Initiatives such as wellbeing days and mental health training, bring positive and immediate benefits, shine a light on internal policies and procedures, attract publicity externally and offer opportunities to partner with others – like-minded organisations, charities, schools…
Calendar of national health and wellbeing campaigns 2019 to 2020
There are a number of national and global initiatives that can help give an employer-driven programme added focus and which provide fertile ground for learning, idea sharing and collaboration. National and global initiatives can be used as a hook for internal wellbeing and mental health events and give them added reach
According to the Health & Well-Being Report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), 32% of 1,000 people professionals interviewed provided welbeing days for all employees (in 7% of cases it was dependent on grade/seniority).
Organisations increasingly recognise that mental and physical health, good work-life balance, a listening and empathetic workplace culture, when accompanied by the tools and strategies to support these areas, are the bedrock on which both a workforce and a business stand.
“There’s been a huge rise in the number of workplace wellbeing programmes in the UK but the key to their success is not simply in their introduction but their integration. This requires seeing beyond simple improvements in key metrics, such as decreased absenteeism. Workplace wellness is about culture shift,” observed Bec Development MD and founder Helen Tiffany in an article that she wrote in February 2018 when Bec Development offered its first wellbeing programme to clients.
The body of evidence
Since the article was first published, the body of evidence supporting this thinking has grown. The 2018 Future Risk review from the British Safety Council points to the increasing pace of innovation, work insecurity and the drive for efficiency; putting more pressure on people, leading to stress and poor mental wellbeing.
Among the recommendations in the review was the need to build resilience: “The ability of workers to cope with the mental pressure of a changing world of work, including increased collaboration between workers and intelligent machines and robotics, is going to be a key attribute in the future.”
Kick starting or refreshing iniatives
Organising a day of activities to coincide with a national or international key date, such as National Fitness Day in September 2019, or Mental Health Awareness Day in October this year, can be a good way to kick-start a new programme or refresh an existing one.
There are some interesting events to choose from, ranging from global initiatives such as World Mental Health Awareness Day on October 10th 2019 and International Stress Awareness Week in November. International events are a good hook if you are based in more than one country. There are also well established and promoted national events around everything from blood pressure awareness to commuter cycling.
Events such as Cycle to Work Day, held every August, also open up the opportunity to get employee families involved, with company car parks given over to cycle safety checks and and cycling proficiency tests.
Some events are, by their very nature, more thought provoking, such as World Mental Health Day. Some can be handled in a more light-hearted way, such as The Veg Pledge, where people sign up to go vegan or vegetarian for a month. So, what will your organisation choose? See our list for ideas for inspiration.