Along with creating healthy organisational practices, workplaces are perfectly positioned to provide health messages and opportunities to people. Usually, the things that create good mental wellbeing are low or no cost.
Feeling connected to workmates, having healthy relationships with leaders, and feeling valued with some control over our work are major drivers for mental wellbeing.
Five Ways to Wellbeing
The principles in the Five Ways to Wellbeing are easily understandable ways to think about how you can create good mental wellbeing.
Examples in a workplace include:
Give – Being flexible and generous with employees, including staff in community-based activities, supporting fundraising for a good cause or charity (strong businesses need strong communities and vice versa). It’s also about appropriately, authentically and publicly showing gratitude to employees.
Be Active – Schedule walking meetings, provide standing desks, encourage stair use.
Keep Learning – This is about enhancing your people’s performance, so provide opportunities for staff to learn and sharpen their skills and set interesting challenges.
Connect – Encourage social interaction and collaboration – this might even be daily, at team meetings, or at regular social events so teams can connect. Think about making comfortable spaces at work for conversation. You could also hold team building days, sponsor fun runs, family days, team sports, shared lunches and various workplace competitions.
Take Notice – Think about how the physical environment could be improved. Encourage and role-model mindfulness, taking breaks away from work, eating away from desks, stretching. Create quiet spaces indoors and out. Also, pay attention to sick leave and annual leave – if someone’s off sick a lot, can you help? If someone’s not taking annual leave, encourage them to take a break.
To introduce the Five Ways to Wellbeing, you might do the following:
Display free posters and other resources
Include information on wellbeing in staff communications/intranet.
Encourage employees to set goals related to the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
Plan events that specifically incorporate the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
Invite input from employees and wellbeing champions on how to take further action.