Workplace wellness and wellbeing: Beyond the buzzwords
Last month we jumped online to hear about ‘Counting on U’, a program led by a smarty pants team of dedicated researchers from Deakin Business School. Counting on you is a training program that aims to equip business professionals with the skills required to improve workplace wellness and wellbeing for colleagues and clients.
Wellness and wellbeing are not just buzzwords, they are increasingly being recognised as a key component to workplace and business success. Gone are the days when the sole focus of business was meeting deadlines and reaching targets. Today, businesses are dedicating time to building thriving workplaces where the overall wellbeing of staff is prioritised.
Differentiating between wellness and wellbeing can get confusing and often people assume they are one and the same, interchangeable words. However, there is a distinct difference between the two. Wellness is defined as a self-owned responsibility, it’s an individual pursuit to improve one’s own health, the actions you take. Whereas wellbeing is the sense of having achieved those actions and the positive feelings and outcomes that are a result. It’s also important to remember that although wellness is a personal pursuit, it is workplace leaders’ responsibility to ensure the environment is set up and tools are in place to promote and support this pursuit for each individual.
You may have heard people say “Work smarter, not harder” over the past few years, a popular mantra across modern workplace. This philosophy encompasses everything from innovation in task efficiency, better leverage of resources, improved results with less exertion, and everything in between that ultimately leads to reduced stress and greater enjoyment within the workplace.
Workplace wellness encompasses the physical, mental, and emotional health of individuals. It reaches beyond the basic token policies and team afternoon teas to create an ecosystem that robustly supports holistic wellbeing and strives for ‘work-life balance’ becoming less of a myth and more of a reality.
The ‘Counting on U’ team highlight the need for business leaders to acknowledge the three pillars to achieving workplace mental health and wellbeing:
Preventing harm in the workplace encompasses those actions we take to build mentally healthy workplaces. This should include business leaders taking the time to recognise potential psychosocial hazards and identify practical steps to mitigate them. And let’s not forget the development of robust and useful policies to support staff across a multitude of workplace areas; anything that helps employees feel confident in the workplace and their leaders. Taking the time to think about building steps to avoid issues rather than waiting for them to become a problem aides harm prevention.
Promoting the positive. Now we have put steps in place to prevent harm, we must ensure we act on those steps to physically and mentally support our staff and colleagues on a daily basis. Actions speak louder than words! Promote training and coaching within the workplace to build skill sets and resilience.
And finally, responding to problems. Workplaces must recognise that staff and colleagues are made up of experiences from a 24 hour period. The life “stuff” that affects us when we are not at work, will have an impact on our working selves, and vice versa. Do you have a service provided to your staff that supports mental health and wellbeing, that instils confidence in them that they mean more to the business than just role they were employed to do?
Work Safe Victoria have a wonderful website which acts as a toolkits for small businesses wanting to learn more about creating a mentally safe workplace, you can check it out here.
Factotum are pretty proud that we can offer our team additional support to help bolster a mentally healthy working environment including:
- Additional superannuation to help bridge the gender gap and provide a greater sense of security
- Five additional leave days, dedicated to Wellness and Community connection
- Flexible working conditions that allow for a greater work life balance
- Fostering an open culture of feedback and discussion
- Open minded team members willing to engage in professional development within the areas of wellness and a dedication to consistently improving the workplace environment.
Here’s to continually ‘Counting on U’ and making mentally safe workplaces.