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How to create a happier, healthier team at work

Employee wellness isn’t just about CSR. It’s about providing support for individuals and preventing burnout - and, it’s not just good for the individual, it's good for everyone.

employee wellness

Even yoga gurus suffer burnout

A couple of years ago the Sunday Times Style Magazine featured a profile on Adriene Mishler, the 37-year-old yoga guru whose platform exploded during lockdown. The article gave the impression of someone with an enviable level of success and a beautiful outlook on the world, but it focused on something a little unusual for a yoga guru. Earlier this year, she suffered serious burnout.

“I remember I told my partner I felt knocked out by anxiety. I am a caretaker by nature, but then that became my job, my world.”

She described in detail the physical impact of having taken on far too much, and by the end of the article, concluded with that age old lesson - practice what you preach.

This isn’t uncommon in the spa and wellness industry. The people who spend their lives and careers trying to make sure the rest of us feel relaxed and restored, often get stressed and burnt out. However, it’s not just therapists. Lots of us suffer from stress, which is natural, but when it escalates it's a problem.

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Our approach to employee wellness is changing

The most savvy employers are ahead of the game when it comes to employee wellness, implementing practices that are more than token offerings. Some spa owners, for example, offer wellbeing support that helps to prevent burnout and injury associated with massage with preventative physiotherapy.

Some employers offer Teladoc services, where they can ask a physician any health-related question 24/7, so they are not restricted to office hours. Some also provide financial wellness resources and health screening events as well as fitness classes and nutritional foods.

None of this will come as a surprise in itself, but what’s changing is the motivation. The emphasis is increasingly on providing genuine instead of token support for employee wellness, some of which is preventative, and some of which is about enjoying holistic wellbeing.

There's practical as well as ethical reasons for that:

  • The Health and Safety Executive estimated that between 2021 and 2022, 36.8 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health in Great Britain.
  • Stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of days lost.
  • On average, each person suffering took around 16.5 days off work.

Furthermore, when we're healthy, we're more productive contributors in the workplace and at home, which is a positive outcome for everyone.

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The best ways to look after employee wellbeing

While there’s no one way to look after employee health, the common (and broad) denominator is that it’s important to approach physical, emotional, and mental health, and the things that impact them: diet, money, rest, relaxation, a sense of purpose, a sense of pride in our work, and more.

What’s also clear is that it’s about a little and often - making sure there are regular wellbeing experiences rather than one big holiday once a year.

What do employees want from a wellness programme?

In a number of surveys, what employees themselves valued from wellness programmes was also interesting. While everyone loves the big ticket items, what they wanted most was:

  • Personal and meaningful experiences
  • Realistic advice
  • Flexibility to participate on their own terms and when it suits them
  • Programmes that make it easy to get involved
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Do wellness programmes work?

The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) reports that fostering employee wellbeing can result in:

  • Increased resilience
  • Better employee engagement
  • Reduced sickness absence
  • Higher performance and productivity

Want to create a happier, healthier more productive team? From team building to individual employee rewards and incentives, corporate spa breaks are a meaningful way to support your people.

Discover corporate spa experiences

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