The Power of Journaling

Journaling is a practice that has become increasingly popular as awareness of its benefits grows. Simply put, it is writing down thoughts and feelings regularly, usually daily, to help the writer to understand and process emotions. It is often likened to a more modern version of keeping a diary and is something that everyone can easily do, reaping the positive mental health benefits that come from reflecting on the day.

What are the benefits of journaling?

It may come as a surprise that there are quite so many benefits to journaling but the power of writing down thoughts and feelings to clear the mind should not be underestimated.

  • Helps to practice gratitude

Taking time to appreciate the successes of the day and celebrate these positives can increase life satisfaction and allow people to focus on what they have, opposed to what they lack. In turn, this helps to appreciate the good and alleviate negative thoughts.

  • Time to focus on the self

Dedicating just five minutes a day to sitting down somewhere comfortable and quiet to journal is a great way for people to take time for themselves. It’s also an opportunity to step away from screens and technology and really disconnect from work and the world around to focus on self-awareness and reflection.

  • Improves mental health and wellbeing

Journaling has the potential to significantly improve mental health and allows people to manage their symptoms effectively. It has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression by helping people to manage their feelings and improve memory, aid stress relief, increase optimism and improve general mood.

  • Assists with problem-solving

Writing can help to address problems and overcome them by breaking them down and making them seem more manageable. This enables people to think more clearly and tackle issues without feeling overwhelmed.

  • Benefits creativity and writing skills

Finally, journaling is also a practice that prompts and enhances creativity and allows for development of writing skills, both of which can aid performance at work. People in busy roles often have a million things going through their minds, but journaling can help consolidate these thoughts, set goals and foster clear thinking.

Tips for effective journaling

In order to get the most out of journaling, it’s important to write somewhere relaxing to optimise focus. For it to be most effective, people should get into the habit of writing every day or as regularly as possible. Always keeping the journal to hand means that it’s possible to write down thoughts throughout the day. Some people may choose to have a digital journal, for example, on their phone, which means it is always with them if they want to note something down.

The Centre for Journal Therapy offers the following tips for journaling:

  • W – What do you want to write about? What’s going on? How do you feel? What are you thinking about?
  • R – Review or reflect on it.
  • I – Investigate your thoughts and feelings. Start writing and keep writing. Follow the pen or keyboard. If you get stuck or run out of juice, close your eyes and re-centre yourself. Re-read what you’ve already written and continue writing.
  • T – Time yourself. Write for 5-15 minutes. Write the start time and the projected end time at the top of the page or set a timer on your phone.
  • E – Exit start by re-reading what you’ve written and reflecting on it in a sentence or two at a time. Note any action steps to take.

There are many benefits of journaling and the list goes on. WRKIT’s POWR platform has a reflect feature that provides prompt questions to get people started on the road to reflection and get in tune with thoughts and feelings to improve wellbeing.

This year we are celebrating International Womens Day by showcasing women in leadership.

V is an experienced tech leader, presently leading and growing Slack Engineering teams in EMEA. She works in complex environments and thrives on bringing people from multiple disciplines together to create robust and resilient applications. Having previously led engineering teams in Spotify, she is passionate about leading and growing high performing teams and achieving the best possible results through collaboration and empowerment. She thrives on the ability to convert learning into tangible actions that lift team capability and is a champion for change. She consistently supports, educates and encourages her team through the change process.

Hi V, what advice would you give to women who want to be leaders?

Now is a great time to be or become a female leader. With so many companies embracing diversity and inclusion there are lots of opportunities to step up and into leadership. For companies today, inclusion is not just about getting the numbers right, it is about leveraging unique experiences, creating real opportunities for diversity and seeking out other points of view. Women have a huge amount to offer organisations, in leading teams at all levels and being actively engaged in company boards. The opportunities are far greater now than ever and women can confidently go for these roles.

What has helped you build your confidence in the workplace?

Knowing my strengths really well and relying on them. One of the key strengths that I know I have and that others have acknowledged in me, is that I am a relational person. People and connection are really important to me. This has helped me be a strong collaborator, as I seek out my team members’ ideas and opinions, and I rely on their feedback, as well as looking to others who have experience and provide input and guidance. Often I am not the most experienced in the room on a certain topic, so I look to my other members to chip in and I help support their growth and confidence to do this – whether it is presentation skills, critical or strategic thinking etc. So another key strength is openness and a willingness to learn, sometimes then being in a support role as a leader.

Amongst the women you’ve worked with, what are some of their traits you admire?

I really admire women that are inclusive of difference, kind to others in the workplace and supportive of other female leader journeys. I am particularly interested in the support and growth of other women leaders as I have experienced this in my leadership journeys. Leaders who were willing to take a chance on me and to provide a guiding hand when needed, to speak up for my competence. These female leaders help bring our voice and influence to the table.

Can you name a woman who has inspired you the most?

Cliche I know, but I would have to say my mother. She came from a difficult background, worked really hard and made me feel like I could be or do anything in life. Like the female leaders I admire, she actively encouraged me and did not put obstacles in my way. She helped facilitate me and my sister being the first in our family to go to university.

Another inspiration to me is former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I loved how she could articulate issues of diversity so well and so clearly, with the skill of keeping the dialogue open, non-threatening and moving forward.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a female leader?

In my role I am learning all the time, as it is a fast paced ever changing landscape, so I have learned to be myself. With so much rapidly changing and with Covid being a good example of needing to be able to adapt quickly, I have learned to rely on my own abilities. I don’t shy away from or apologise for being a woman. I openly share my challenges and experiences as a woman in tech. Openness and vulnerability is a strength and I trust that whenever I am honest and vulnerable with my team they are there for me, as I am for them.

What are some strategies that can help women achieve success in the workplace, especially in male-dominated industries?

Seek out mentors. Consider a more senior male from your company as a mentor. They can help you navigate the internal landscape and help you unlock your impact. In return, you may open their eyes to some of the struggles women face and help them by becoming an ally for other women. With other female leaders I encourage them to also be a good ally for other women along the way, so more women are encouraged into leadership and the numbers get better.

What do you think are the biggest challenges ahead for the next generation of female leaders?

The biggest challenge I see is women trusting their own inner voices and embracing the unique aspects of female presence, female experience and acknowledging them as both personal and organizational assets.

Can you recall any biases or assumptions made about you?

I have seen times when I am held to a higher standard than my male counterparts or when I feel like I have to prove myself over and over again. Sadly, I have seen this play out around project assignments – e.g. This project is tough. We better give it to Bob. Although this may be happening unconsciously, it is an impediment to female leaders as they need to be given a chance to show what they can do. Leaders, whether male or female, need to open the doors wider to give women that chance to prove themselves. When we do this more often, I believe the culture will be enriched for our doing so.

Building the healthy daily habits for Wellness Success

In recent years there has been a substantial rise in various online and mobile wellness apps. The main areas of focus being on measuring sleep, promoting meditation, engaging in physical exercises such as steps, running or cycling, mood monitoring, an increased awareness of nutritional intake and measuring the effects of positive psychology on thinking and on mood.

Why is this?

Research now shows that the regular practise of a variety of healthy habits can have a significant impact on increasing physical health and psychological wellbeing. Findings show that one of the keys to this is completing some focused wellbeing actives in a manageable and integrated way. The message here is: Little and often.

Various apps such as Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer have been created to attend to many of these areas, as has our employee wellbeing tool POWR – Positive Occupational Wellness Resources which has taken it one step further. Not only does POWR measure overall health and wellbeing, but it provides unique personalised health plans to help easily enhance a person’s overall wellbeing and education. Sitting within POWR are over 420 clinical plans designed to help staff engage with their wellbeing, with built in push technology to provide some much-needed encouragement in achieving greater results. POWR plans target the 6 keys areas of wellbeing – mind, life, work, sleep, active and food; with plans added each month, alongside a huge number of new blogs, articles and videos.

How to get the best from a wellness application?

With an app like POWR and others such as Calm, the design taps into several scientific research findings which shows that key areas to invest in and create healthy habits with are:

  • Regular meditation
  • Focused breathing
  • Mild exercise
  • Positive thinking

The analysis of various research shows that regular meditation significantly improves areas such as stress, anxiety, depression, quality of life, and emotion regulation (mood). Longer term it also improves other areas such as general positivity, self-generated positive emotions and can provide real benefits to close relationships and social outcomes.

Further research shows that regular mild exercise also has a significant effect on psychological wellbeing, while more moderate exercise has a significant effect on depression and anxiety, comparable with usual psychological care. Based on these findings and others, POWR brings this research all together and provides easy access to hundreds of clinical plans in each of the 6 targeted areas, making it accessible, available and easy to log into to work on wellbeing, every single day. With built in meditations, visual and auditory breathing exercises and a positive psychology reinforcing reflection tool, it really supports and promotes the benefits of these finds.

Take the challenge!

POWR is the ideal tool to help employees create healthy habits. To encourage this we have also created the POWR Formula for Success, which includes challenges in the areas of exercise, meditation, positive psychology journalling, wellness and stress relief articles and focused breathing challenges, to complement the 6 pathways in POWR which are always available for users to interact with, complete plans in and grow their wellbeing. This POWR challenge is designed to quickly get staff involved over a two weeks’ timeframe as a company challenge to help them feel healthier, socialise what they are doing, be more active and be more in tune with how they want to be.

Q&A | How Smart Recruiting Will Change Your Life

At Wrkit, our mission is to help organisations cultivate happy, healthier working environments, to strengthen and retain a talented workforce. We know an important element of retention starts with attracting the right candidates and finding the right fit for your company. With that in mind we have teamed up with recruitment software company, BidRecruit, to help you hire smarter. BidRecruit simplify difficult & time-consuming tasks so you can focus on finding the right person. In this series of blogs we will discuss current recruitment trends and tips and tools available to you to enhance your recruitment.

Q1: Tell us about BidRecruit  

BidRecruit was founded in 2016 by 2 recruitment specialists who saw a gap in the market and knew there was an easier, more efficient way to hire. BidRecruit utilises the principle of 3 steps to successful hiring: engage, manage, report. Our software allows you to post a job across all major job boards, social media and your careers page in one easy step. Then with our A.I. technology and automation we have streamlined the complete hiring process from scoring and matching CVs to interview scheduling and team collaboration. Also, an important element of our software is the ability to analyse how you hire, improving the process whilst making real savings. Our clients have seen a 50% reduction in hiring admin and up to 75% savings on recruitment costs. Most importantly, our clients have seen a genuine improvement in the quality of candidates and people they hire.

Q2: What are the biggest challenges your clients face when hiring?

For nearly all of our clients, the number one challenge they face is candidate volume & quality. We are now in a candidate driven market, with 70% of candidates being passive job seekers i.e. they’re not even looking for a job! Therefore to attract the right talent, you need to be seen. As our software allows you to post to every major job board, social media and your careers pages, we are giving your roles more exposure. Where one job board might be effective for one role, it may not be the case for another. When it comes to recruitment it’s not a “one size fits all” and we have a way to combat that. Further to this, how people hire has to change and adapt, the old method of recruitment is outdated and very time intensive, many HR Managers state that recruitment is 25% of their job but takes up 95% of their time! There is an imperative need to improve efficiency, allowing more time to focus on employee engagement and retention.

Q3: What trends in recruitment do you see growing in 2019?

Definitely companies embracing A.I. and automation to recruit is the biggest trend we see growing in 2019. This is in large part due to the above points, to save time and to increase candidate quality & volume. Further to this, it helps you to hire smarter. Use of A.I. & automation allows you to take back more control of the important ‘human’ elements of hiring. Removing admin during recruitment allows you to focus on interviewing, researching and considering the most suitable candidates. Another area of focus in 2019 is candidate experience. With review platforms like Glassdoor and Indeed becoming increasingly popular, companies have to ensure candidates feel positively about their experience irrespective of their hiring success. As a recent LinkedIn survey reported, 83% of talent says a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked. Where a lot of companies fall down is a lack of communication at screening and interviewing stage. For many hiring managers and HR departments this is of course not intentional but due to time constraints when replying to all candidates. Again, automation is an excellent way to overcome this issue as it allows you to instantly communicate with multiple candidates, therefore improving candidate experience.

Q4: What tip would you give to hiring or HR managers looking to invest in HR software?

Do your homework on what you actually need. Where companies might not see the value in recruitment software due to tight budgets, if you hire more than 5 people a year you definitely would see the benefits of software. Do the maths on the cost per hire i.e. recruitment and social marketing costs, potential recruiter costs, sponsored job boards, onboarding & training costs, benefits, relocation costs etc. You would be surprised how much it is costing you to hire and where you are possibly investing money in the wrong places. The best place to start is with your HR team, survey the team to ascertain where their pain points are, where they need to see improvements and what their goals and objectives are for the year. Where your company may not have had the capacity to focus on employee engagement previously, taking on recruitment software and investing in employee engagement strategies combined can drastically improve the quality of new hires and your employee retention rate.

Join us next time where we will discuss in more detail the importance of candidate experience when hiring and our top tips to ensure your hiring experience is at its best.

Interviewee:  

Susan Comyn, Marketing Manager @ BidRecruit

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancomyn

About BidRecruit:

BidRecruit is A.I. driven recruitment software for HR & Hiring Managers to help you hire smarter.

More info:

www.bidrecruit.io

Connect:

LinkedIn

Facebook

Instagram

Why wellness programmes need to address financial wellbeing

Over the past two years, we have seen an increasing number of corporates turning attention to employee wellbeing. Reassuringly, there is a greater tendency toward long term sustainable wellbeing strategies, moving away from the traditional annual wellbeing week. Most organisations we meet offer their employees a diverse range of talks, supports such as EAP, and fitness programmes. However, a truly holistic wellness programme needs to go one step further to include financial wellbeing supports. According to the findings of a 2016 Financial Wellness Survey, “finances play a leading role in elevating stress levels for 52% of employees”. Hence there is a significant need to incorporate financial wellness initiatives to help employees manage debt, reduce stress and live happier lives.

Here are five services you can consider for your financial wellness programme.

  1. Literature and free supports: make sure there is literature available for all to access. Services such as MABS offer free advice for people managing debt and offer a free helpline. Keep this information visible throughout the year.
  2. Seminars: talks and seminars are a great way to educate a large audience. There is a myriad of experts who can give high level advice around budgeting and saving. Given the sensitive nature of money and debt these talks should be skills based and offer something for those who may not be in debt as well as those who are.
  3. 1 to 1 consultation:  consultations provide a unique opportunity for individuals to discuss their personal money challenges. Advisors will be in a position to help identify upcoming expenses and put a plan in place to ensure future financial goals are achieved.
  4. Offer discounts: any opportunity where you can help your workforce to reduce their everyday cost of living will contribute toward less stress and an overall happier workforce. Employee discount platforms will help individuals save on everything from grocery shopping, to fuel and holidays to family excursions to the cinema.
  5. Pensions: planning for future financial security can help reduce money worries, however in recent years there has been a concerning downward trend in the number of adults with private pensions and for most people, the state pension alone will not suffice. Offering pension contributions is vital and ensuring employees understand where their money is going, potential return, and risks will alleviate concerns and increase the numbers of people availing of this benefit.

Financial wellness programmes should be designed to demystify the world of financial planning and equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to manage debt and save for the future.

Author: Peter Jenkinson, CEO @ Wrkit

Wrkit specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments. Our platform connects global, remote and local teams through five modules; Surveys, Recognition, POWR, Learning and Savings. Speak to an Engagement Specialist today – info@wrkit.com

Combating presenteeism in the workplace

Presenteeism is the phenomenon of employees coming into work when they are sick or injured, instead of staying at home. It has also been termed “sickness presence”, and it is thought that workers in ill-health are likely to be ineffective and unproductive, which can result in increased financial costs and stress-related absenteeism in the long run – it is estimated that presenteeism costs the UK economy up to £15.1 billion annually.

Therefore, addressing presenteeism in the workplace is something that should be taken seriously. There is some preliminary but promising evidence that workplace health promotion may be effective in improving presenteeism. By promoting a healthy workplace, and by being conscious of the factors that may contribute to presenteeism, organisations can target this phenomenon, enhance productivity, and improve overall employee well-being in the workplace.

Organisational policies

Certain organisational policies may play a role in presenteeism. Policies regarding sick leave, sick pay, and attendance may lead to employees feeling like they cannot be absent from work. In particular, a lack of paid sick leave and disciplinary “trigger points” with regards to absent episodes are thought to foster presenteeism. It is important that employers review such policies to ensure that sickness presence is not encouraged over legitimate sick leave.

Job design

Job design features may also stimulate presenteeism. Employees in high-demand jobs may wish to maintain high levels of performance and may therefore engage in presenteeism when they are unwell. Job demands include the physical, cognitive, and social features of a role that require sustained physical and psychological effort – it is therefore imperative that the demands of a job are not so high that an employee feels under pressure to meet all of these demands, even when they are unwell.

Ease of replacement is another feature which impacts on presenteeism – if employees feel that sick leave will result in their work piling up, this will also trigger presenteeism. Reasons why other employees may not be able to assist with sick colleagues’ workloads include lean staffing, high specialisation, and a lack of cross-training. Furthermore, employees may be inclined to be present when they are unwell if they feel that it is unfair for colleagues to have to take on more work. All of these features influence whether or not an individual engages in presenteeism, and so management should provide opportunities for cross-training and should encourage communication among all staff regarding what is considered fair and reasonable with regards to the replacement of work.

Presenteeism cultures

Some studies have found that presenteeism cultures may contribute to sickness presence. In certain organisations, employees can experience presenteeism pressures, particularly when there exists “competitive presenteeism” cultures. Such cultures can demand long work hours, the foregoing of recuperation time after business trips, and working while sick. Management should ensure that competitive presenteeism is not encouraged.

Individual risk factors

It is also important to consider the individual factors which may put individuals at greater risk of presenteeism. It is thought that potential risk factors include a poor diet, a lack of exercise, high stress, certain health conditions, and poor relations with peers and management. It is therefore important that employers address these factors, by encouraging healthy food options, activity in the workplace, and open communication with all staff, as well as by educating employees on the importance of looking after their personal health and their workplace relationships.

Measuring presenteeism

Organisations face a challenge when it comes to actually measuring presenteeism, as there is currently no universal agreement on the most appropriate method for measuring the concept. However, several self-report measures have been developed, which may prove useful for organisations. These instruments require employees answering various questions with regards to the degree to which they believe that health issues hinder them in performing the tasks required of their roles. Examples of some of these measures which could be incorporated include the Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ), Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI), and the Stanford Presenteeism Scale (SPS).

A positive work environment

It is thought that creating a positive work environment can help to reduce health risks and improve productivity in the workplace. While being aware of the organisational and individual factors which may contribute to presenteeism is important, it is just as vital to encourage a healthy and positive work environment, to defend against sickness presence. Workplace health promotion can have a variety of benefits for employers and employees alike, such as increased satisfaction and productivity, improved morale, reduced costs and turnover, and improved company profile. Some examples of workplace health promotion activities include:

  • Measures to improve the working environment, such as assessments and audits on manual handling, display screens, and stress
  • Organisational policies that encourage a work-life balance and that discourage sickness presence
  • Education for employees on health-related topics such as exercise, healthy eating, alcohol, smoking, stress, heart disease, and cancer
  • Health screenings for employees
  • Providing free or subsidised healthy food options
  • Encouraging employees to engage in physical activity throughout the day, e.g. during their lunch break
  • Providing health insurance and GP visits

Guest Author, Jennifer Fennell, Counseling Psychologist

Sources:

https://www.robertsoncooper.com/blog/entry/five-ways-to-reduce-presenteeism-in-the-workplace

https://journals.lww.com/joem/Abstract/2013/11000/Health_Risk_Factors_Associated_With_Presenteeism.10.aspx

https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-11-395

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/job.630

Alternative Ideas for National Workplace Wellbeing Day

How we work has changed dramatically over the last decade. The average worker now spends over 90,000 hours at work, doing jobs which are more sedentary than ever. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight. Of these, over 650 million adults were obese. Furthermore, the WHO estimates that globally over 300 million people are affected by depression, predicting that by 2021 occupational stress will be the leading cause of absenteeism and presenteeism at work.

Initiatives like the National Workplace Wellbeing Day, which takes place on Friday 13th of April 2018 are fundamental in raising awareness of these health challenges. Now in its fourth year running the Irish initiative is becoming increasingly well supported, promoting healthy workplaces and employee wellbeing in organisations of all sizes. Whether an organisation has a formal wellbeing strategy in place or not, this day should be a pillar event in the calendar.

Getting involved.

The core event which is driven by the organisers is the Lunchtime Mile – walk, run or cycle. This event has potential to become a regular fixture in every organisation, it is inclusive for people of all abilities and is aimed towards developing sustainable healthy behaviours and contribute to recommended daily exercise. While an organisation might offer other activities on the day, the Lunchtime Mile should be a standard inclusion for every business.

If you are looking for something outside the box here’s a few Wrkit tried and tested ideas.

  1. 11am desk work out: a five-minute fixture which accommodates everyone. Pick five exercises which take minimal space and use only body weight – desk triceps dips; desk push-ups; star jumps; lunges; squats; wall-sits; calf raises; knee lifts; punching etc. At 11am encourage everyone in the organisation to complete each exercise for a minute (allowing people to chose variations to suit their own abilities). It’s important to identify “leaders” to drive participation and give exercise examples.
  2. On the hour exercise challenge: studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time can have a negative impact on over-all health, contributing to obesity and related disease. The Start Active, Stay Active report published by the British Department of Health, Physical Activity, Health Improvement and Protection, suggests breaking up long periods of sitting with short bouts of activity for just one or two minutes. Get the team moving with wall sits, planks, sit-ups or an exercise of their choice for 1 minute every hour.
  3. Health food bake off: when it comes to weight loss, diet accounts for 75% while exercise 25%. Have a healthy bake off on April 13th and use it is an opportunity to educate people about food. Request participants to share details of ingredients, why they are healthy and provide recipes to share with everyone. Consider a prize for the best and healthiest dish to encourage more people to get involved.

There are hundreds of things an organisation can do, you’ll find other suggestions here on the official website where you can also register your organisation to participate.

Get involved and get on twitter using the official hashtag #workwell18. Share your outside the box ideas with us @WrkitTweets

 

Wrkit Launches New Look Learning Centre

March 7th 2018: Wrkit launch new integrated learning centre.

Today, Wrkit has upgraded their clients to a new look learning centre. The update gives a more streamlined user journey and is one of several product design updates planned by Wrkit for the coming months.

While the learning content currently remains the same, the latest design accommodates an easier three click-journey for users. The umbrella module, Learning, features existing modules Easy Upskill and Learn Plus, with the potential to easily integrate future learning tools. Users can continue to utilise hundreds of online courses for less, upskilling in areas such as excel, photography and graphic design, or develop personal interests with courses in nutrition, wellbeing, writing and more.

Wrkit CEO, Katharina Callaghan commented in relation to the new update

“We are delighted to have merged our Learning offers under one roof. The new navigation is more fun and clearer through a simple 1,2,3 step approach.

Over the next few months the Wrkit platform will receive an overall facelift, continuing from our most recent updates to the Lifestyle Saving module. A clear, simple, colourful layout with encouraging messaging will enhance the user experience throughout our platform.”

Other design updates by the company are expected to go live from the end of March 2018.

If you have any questions regarding Wrkit products, please contact info@wrkit.com or +353 1 662 4170

 

8 Step Wellbeing Strategy

According to research conducted by Mercer in 2017, 53% of employees want their company to focus more on their health and wellness. For those companies who are stepping up and implementing wellbeing strategies, they are likely to see several business benefits including improved employee retention. Research conducted in conjunction with Ireland’s 2017 National Workplace Wellbeing Day found that six out of ten employees are more likely to stay long term with an employer that shows concern for their wellbeing.

While every organisation is different there are two fundamental drivers which will make or break the success of a wellbeing strategy. The first is board level backing. Whether your organisation is 20 or 20,000 people a wellbeing strategy will need to be backed by top level directors and integrated within an organisation’s overall business strategy. The second, which is overlooked by many organisations, is having a defined owner responsible for delivering the strategy. Often wellbeing is amalgamated within the traditional HR role but is frequently not defined as an aspect of the job specification or contract. Without ownership or accountability, a wellbeing strategy is destined to fail. That’s not to say their needs to be role created to manage workplace wellbeing as depending on the size of an organisation that may not be necessary. But by simply formalising responsibility within an existing role – ideally with someone who is passionate about wellbeing, this will yield greater success.

Assuming you have board level backing and an eager owner, now how do you create a high impact wellbeing strategy?

  1. Define a Healthy Workplace – for every organisation the definition of what a healthy workplace is will vary. Defining this for your organisation at the start provides a reference point for future programs or ideas – will implementing X help us achieve Y
  2. Ask Your Workforce – Use a survey to gather feedback before acting. Anecdotal feedback is great but to gain a true insight into employee perception and needs leverage a survey
  3. Outline Measurements – A reoccurring theme surrounding wellbeing strategies is how best to measure them. Do you measure impact or engagement? Engagement is a key metric as it highlights several things including awareness of programs. Impact can be more challenging to measure. Monitoring retention figures and absenteeism over a long period of time can provide some insights but in general impact can be hard to quantify
  4. Set Objectives or Goals – Once you have outlined your measurement metric set targets, whether they are usage numbers, survey scores or certification (such as great place to work). Defining a goal will give your wellbeing driver something to work towards
  5. A Multi-Tiered Approach – human health is not merely physical, it is also emotional and mental. To have the most positive impact a workplace wellbeing strategy needs to address all three areas and account for everyone in an organisation. Healthy eating, getting active, manager and peer feedback, social events, learning, and mental health support should all feature as part of a wellbeing strategy
  6. Plan Long-term – even the most comprehensive wellbeing strategies won’t have an impact in the short-term. Invest in long-term programs and allocate sufficient resources to drive them
  7. Tie it All Together – use every event, challenge or tool to link back to other initiatives. For example, a guest speaker could refer attendees to an upcoming company charity drive or the running club etc. Layering strategies will ensure each program or initiative compliments the next
  8. Communicate New & Old – there are lots of tips out there for launching a new wellbeing program or tool but it’s equally important to keep existing initiatives in people’s sights.

The overarching objective for a healthy workplace strategy should be to cultivate an environment which facilitates positive behaviour change. It is important to take into consideration any unique challenges your workforce or environment might present. Is your workforce of a specific age demographic, are they remote or mobile? Plan for these challenges and strive to meet the needs of those most in-need.

Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing Manager – Wrkit

Sources:

https://www.mercer.com/content/dam/mercer/attachments/global/webcasts/global-talent-trends-2017-europe.pdf

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/work/employers-must-actively-promote-staff-wellbeing-1.3028969

https://blog.wrkit.com/2018/01/18/surveys-understand-and-improve/

https://blog.wrkit.com/2017/06/02/8-actions-to-successfully-launch-a-wellness-tool/

 

4 Observations from #MHWS 2017

This year for the first time we (the Wrkit team) exhibited at Dublin’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Summit. Now in its second year running the event was well supported and attended; a great opportunity to showcase out employee wellbeing tool ‘POWR’. Speakers included sporting celebrity ‘Brent Pope’, Medical Director of St. Patrick’s Mental Hospital ‘Prof Jim Lucey’, CEO of Great Places To Work Ireland ‘John Ryan’ and many other experts from the fields of psychology, nutrition, meditation and exercise.

The broad range of topics attracted a diverse demographic of attendees. It was exciting and inspiring to see so much interest in mental health and to meet those proactive people pursuing change. Here are our four key observations from the day:

  1. There’s a thirst for mental health knowledge – From the minute the doors opened until 5pm when they closed there was a constant flow of people. At every break attendees were keen to collect leaflets, ask questions and most of all, learn about mental health. Depression, anxiety and stress are on the rise, this is driving people’s desire to learn about the causes, prevention and treatment for mental health problems.
  2. The construction industry is taking mental health seriously – Research tells us that men are less likely to talk about their mental health concerns. Promisingly, international construction group SISK were a headline sponsor of this year’s event. Representatives from various other organisations in the construction sector where also attracted to the event, looking for information on employee wellbeing solutions and hoping to expand their mental health knowledge.
  3. Teachers want mental health support – There was a lot of a teacher traffic, some seeking knowledge to help support their students while many were looking for mental health support for themselves and their colleagues. The Department of Education doesn’t currently offer supports for teachers however we spoke to representatives from many schools who are taking proactive steps, putting measures in place for themselves.
  4. Technology has its place in managing mental health – The host of exhibitors who attended were offering information and showcasing products of all kinds. There were multiple providers of corporate wellness tools – everything from office fruit providers to holistic therapies. POWR was the only product of its kind, receiving strong praise for its global scalability, clinical backing and ‘millennial suitability’. Mental health professionals from all areas were keen to see product demonstrations and ask questions.

If you missed us at the Mental Health & Wellbeing Summit but would like some POWR product information or a product demo get in touch today – info@wrkit.com

Author – Sara Glynn, Marketing Manager – Wrkit