activities as part of a wellbeing strategy.

How an employee feels at work is influenced by so many factors and many of these may not be the traditional way we consider health and wellbeing.

When you consider health and wellbeing for your employees think big and think wide – don’t be limited by the obvious, be brave and celebrate the great things you are already doing. The best employee wellbeing strategy is truly yours and may simply involve pulling together your current employee offerings and clarifying your intentions.

1.Why wellbeing?

Be clear about your purpose with health and wellbeing initiatives – are you aiming to reduce absence, increase engagement, reduce turnover or attract fresh talent. Perhaps it feels like the right thing to do – and that’s a good enough reason too!

2.What is wellbeing to your organisation?

Ask your people and they’ll tell you what health and wellbeing mean to them and how you can support them at work. You may be surprised at the creative low cost ideas that arise

3.Avoid the temptation to follow the herd

What works for one organisation won’t necessarily chime with your culture. Not everyone likes bean bags and fruit on a Friday. Make your wellbeing strategy authentic and part of who you are as a business

4.What do you already do?

Health benefits like medical insurance and occupational health are great, but they’re not the whole story. What about training, flexi-time, the lunchtime running club and the volunteering time you offer employees? These activities (and more) drive personal wellbeing

5.Measure and evaluate

Some interventions require budget and others will be free or low cost. Start your measurements now and compare in 6, 12 and 18 months. This will help to justify future budget requests. Celebrate success and don’t be afraid to tweak and make changes to strategy if plans don’t always work out first time

I’d love to hear your inspiring ideas for developing your employee wellbeing strategy – do get in touch! [email protected]