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By Emma Sergeant-Attenborough Wellness Expert at GoVida - The Employee Wellbeing Platform

Whether you’re looking to create a wellbeing strategy from scratch, or your current wellbeing plan just isn’t having the impact you’d imagined, learning how to create a culture of wellness is one of the best things you’ll ever do for your business.

Employers see an average return of £5 for every £1 they invest in employee mental health, while for every person whose mental health needs are left unsupported, the cost to employers is £1,300.  

You already know that improving employee wellbeing isn’t a tick-box exercise; it’s something that needs time, attention, and a commitment to real change. Your people might need a bit of convincing that they’re safe to open up and seek support when they need it, but once you get there, the impact will be well worth the effort.

So if you’re ready to start on your journey to building a better wellbeing culture, and to safeguarding employee mental health, here are five steps you can take to ingrain ‘wellness’ into your organisation:

Step one: make wellbeing part of the employee experience

Each time someone new joins your team, you have an opportunity to set the tone – so why not make it part of the onboarding experience? Communicate your company ethos and values (these might range from being ‘supportive’ and ‘empathetic’, to ‘encouraging openness’ and ‘allowing people to be themselves’), and make people aware of any wellbeing resources available to them.

Step two: take a temperature check across your existing teams

The first step to demonstrating a commitment to change is finding out what your people are – and aren’t – already happy with. Internal wellbeing surveys are a great way to gauge how your teams are feeling, and which areas they might need more support with. The second step is demonstrating action: if your survey highlights a problem, acknowledge it, and tell your people how you plan to address it. Everything is fixable, so try not to panic.

Step three: encourage open communication

When people feel comfortable enough to be themselves, talk about their troubles, seek out support, and be open about how they’re feeling, engagement levels soar! But in most companies, this needs to start at the top. When senior leaders admit to feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, it normalises the conversation; while sharing lived experience of mental health can really help to de-stigmatise feelings that many of us will at some point share.

Step four: be a great role model

If your teams see you taking your lunch break, using your holidays to recharge, talking about your life beyond work, and actually using the wellbeing resources you’ve put into place, it gives them permission to do the same. You might not feel like they need ‘permission’, but the focus on employee wellbeing is only just coming into full force, and many people will have worked for companies that prioritised profits alone. Building trust is everything.

Step five: reap the rewards from your wellness budget

Building a wellbeing culture is a whole lot easier when you invest in the right tools to support your people. Having an open door culture, sharing lived experience, and sending regular comms to encourage people to prioritise themselves are all fantastic – and free – but for a culture to be truly impactful, resources are important. Having helpful wellbeing tools at their disposal allows people to manage their own mental health, without having to always knock at your door.

How GoVida can help?

The GoVida philosophy centres on prevention above cure, and takes a holistic approach to wellbeing. Our app has everything from wellness activities and team challenges, to CSR initiatives and mindfulness modules – with a points-based system that gives your people the power to choose the rewards that motivate them.

We’ve worked with countless companies to successfully transform their internal culture. Rolling out a resource like GoVida  demonstrates a real commitment to creating a healthy workplace – and it’s something we’ve seen people respond to time and again.

But we wouldn’t expect you to just take our word for it – so for a free demo of the GoVida platform, or to talk to us about how we can help you to build an incredibly impactful wellbeing culture in your business, get in touch today.

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