Wellbeing at work

According to a Deloitte study, a ‘lack of empowerment’ is one of the key reasons employees are leaving their jobs, with an alarming 2.7 million workers quitting every month.

Thankfully, many companies are slowly beginning to realise employee retention is about so much more than salaries and trips out, it’s also about providing staff with the best ways to support their general health and wellbeing.

Here are four key steps to introducing a successful wellness initiative into your workplace:

Be accessible and flexible

One of the first meaningful steps you can take is to be as inclusive as possible. Excluding any employees from certain aspects of your initiative will not bode well in the long run.

Instead, you need to make sure all employees are fully integrated and onboard with your wellness offerings. To achieve this, communication is key across all levels of the business.

Group meetings, as well as one-to-one sessions, could be helpful in ensuring all team members understand the nuances of your strategy.

Introducing internal ‘change champions’ is also an effective way of getting your message out there. These are members of staff who can educate other members of the team about the programmes on offer and why they’re of benefit.

Health comes first

Adopting a culture-first mentality which considers the ‘total quality of life’ for employees is an essential part of promoting workplace wellbeing.

Express has experienced this first-hand when we worked with one of our clients Airwair to help facilitate their company-wide focus on wellness.

Always at the forefront when it comes to embracing wellbeing, Airwair has invested in treadmills for employees to use in meetings, on-site massages and designated wellness spaces in each office.

Looking to go further for their employees, Airwair enlisted the help of Express to provide healthier food choices for their staff.

The company found that adopting a more health-oriented approach paid dividends, with positive employee feedback and a workforce that reported feeling more valued by their employer.

Food, glorious food

More and more people are beginning to realise, food doesn’t just fuel our bodies, it also fuels our brains.

In fact, studies show employees who eat healthily boost their overall performance by 25 percent. Therefore, it’s essential companies work to make healthier food options widely available if they want to yield the best results from their workforce.

Airwair found introducing on-site facilities with complimentary fruit and beverages not only boosted engagement but also strengthened interpersonal relationships.

The company attributed this change to the fact employees no longer had to leave the premises at lunch, to look for alternative options, as the quality of the inhouse food offerings was so good.

Be more responsible

Research has shown 79 percent of people are now expressing a desire to work for a socially responsible company. There’s also evidence to suggest corporate social responsibility and wellness initiatives are mutually beneficial, promoting collaboration, innovation and soft skill development in the workplace.

Companies can promote CSR by creating a calendar of events, which they share internally to make people aware of any up-and-coming opportunities, they might like to be involved in.

This approach makes being socially responsible seem like less of an afterthought and more like an intrinsic part of your business which, in turn, helps to increase staff co-operation.

Businesses can also encourage socially responsible actions like cycle-to-work schemes and lift-sharing. On a smaller scale, participating in charity-based activities such as office cake bake sales or staff-sponsored sporting events can support more complex and long-lasting corporate initiatives.

Rachel Whitford, Area Manager – City of London, Express






Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.