With the new year comes new beginnings, a fresh start and an opportunity to create new healthier habits that last.
Researchers have shown that one in five of us will enter 2022 with New Year’s resolutions in mind. According to one survey the most popular resolutions last year focused on health and wellbeing, including eating healthier (39%), doing more exercise (50%) and managing stress levels (35%).
But wellbeing isn’t only a hot topic this time of year, in fact some might say it has become a bit of a trendy buzzword in recent times. Whether you follow health and wellness accounts on social media, use mindfulness apps, or have embedded wellbeing into your corporate values – it is a word spoken about so frequently that it’s true meaning is often lost.
Wellbeing is far more than a trendy buzzword!
The World Health Organization (2014) defines wellbeing as “a state in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her own community”.
When reading this definition, notice how many of the factors influencing our wellbeing have been disrupted over the past two years – we certainly haven’t been dealing with ‘normal stresses of life’.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that according to ONS, more than two-thirds of adults in the UK (69%) report feeling somewhat or very worried about the effect COVID-19 is having on their life. They also found that the most common issues affecting wellbeing are worry about the future (63%), feeling stressed or anxious (56%) and feeling bored (49%).
There’s no doubting that COVID-19 has had a huge negative impact on both employees and employers alike, but luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom. The pandemic has also provided leaders with a wealth of insights into employee wellbeing and mental health, giving them the opportunity to really put their people first.
So much so, that according to ‘The Future Workplace 2021 HR Sentiment’ survey, 68% of senior HR leaders rated employee wellbeing and mental health as a top priority moving into the new year.
How can you make wellbeing a priority?
First things first, wellbeing needs to be more than just a word people use or a one-off programme with an end date. For wellbeing to really be a priority, it must become a natural part of ‘the way things are done around here’, in other words it needs to be embedded into the culture of your organisation.
There are many practical ways to begin to create a culture of wellbeing – health assessments, wellness challenges, biometric readings, but to really foster an environment where health and wellbeing is valued and viewed as a priority, you need to go beyond the surface.
Here at Ivy House, we do just that!
We believe that we are all responsible for creating the right circumstances for our mind, body and soul to recharge and that if we learn the correct skills and gather the right resources that support our wellbeing, we can move towards a state of ‘wellness’. We refer to this on our programmes as proactive wellbeing.
As an internal team, there are a number of ways we ‘ACT’, in order to proactively create a culture of wellbeing:
- Acknowledge – we understand that everyone is different, and we all have our own priorities when it comes to our health. In order to acknowledge this, we each created our very own ‘Personal Wellbeing Plan’. This included a wellbeing mission statement to identify what areas of our wellbeing we want to work on and the support we would need from each other to reach our optimal state of wellness.
- Connect – we communicate regularly! Whether it’s our weekly virtual ‘tea with the team’ or our Whatsapp group, there is always a place for us to connect. Creating a safe space where we all feel able to openly share with one another, not only gives us the opportunity to take a step away from work and refresh but also allows us to get to know each other and connect on a deeper level.
- Trust and Transparency – at Ivy House we foster an environment of openness and honesty, which in turn creates a huge level of trust between us. We communicate regularly and courageously, provide support and challenge where necessary and understand that everyone is human and that it’s ok not to be ok all the time. We trust that we are all in it together and will do what it takes to work towards our shared vision.
Whilst creating a culture of wellbeing doesn’t just happen overnight, it takes time and commitment, making wellbeing a priority can start today! And if you’re finding it hard to know where to start, why not start with the first building block, you.
Ask yourself 2 of our favourite questions here at Ivy House:
- What is it that makes your soul sing?
- What gives you energy?
Once you know this then you will understand what you are working towards and can encourage others to do the same.
If you want to take a deeper dive into how to create a genuine culture of wellbeing, watch the recording of our latest event.