Crafting a culture of wellbeing: From buzzword to business essential

Crafting a culture of wellbeing: From buzzword to business essential   


Wellbeing isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ – it should be a core part of your employee strategy. Sleep loss, relationship issues, bereavement, stress, anxiety and depression - these are just some of the common mental health issues that could affect anyone at any time. In many organisations, the pursuit of employee wellbeing often gets pushed solely onto the HR department. Whilst this makes sense and is a good starting point, fostering a culture of wellbeing transcends the confines of a single department. It demands collective effort and a holistic approach that engages every department of your business. In this article, we’ll explore ways you can create a wellbeing culture shift in your business.

A Shared Responsibility 

While HR undeniably plays a pivotal role in championing employee wellbeing, it's crucial to recognise that wellbeing extends beyond policies and procedures. It's a collective endeavour that encompasses leadership, team dynamics, workspace design, and even the very mission and values of your company.

Leadership as Role Models

A culture of wellbeing begins at the top. When leaders prioritise their own wellbeing, it sets a powerful example for the entire organisation. Their actions and attitudes trickle down, influencing how employees perceive and approach their own wellbeing. It's not just about the occasional wellness workshop; it's about leaders embedding wellbeing principles into their everyday decision-making and interactions.  

Team Synergy and Support   

Wellbeing can't thrive in isolation. Your colleagues are a primary source of daily interactions and shared experiences. Fostering a supportive environment where colleagues genuinely care for each other's wellbeing can significantly impact job satisfaction and mental health. Encouraging team-building activities, open communication, and empathy can contribute to a positive atmosphere. You also need to ensure that your wellbeing programme is inclusive for the whole team; this includes recognising and accommodating cultural variations, age and gender disparities, and other individual differences.   

Measure and adjust

To gauge the impact of your wellbeing initiatives, you need a way to assess it. Regular surveys can gather employee feedback and insights, helping organisations refine their programmes. Tracking things like absenteeism and turnover rates can provide valuable indicators of overall well-being and satisfaction.  

Workspace Design and Wellbeing 

Physical surroundings play a crucial role in overall wellbeing. An environment that promotes movement, offers spaces for relaxation, and considers ergonomic principles can positively influence physical health and productivity. Collaboration with facility management and design teams ensures that the workspace itself becomes an embodiment of wellbeing values.

Wellbeing Aligned with Mission and Values 

When wellbeing principles align with your company's mission and values, they become ingrained in the company's DNA. This alignment fosters authenticity, ensuring that wellbeing isn't merely a buzzword but a lived experience. It reinforces that wellbeing is a foundational element driving the organisation's success and sustainability.

Wellbeing: A Day-to-Day Endeavor 

A true culture of wellbeing isn't confined to designated "wellness weeks" or sporadic initiatives. It's a continuous effort that should be seamlessly woven into the fabric of daily operations. From how meetings are conducted to how deadlines are set, the principles of wellbeing should guide every aspect of work life.

From HR to Every Rung of the Ladder

While HR certainly takes the lead in initiating wellbeing programmes, it's essential to democratize the responsibility. Managers should be trained to recognise signs of burnout and stress within their teams. Peers can offer support and encouragement to one another. Even external partners and clients can contribute by respecting employees' boundaries and supporting their wellbeing endeavours.  


 Creating a Wellbeing Movement  

Wellbeing in the workplace is not just about creating an absence of illness. It’s about creating wellness, through championing a combination of good physical health and good mental wellbeing.  There are lots of things you can do in this department. Here are some ideas: 

- Extended/more flexible leave policies:

Managing family changes can put pressure on employees. Consider offering more generous leave entitlements for those going through big changes.

- Financial security:

With the cost-of-living crisis and rising costs in almost every area of life, financial worries are now a huge burden on an unprecedented number of people. A generous salary, and a commitment to paying a living wage, is a strong driver for wellbeing. You could even go deeper, offering budgeting tips and other financial advice to any employees who request it. 

 - Employee engagement:

there are strong links between employee engagement and workplace wellbeing. Set clear guidelines and offer plenty of training and development opportunities. Let every employee know what part they have to play in helping achieve your business’s vision. This will make them feel valued, empowered, and more willing to invest their time and energy in any wellbeing scheme you introduce.

Future Trends to look out for:

 The future of employee wellbeing is looking to become increasingly intertwined with technological advancements. The rise of wellness apps, wearable devices, and digital platforms offers personalised experiences, enabling employees to track their physical activity, monitor sleep patterns, and manage stress levels. As we look to the future, AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants could provide real-time support to employees, offering coping strategies, stress management techniques, and even early intervention for mental health concerns. Data-driven insights from AI could also help companies tailor wellbeing programs based on individual needs and preferences, leading to more effective and targeted interventions.



In conclusion, building a culture of wellbeing certainly isn't just an HR thing; it's a collective effort that encompasses leadership, teams, physical spaces, values, and day-to-day operations. It’s also worth noting that expanding efforts externally can enhance your wellbeing culture even further. Collaborating with partners such as mental health experts and training providers introduces a holistic approach to employee wellness as well as an objective and expert viewpoint.    By embracing wellbeing as an integral part of your organisation's identity, you pave the way for a healthier, happier, and more productive work environment.   

We offer a range of mental health and wellbeing courses to help you in supporting your teams. Take a look here.  

Looking for something more in-depth? Work with our experts to design a wellbeing programme that is right for you. Our programmes can involve diagnostic work, bespoke group sessions, coaching sessions, and other interventions to support the mental health and wellbeing of your people. Speak to us to find out more.