When it comes to employee wellbeing, finding the right solution for your organisation that meets the needs of your employees and works with your culture, can prove challenging.
So often it is said that the successes we see in sport can be applied to the working environment. The same can be said for your employee wellbeing strategy. Marginal Gains is a term coined by Sir David Brailsford, the coach of the British cycling team who revolutionised their performance, leading them to become Olympic Gold champions at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Marginal gains is built upon the premise that small, incremental changes can have a huge and significant impact when added together. Brailsford took it upon himself to investigate all the key parts that could affect the outcome of winning a race. By examining all of these contributing facets, he felt that if a 1% improvement could be made in these areas, the cumulative effect of all these would be huge.
The same can be said for your approach to employee wellbeing. Whilst Brailsford focused his efforts on everything that impacted the cyclist from the pillow they slept on to the shower gel they used to the tyres on their bike as well as their mindset and diet, companies can look at a whole host of factors which effect employees on a daily basis. If you’re unsure where to start, perhaps think about what happens in peoples' working days. Does their commute make their life easier or instead test their resilience before they even step into the office? Could you implement a bike-to-work scheme to ensure people get the headspace they need? Or perhaps offer working from home as an option on certain days to break up people’s routines?
You could then look at the breakfast options in or near the office. Research shows that breakfast really is an important part of the day and can either make or break our morning performance. However people still seem to skip it. Could you run a morning workshop or cooking demonstration with a nutritionist showcasing quick, cheap and easy breakfast ideas for busy people? Not only is this a great team-building exercise, it also gives people the tools, skills and confidence to go and do it themselves. These three components are integral for success so ensuring people are well-quipped with the right knowledge and support is putting them and the company on the path to success. You could even follow up by offering some of these options every week to your employees in your canteen or add the recipes to your intranet for people to view at a later date.
Other ideas are looking at the on-site catering options for people. Do you have a vending machine packed with quick-fix, sugar-laden foods? Or a big cake culture in the office? Is there a way of reducing this and introducing things like daily fruit deliveries to the office, water fountains so people can stay hydrated? Or perhaps swapping tea and biscuits for herbal tea options and high protein snacks like nuts and seeds?
The list really is endless. Start by looking at the small changes you can make that can lead to quick, impactful wins for everyone. By constantly reinforcing healthy habits and giving people the right tools they need to thrive, these small, incremental changes can overtime have a big impact on the rest of the company. Remember, the key to success is to make people’s daily habits the healthiest, easiest and most convenient so it becomes effortless to stay on track.
About Well Aware
I am the Founder and Managing Director at Well Aware. We are experts in Workplace Wellbeing.
With the average working person spending roughly 90,000 of their waking hours at work over their lifetime, we feel the workplace is the perfect environment in which to nurture and educate employees on the benefits of good health and wellbeing. Well Aware now deliver wellbeing programmes to companies throughout the UK, of all different sizes. We educate, empower and inspire employees to make positive lifestyle choices and create long-term healthy habits. We do this by focusing on all areas of employee wellbeing from mental health through to posture and nutrition, addressing the key issues that companies face.
As Duncan Selbie, the Chief Executive at Public Health England so aptly put it, “Everyone benefits from a healthier workforce: employees, who will enjoy better health and be less likely to be off sick; employers, who will reap the benefits of increased productivity; and the NHS, which will have less poor health to deal with.”