Did you know that 78% of business leaders increased investment in the health and wellbeing of their team in the last two years? According to our Get Fit For Business report, they did so because they believe that healthier people are both happier and more productive.
Are you looking after your team’s health and wellbeing? Even if there isn’t much space in your budget to increase spend right now, there are lots of low cost, high-impact options to get your team feeling fit for business in 2022.
To make it easy for you, we’ve looked into five great ways to boost employee wellbeing that suit the biggest and smallest of budgets.
Spend time, not money
If some or all of your team are working remotely for some or all of the time, it can be tricky to get everyone in the same room on a regular basis. And that lack of contact might be weighing on the wellbeing of individuals who need social stimulation to thrive.
A quick, easy and completely free solution is to schedule a short online meeting in everyone’s diaries a few days a week that they can join from wherever they are. Not for long and not for any particular work-related discussion, but simply to say hi and chat as a team. If your business is small enough, get everyone on the call. If it’s larger, encourage managers to schedule smaller sessions with their specific team.
The success of this strategy depends on everyone treating the meeting in the spirit in which it was intended. You can model this by setting the tone. Steer clear of talking about work and simply shoot the breeze about weekend plans, football scores or the latest season of Bake Off.
When you and your team connect like this on a personal level, you build stronger professional relationships on a foundation of empathy, trust and understanding.
Supercharge the snacks
If your team is back in the office, a simple way to keep them feeling healthy is to make sure there’s plenty of nutrient-rich snacks on hand. Assuming your business is already offering snacks to employees, take stock of what’s included in your weekly order. If you’re maximising the biscuits but minimising the bananas, it might be time to re-think your approach.
No one is saying you should put an embargo on chocolate digestives or lock away the coffee machine. You’d probably have mutiny on your hands if you did. But there’s no harm in offering healthier alternatives like almonds or green tea so that your team can find a balance.
And if you’re not currently offering snacks to your staff, now might be a great time to start. Something as simple as an easily-accessible fruit bowl could go a long way to giving your people a much needed vitamin-boost. There are plenty of ways to do this ranging from a weekly order from a local supermarket to companies that specialise in office snack deliveries.
And don’t forget to factor yourself into the food equation. According to our Get Fit For Business report, 83% of business leaders do their best work when they eat well as well as get enough sleep and exercise.
Be an advocate for action
Unless the kind of work you do has your team on their feet, chances are there’s little time left for exercise during business hours. Apart from the obvious effects on their fitness and physical health, a sedentary lifestyle could be impacting your team’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
You can advocate for a more active lifestyle in a number of ways that cater to a full spectrum of fitness abilities and enthusiasm. Here are a few to consider:
Encourage employees to try our friend Mr Motivator’s “YWLT” combination, outlined in this quick video. It’s a selection of simple shoulder stretches they can do from the comfort of their office chair.
Challenge your team (or teams, if your business is larger) to build walking meetings into their routine. This is a great option for stand ups or quick check-ins that don’t rely on slide decks, note-taking or sharing screens.
If you have a social committee, ask them to arrange fitness-related events, from entering into sponsored runs or charity walks to checking out the local bowling alley.
Think about including exercise in your staff benefits such as a cycle-to-work scheme or discounted gym membership – bonus points if that’s linked to health insurance.
If you’re like 71% of business leaders feeling less fit after lockdown, you’ll benefit from bringing exercise into your work day too.
Be mindful of mental health
It’s no secret that the last two years have taken a toll on many people’s mental health. Almost three quarters of business leaders say they hid stress from their team and almost a quarter have been left feeling burnt out. Both you and your team could be in need of some emotional support or strategies to better manage stress.
Derek Evans, AKA Mr Motivator says “allocating just 10% of each hour to yourself can make you mentally stronger. We all need that, don't we? And if you are feeling stressed in any way, just doing some deep breathing exercises in between meetings can give you some much needed me-time. These are all just small steps which yield big results, bringing you closer to a healthier state of mind.”
Members of your team might not want to open up about their mental health in the workplace but there are ways you can be supportive without overstepping.
Simply putting up posters in public spaces around the office detailing where to access help is a great start. There are a multitude of public, private and non-profit organisations that offer free mental health support online, over the phone or in-person. You could also consider sending a few willing employees to mental health first aid training or include support services in your staff benefits.
Healthy people, healthy business
The single most important thing you can do when it comes to health and wellbeing is to remember that people make a business. You and your team will do your best work when you’re well looked after.
Pushing yourselves to the limits might be necessary once in a while but it won’t be sustainable long-term. Check in with your team about how many extra hours they’re putting in and how often, whether their workload is realistic or if their to-do list is manageable. Are they getting enough sleep? Time with their family and friends? Are they fueling their productivity with good nutrition and regular exercise?
And, importantly, ask yourself the same questions.
Healthy people are key to a happy and productive workforce and your wellbeing is essential to your success as a leader. When you take time for self-care and create a culture where your team does the same, everyone benefits from a healthier way to do business.
It’s time to get ready and warmed up for a happier, healthier, financially fit 2022. Download the report today.