Building Workplace Wellbeing: Resilience, retention and resource planning for your business

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Are you ready?

Over the past three years we have lived through Covid and are continuing to live with its legacy. Add to that a war in Europe, and a rise in the cost of living causing a great deal of financial hardship, and we find ourselves in a world of uncertainty.

People’s emotional wellbeing has taken a real bashing over the past few years. This has had a detrimental impact on people’s resilience: the ability to bounce back from everyday work and life pressures. Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show there were an estimated 914,000 cases of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2021/22 and an estimated 17 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2021/22. This is over half of all working days lost due to work-related ill health.

Supporting wellbeing at work has never been so urgent.

Look around your workplace. Can you tell by looking at the people around you, who is suffering with poor mental health? It’s not obvious, is it? If it’s not you, you will probably know someone who is. In fact, 1 in 6 people in the UK will suffer depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress at any one time: mental ill health is the second highest burden of disease in the UK today. Knowing how to address mental ill health is key yet only 13% of line managers have received mental health training.

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HR predictions are coming true. Is your business behind the curve?

The psychological contract between employers and employees has changed and continues to do so. People are staying in their current jobs until the economy becomes more certain. When it does, they will look to move. People are looking for employers who care and companies and jobs that have real purpose.

The search for caring employers and purpose is showing to be a priority across the generations. From Gen Z entering the workforce right through to over 50s and retirees who are looking to re-enter the workplace due to the rise in the cost of living. This presents employers with an opportunity to fish for talent. Use your wellbeing offering and your company’s purpose as part of your employee value proposition to help you attract and retain current and future employees.

How do you spot the signs of poor mental health in your workplace?

Talk to your employees. Ask them if they are ok. Do they need support? Find out how you can help them. Wellbeing strategies needn’t be complex or expensive. Get to know your employees and you will find it easier to spot the signs. Uncharacteristic lateness and absence from work is a sign. Also look out for changes in mood and productivity. You might notice employees that work from home start turning their cameras off. It is often tougher to spot the signs with remote workers as you can’t rely on body language cues that you would get from face-to-face meetings, so make sure you make every effort to connect and check in when you can. Don’t forget about them!

Employers have a duty of care to their employees to provide a psychologically safe place to talk about their mental health and to support them as much as they can whilst they are in their employment. Leaders should foster a culture of trust, communication and collaboration. Develop your managers so they are equipped to spot the signs of poor mental health and have meaningful, supportive conversations with their team members. Research wellbeing and look at new trends and, importantly, pass on your learnings to your team. Leaders should be role models and do their best to open up about mental health. The goal is to remove the stigma associated with mental health. Recognising employees for their achievements and supporting them in their development needs will help to build confidence, self-esteem and ultimately resilience.

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Build resilienceimprove productivity 

By building resilience in the workplace, you will boost engagement, increase work happiness, improve productivity and help people to have a more positive outlook. A key way leaders can support their employees with their wellbeing is to do their best to look after their own wellbeing. Make this a priority.

Communicate, communicate, communicate with your people. Be open, authentic and supportive and this will stand your business in good stead for the future.

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If your business needs an HR partner to help you build a wellbeing framework for your team get in touch. Our HR experts will partner with you to help you with your approach to managing workplace wellbeing. Whether you need help to get started, have a strategy already in place but need help in refining the way you implement it, or if you just need to chat about the value of a wellbeing strategy for your business, give us a call.

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