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How to define workplace wellbeing and achieve it

Better positive mental health among the workforce begins with being able to define workplace wellbeing. When you know exactly what something is, you can identify and address it.

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So, let’s define workplace wellbeing, discuss its importance, and pin-point exactly what to look out for when all may not be well.

What is it? The definition of workplace wellbeing

To define workplace wellbeing, simply: it’s how individuals are doing within an organisation.

It can be thought of in three parts - physical, emotional and financial wellbeing. 

When workplace wellbeing is good, this can look like positive mental health, high job satisfaction, a sense of purpose or meaning, and the ability to manage stress.

When workplace wellbeing is not-so-good, this can look like stress, anxiety, low mood, and feeling detached - both at work and at home. At the extreme end of the scale, work stress can even land individuals in hospital with physical ailments. 

Why does it matter? The importance of workplace wellbeing 

According to Mind, nearly two thirds (60%) of employees said they’d feel more motivated if their employer took action to support mental wellbeing. 

It’s a win-win. Healthy people = healthier business. 

With half a million people in the UK suffering from work-related stress (according to the Health and Safety Executive’s 2016/17 figures), prioritising wellbeing is crucial.  And not only for preventing mental breakdowns - spotting the signs of negative wellbeing in the workplace can boost performance, resilience, retention rates, and engagement in team members. That means more productivity, fewer sick days and a reduced staff turnover.  

Despite good intentions of employers and team-leaders to promote better employee benefits, attempts often fall short. This is because they define workplace wellbeing initiatives as programmes outside of everyday business. They’re not. Making employee wellbeing a priority is an inside job - starting by integrating the following issues throughout a workplace, its culture, leadership and people. 

How to spot workplace wellbeing issues in three simple stages

Now we’ve covered the definition of workplace wellbeing, it’s time for action. Begin with these three steps to pinpoint at-risk individuals and create a happier, healthier place to work:

  1. Check in and communicate

    Open up the conversation around wellbeing - and make it easy. By checking in with a workforce on an individual basis, it gives every single person a chance to share how they’re feeling. It doesn’t have to be complicated, either - learn how to get started with wellbeing check ins.

  2. Listen and identify

    If speaking is silver, listening is gold. Responses from Govox’s employee wellbeing check ins give employers the insights to support employees. Perhaps one individual is becoming particularly self-critical and frustrated, or another is struggling to concentrate - zoning out while trying to work. Govox’s wellbeing dashboard can show this in an easy report format, helping line managers spot crucial mental health warning signs among team members.

  3. Take action and support!

    Following up on honest employee responses and sharing wellbeing reports with individuals can provide support on a more meaningful, useful, and long-term basis. At Govox, our simple and unique wellbeing solutions are designed to show wellbeing across the team at a glance, while also arming managers with the knowledge to have comfortable conversations. 

Mental health in the workplace should not be an afterthought. The healthiest and happiest organisations are proactive in their approach to mental health. They recognise their people are their most precious asset – and that they deserve to be looked after. 

Learn more about how to start discussing mental health with wellbeing awareness training.

Using wellbeing solutions steeped in innovative technology, Govox provides data and insights that helps leaders in schools , sports clubs and the workplace spot at-risk individuals and give much-needed support.


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We’re working hard to put wellbeing at the top of the agenda, whatever the sector and setting. Get the latest insights, expert opinion and news affecting how we all manage mental health.

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