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Holistic employee wellbeing

Published: December 14, 2018

Supporting wellbeing in the workplace has come a long way since the days it was thought of as just encouraging staff to take breaks and eat healthily. Whilst physical wellbeing is still a really important thing to manage, thinking on wellbeing has developed broadly and includes things like mental wellbeing and financial wellbeing today. Research consistently shows that when employees feel their work is meaningful and they are valued and supported, they tend to have higher wellbeing levels, be more committed to the organisation’s goals and, importantly, they perform better too[1].  

Here we look at mental, physical and financial wellbeing and give top tips for fostering employee wellbeing.   

Mental wellbeing 

We all have mental health, just as we have physical health. The good thing is, mental health is being talked about more and more, and many workplaces are becoming more geared up to supporting their employees mental wellbeing.  

Statistics show that when staff feel involved and well informed about what’s happening in the organisation, it increases motivation and helps people understand how their role fits into the bigger picture[1]. Organisations like Mind are paving the way for taking mental health in the workplace seriously.  

How to promote a dialogue between employees and employers in the workplace: 

  • Group activities where employees can actively be a part of the business  
  • Staff surveys and focus groups so employees feel listened to and valued 
  • Clear internal communications so staff know what’s going on in the business 
  • Lead by example and get the board and directors to take mental health seriously and speak about it openly and vulnerably.  

For three out of four people, mental health challenges had affected their ability to enjoy life and 30% said they are ‘occasionally, rarely, or never’ able to enjoy and take part fully in everyday life[2].  


Physical wellbeing 

Work-life balance is a hot topic, there’s even a whole week dedicated to ensuring employees are balancing life well. Developing conversations around employee wellbeing is good for both employees, and organisations. Promoting wellbeing, whatever the type, can help prevent issues rising and create positive working environments where individuals can thrive.  

Office environments 

Creating great office environments is key to any organisation, and employee wellbeing. A work environment directly impacts people’s mood, concentration, focus and performance. If employees work in a poor office setting they won’t feel motivated or energised. That’s why creating a productive work environment is critical to the overall success of your company

Flexible working 

Flexible working is on the rise. We are all time-poor and work-life balance is essential to a healthy, highly productive workforce. To attract and retain the best talent, you need to be flexible. Trust your employees to figure out when they need to be in the office and when to work from home. Enable them to set their own start and finish times to suit their personal circumstances. Create a work environment that helps people manage their lives better. 


Financial wellbeing 

Employers have come a long way in supporting their workforce’s ‘wellbeing’. However, most have only considered physical health and more recently mental health. Now, financial wellbeing is seen as a vital third component to helping staff when they need it most. 

According to Barclays[3], 1 in 10 employees is struggling financially. Anyone who has known people in this situation will appreciate they tend to suffer alone, too scared or embarrassed to talk to anyone. Money worries may begin to affect work, and, in some cases, staff become stressed, unwell or simply leave. 

The challenges for employers are therefore to: 

  • Understand what financial wellbeing is 
  • Recognise how money issues affect staff 
  • Provide support in terms of advice, education and practical help 

For more on financial wellbeing check out this Mitrefinch video of Julie Lock and Chris Flynn talking all things Payroll and how companies can support their employees with financial wellbeing. 


More top tips for supporting employee wellbeing: 

Supporting wellbeing in the workplace is all about two-way communication. If you don’t ask your employees what’s going on, it’s unrealistic that they’ll be open to telling you what’s going on with them. Without knowing what’s going on, it’s near on impossible for you as managers to be able to support your workforce with what’s going in their lives. Be open, be active in listening and be ready to support your staff’s holistic wellbeing. 

  • Mentoring in the workplace – Learning from someone whose been there and done it and experienced the highs and the hard-knocks involved in getting there, is invaluable to any member of your staff looking to progress.  
  • Embed employee engagement – Employees want to feel listened to. By sending out surveys or holding user groups with employees, you’re showing a willingness to learn. 
  • Raise awareness – challenge the stigma and talk about it. No one has everything in their life sorted. Raise employee wellbeing on the leadership agenda and start talking about it openly. Even by talking about it, you can promote an open and accepting working environment.  


1 https://www.mind.org.uk/media/428496/Resource3_HowToPromoteWellBeingFINAL.pdf 

2 https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/over-50s-want-more-flexible-working/  


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