Reading time: 4 minutes

Intro 

For those of you that are regular subscribers of this podcast you’ll know I am a massive advocate of some of the more innovative ideas about making our organisations great places to work. 

Though one of my passions shouldn’t really be called innovative in some companies, it still is….. 

….. guessed what it is yet? 

Wellbeing. 

Last week in preparation for recording this podcast, I read again a report from the CIPD on health and wellbeing in the workplace, which was published in April 2019. 

Here is what stood out. 

Though some ‘things’ are improving, for instance, the average level of employee absence is down to 5.9 days per year…. the lowest ever in 19 surveys!  

………Yet something else is raising its head, and that’s presenteeism; this is where your employees are turning up to work when they shouldn’t be, through illness or other medical conditions and naturally not exactly performing at their best. 

…. And why do they do this? A fear of being perceived as weak or that they might not get the next promotion and in some cases that they’ll lose their job. 

We’ll share more on this in another post. 

So today, let’s explore some of the wellbeing strategies organisations are using successfully this year. 

Solets get into it. 

Main 

Hi there everyone, this is Rachel from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast.  

Today I am going to be a bit indulgent and talk about a passion of mine, and that’s wellbeing in the workplace. 

Over on the Excel Communications website, you will find a full transcription of this podcast and many other different resources which will help you to develop your leadership capability, including a host of specific blogs, podcasts, reports and webinar recordings. 

On our Learn Grow Succeed podcast, we have now interviewed several different experts in their respective leadership fields. You can access these recordings on iTunes or over on the Excel website too. 

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Let’s talk wellbeing at work and some of the tested strategies that are working for organisations this year. 

Before we jump into today’s episode, it is essential to remind ourselves about the huge benefit that’s aligned to working with wellbeing in our organisations. 

Google anything about workplace productivity and engagement, and you will see multiple links, data and research, all pointing to the fact that: A happy, healthy workforce is more engaged and more productive too. 

With employee engagement still being less than it could be, anything that helps boost engagement is something to implement, and different wellbeing initiatives certainly deliver when it comes to this crucial metric for leaders in every part of an organisation. 

It really is a smart strategy to focus on your employee’s wellbeing if you want to build a strong business. 

So, knowing all the upsides associated with wellbeing at work, what ideas are being used now that you could consider? 

Let’s start with one or two of the most popular initiatives, and that is a focus on having a Healthy Body and Healthy Mind. 

It’s tried and tested that developing a culture of healthy mind and body works. Here at Excel, we work with many organisations across the globe who utilise this idea in multiple ways. 

From having fruit bowls full of healthy snacks on every floor to managers who encourage team members to, ‘step away from the desk’ and take a walk. 

Other examples include onsite gyms or reduced fee memberships. 

One company has a charity initiative every year, which is based on a fitness challenge.  

I came across a tweet recently from Richard Branson who extolls the virtues of walking meetings too. 

Many of our clients work in the tech space and provide standup desks for their teams to work from. 

There is alarming evidence that suggests our sedentary lifestyle is taking years off our life. 

According to a post in the New York Times, “It doesn’t matter if you go running every morning, or you’re a regular at the gym. If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting — in cars, office chairs, or on your sofa at home — you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and early death.” 

Cheery I know! And one way to offset the dangers of sitting too much is by… standing. Sitting is one of the most passive things you can do. By standing while you work, your body will burn energy as your leg, core, and back muscles tense to balance. 

The cost of creating a standup working environment is coming down all the time too; so no real excuse not to give this idea a go now either. 

It’s a case of horses for courses, of course! And how any initiative like this might fit with your workplace culture. 

The critical component here is encouragement and providing access to initiatives so that being healthy at work isn’t tricky or perceived as ‘another thing on the to-do’ list. 

Moving on from health initiatives, lets talk about flexible working; something we have started to implement at Excel this past year, which I’ll share later. 

As I mentioned at the start of this podcast, your employees wellbeing isn’t just about physical health. It’s about their overall quality of life too. 

Our lives are multi-faceted. Work is important, but there are so many other things outside of work that give our lives meaning and purpose – things like family, friends, community, hobbies and our own development. 

These things require our time and energy. More often than not, work obligations get in the way, and our wellbeing suffers as a result. 

Allowing for flexible working hours does two things. It empowers employees to alter their work habits to fit their family needs or to keep working on the projects that give their lives additional meaning. 

Perhaps more importantly, it sends a signal that you trust your employees. When you enable employees to set their own schedules as long as they hit deadlines and deliver results, they feel more like partners than corporate drones – and they’ll work that much harder for you. 

Here at Excel, we have implemented flexible working. 

Our trainers are delivering training programmes in nearly every continent across the globe every week. 

This means that our head office team need to be contactable, so we have extended opening hours. We want to deliver an outstanding service to our clients and participants and at the same time look after our Excel team too. 

We have set it up so the Excel team can work from home and still take calls. 

These two strategies could start a huge shift for you and your organisation when it comes to implementing wellbeing at work. 

So, this is Rachel saying bye for now. 

Thanks, 

Rachel Hewitt-Hall 

About Excel Communications  

Excel Communications has a 30+ year history as a global leadership and communication skills company providing training and development to organisations across the globe, view our case studies here. 

We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across four continents in multiple languages. Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854. 

Important 

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