Blue Monday: an employer’s survival guide
April is officially Stress Awareness Month. According to the HSE, over 11 million days are lost at work every year because of workplace stress. As an employer, not only do you have to protect your business from lost time and productivity due to stress, you’re also legally obliged to protect employees from stress at work.
Since we believe that healthy, happy employees make better businesses, we’re going to take a look at four businesses with innovative and inspiring employee wellbeing programmes and how you can start implementing some of these ideas for your people.
Impossible to talk about employee wellbeing and not talk about Google. With everything from on-site doctors and fitness centres to cooking classes and coding degrees on offer, the search engine powerhouse isn’t short on employee-friendly initiatives. They’re also not short of money either…
While you may not have the budget to install a workplace gym (who does?!) there are a few cheap and even free things you can do to prioritise your employee’s physical health.
Whether you’ve got gym addicts in your business or those who love the great outdoors, you can find a way to cater for them. If there’s gym’s local to your area, you can negotiate corporate membership schemes that pass on savings to your team. And don’t forget, the Cycle to Work scheme is an ideal way to encourage employees to keep moving, go green and they save on tax contributions.
Wellness isn’t just about the body, it’s about taking care of mental health too. Business management consulting company Accenture offers a full range of support for their people, tackling issues like stress, anxiety and depression.
Here at Citation, we have a full team of Mental Health First Aiders. It’s the same, in theory, as a traditional First Aider, but the focus is on topics surrounding mental health.
Whether someone is feeling stressed, anxious, or is struggling with a more chronic mental health issue, our Mental Health First Aiders are here to spot the signs and reach out to provide support and assistance.
St. John’s Ambulance run two-day training courses, which makes it an affordable but flexible strategy for any business.
Media streaming giant Netflix has a pretty unique take on annual leave. All salaried employees can take off as much time as they want, and holidays aren’t tracked. Their reasoning? It sits in-line with how the modern workplace functions. Often, people will respond to emails at weekends or stay late in the week. Their holiday policy is designed to give their people the flexibility to work in ways that suit their lives.
Netflix has a very, very unique policy. But that’s not to say that you can’t make flexibility a real bonus for your colleagues. Everyone has different demands outside of work, from family to health requirements so if possible, try offering flexible working hours. It can encourage loyalty and allows people to work when they can accomplish most.
Alternately, you can offer at-home working days. Whether it be once a week, once a month or on an ad-hoc basis, remote working can bust stress by helping people work distraction-free in their own environment.
A great way to give your people an added ‘feel good factor’ when it comes to their time spent at work is to encourage community volunteering. HSBC UK gives their employees a number of days a year in which they can lend their time to a charity of their choice or gives them the freedom to start their own charitable project with a local charity.
A 2016 study shows that 89% of employees had a greater level of job satisfaction when they were given time to volunteer by the company.
Here at Citation, we’re trialling volunteer days as a teambuilding exercise. Our contact centre colleagues have recently chosen to forgo a team meal in favour for donating their time to prepare and distribute food for the homeless.
A greater connection to the community can lead to increased happiness, reduced stress and is a great way to cement your reputation within the area your business is based.
Whether you need advice dealing with heightened levels of employee stress or would like to take advantage of a fully-equipped Employee Assistance Programme, our team of HR, Employment Law and Health & Safety experts are on-hand day and night to support you and your people.
To get Citation on your side in the fight against workplace stress, just fill in your details in the form below and we’ll be in touch.
And if you’re already a client? Just get in touch on our 24/7 advice line on 0345 844 4848.
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