Wellness Programmes: Does This Stuff Really Work?
5 Ways Wellness Programmes Go Way Beyond ‘Just Wellbeing’
Does this stuff really work? Don’t people just go along to one session, make a change for a fortnight and then go back to what they did in the first place? We get asked this question a lot.
In short, the answer is simply that an effective workplace wellness programmes can not only impact the individual, but they can have real impact throughout the organisation, delivering mutual benefit to people and the wider business performance.
Let us explain…
- Make every session practical, useful and engaging
If you ensure every session has the combination of these elements then how can it not work?
Practical: Of, course there should be theory, stats and science to prove a point, but all activities need to be grounded in real-life stuff so that you can make changes as soon as you leave.
Useful: It helps if the folks delivering the sessions come from corporate backgrounds. It means they get it and it’s relevant. Don’t mistake wellbeing for airy-fairy. This is the stuff you need.
Engaging: A huge part of ‘being well’ is simply bringing joy to your heart. So the experience itself has to be fun. That’s how you remember stuff and, moreover, how you create proper connections in the room.
Fortunately, practical, useful and engaging is PUSH’s mantra. So, don’t worry – we’ve got it.
- Develop processes and ways of working, to ensure that the company is ‘well’ too
PUSH create companies with productive and happy cultures. How do you do that? Well, not just with yoga in a boardroom. Nor free food or going home early on a Friday – nice as they are. Good culture recognises that the world we’re living in is changing at a relentless and demanding pace. Teamed with traditional corporate processes, it’s the employee in the middle that feels the pain. It’s why stress and exhaustion are on the rise.
Good culture faces this head on and doesn’t ignore it thinking it will go away. It makes a change to look after its people so that they can bring their best to work and, consequently, do their best work.
How do you make those changes? First of all, you need to understand what’s going on with the team and make changes to your culture which include vision and values setting; tackling behavioural change, ways of working and updating processes that work in this new world.
Understand your team’s purpose and principles and let them guide you. If you focus on your people, the product and money follow and, as a consequence, team engagement and performance improve.
- Create authentic, open communities
We all know it: increase engagement in the workplace and your people are more likely to stay with you. However, how do you actually do that?
As a start, we need to bring people together more and simply create more relationships. We were stunned when we started working with a client recently that in a smallish company, less than half the population didn’t know each other. How on earth can you foster a positive environment in that situation – let alone create good, productive business?
You must enable space and opportunities where people can do stuff that isn’t just grounded in business transactions. Let the team be more open – vulnerability is not a weakness. It lies at the heart of growth. When people feel genuinely comfortable, they can fail as well as succeed and that is where the learning comes from and the growth happens.
And that what programmes like this provide – the opportunity for people to get together when it’s not in the office or in the pub, half-cut. Be it coaching, learning, exercising or eating these are good connections which help people to talk properly and openly. And that’s when the magic happens.
- Understand the importance of taking a break
We’re in a culture of more. And a culture of busy. So, if we just do more and are busy, then we’re doing okay, yeah?
Well actually no. We treat ourselves like the computers that we use and just expect ourselves to plug in and keep going. But, here’s the thing, we’re not computers, we’re humans and, critically, we need to rest and re-energise. And, if we don’t, we’re going to break. Or certainly not perform as well.
Think about it – have you ever heard of an athlete not having a rest day?
The value of taking a break and getting involved with a session means that you can come back to the task you were working on with more energy and focus. That break can be a walk, food, a meditation or maybe even an inspiring talk or Beyonce dance class. Wellness content isn’t ‘another thing on your to-do list’ it makes every other thing on your to do list so much easier!
- ROI – measure the impact
How do you measure it or, indeed, how do you know if it’s working?
We believe three measures provide the perfect solution for understanding ROI:
Feedback to ensure the team is learning and enjoying the content and proving that the talent is simply world class. Shifts in engagement metrics. Using both quantitative and qualitative research, we measure how the team is delivering against a series of measures including their resilience, motivation, communication and energy before the programme begins. We also ask how they feel about their team and company culture. Then, we measure it, again, after the programme has run to understand the impact it’s had.
Finally, after longer periods of time, we measure the impact on more tangible business metrics – like improvements in sales or decreases in attrition rates or sickness days. Through this, we know that we have saved one client £1.5m in recruitment fees and helped another maintain sales figures throughout a merger (when the company they were merging with missed targets by 15%).
So, to summarise, emphatically yes, this stuff does really work. And we prove it time and again with brilliant programmes that you and your team will genuinely love and, more importantly, work.