Ask a HR team five years ago what their top 10 priorities are for the coming 12 months and it would unlikely include health and wellbeing. However, enabling a positive company culture within an organisation is fast becoming a crucial aspect of any business. For some potential employees it can be the swinging vote as to whether or not they want to work for a particular company.
When an organisation has a vibrant wellbeing culture it encourages and boosts team morale by creating an environment that employees want to work in, but exactly how is that internal culture developed? Who listens to who and ultimately who is responsible for it?
Everyday Juice Limited is a subsidiary company of the University of Sheffield, that’s on a mission to create remarkable places to work with healthy and happy people across the UK. The company started within Higher Education but is now delighted to work with NHS Trusts, SMEs, and soon a number of Councils and Private Sector organisations. Their online platform “Juice” takes an organisation’s typically disparate health and wellbeing offer and pulls it together under one roof, creates a recognisable identity, and provides a straight forward user journey. This makes internal communications simple.
“To create a positive culture in any organisation it first needs ‘buy-in’ from all stake holders, not just senior colleagues, but all members of staff”, says Gary Butterfield, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Everyday Juice Limited. “A positive culture has to start with good internal communication channels. Bring your offer into one place provides easier engagement, and is much easier to communicate to your staff.”
“It’s a sandwich approach” Gary continues, “You need top level buy in from the directors who are willing and able to facilitate a health and wellbeing offer, enabled managers who can be creative with it, and members of staff who have the opportunity to engage. After all, health and wellbeing is important to all of us.”
“We’ve found that the best way to build an offer that staff want to engage with is to create it with the employee in mind, not the employer. Sure, sickness and absence metrics are important to business, but you can achieve the same results when you have a pool of engaged employees. The way to do this is through everyday discussions. It’s a balancing act that does take time to build but the rewards are great for everyone”.
Juice has been a proven method for increasing engagement within larger organisations by taking businesses, which are typically siloed, and providing opportunities to meet others from within the business community.
“We’ve all been there. We’re part of an organisation that has thousands of employees but you don’t know more than 20 of them.” Gary says, “we’re about bringing different teams together and being creative with whatever wellbeing means to you. It doesn’t have to be the typical boot camps or tai-chi either, although these are great, they can be as broad as the mind will allow, as long as its what your staff need and want.”
“In the past we’ve run loads of activities, but to name just a few Juice has facilitated Lego lunches, puzzle and jigsaw groups, escape rooms, colouring sessions, knitting, sewing, and running clubs, creative writing courses. The key is that they have all been led or suggested by members of staff. We also invite staff to share their hobbies, interests, and talents with their colleagues, which is a fantastic approach to creating a positive, internal culture.”
But how does a business recognise that it is in need of an internal communication overhaul, and how does one turn a negative culture into a positive one?
“Typically the Board will dictate what the culture of a particular business is at any given moment. This could be as a result of their flexible or non-flexible working policies and/or working conditions. Additionally there are various things that larger employers will likely have in place already, such as an occupational health department and employee assistance support. However, some employers are looking at health and wellbeing much more holistically, and are investing in that in some way shape or form.”
“There is no set starting point and there is no ‘right’ time to open up those internal channels of communication when it comes to a health and wellbeing proposition. It really does depend on the organisation and all those involved. When you do look at this though ensure that you are careful when making assumptions, and be sure to test any assumptions before making an investment.”
“Everybody is responsible for creating a positive culture within an organisation, but if you don’t start with a simple user journey that’s easier to engage with, and you don’t communicate the offer to your staff effectively, it won’t be used, no matter how amazing your offer is.”
“So whether you’re building a Lego house whilst snacking on a sarnie, or playing a game of cards on your coffee break, it’s worth it, because your health and wellbeing matters. By investing in your personal health and wellbeing, and that of your staff, there’s absolutely no reasons why you can’t get substantial business returns whilst learning more about the amazing hobbies, interests, and talents of your staff.”
Wellbeing is becoming more and more prevalent in the business world and that’s only a good exciting thing that we can all benefit from.
To find out more about the great work that Everyday Juiced Limited are doing visit their website.
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