We love hearing about the wide range of inspiring ways that our helpline partners promote wellbeing for their teams.
For our version of the ‘12 Days of Christmas’, we’ve put together a summary of twelve fantastic ways to support wellbeing in the workplace, shared with us by Birch Print, Citipost Mail, ImageCo, Label Apeel, LDM, Paragon, Print4, Reuseabox, Ruddocks, Simpson Group and Tradeprint. Thank you for the inspiration!
These are straightforward to implement and make a huge difference to how people feel about coming to work each day.
Way 1“Eating together makes the food taste better.”
Catching up as a team while enjoying food together is a great way to show appreciation. It could be fish and chip Fridays, breakfast sandwiches, or edible treats. Even themed lunches, which can be good fun – as Andrea Priestley, Director at BirchPrint, recalls: “Pancake Day was a memorable one!”
Way 2 Bringing relaxation into the workplace
There are pressured times in every workplace. Incorporating opportunities to lessen stress into working time, including yoga sessions, massages, days set aside for relaxation activities, or even simply having music on in the office (with a playlist rotation – something for everyone!) help. Label Apeel offer wellness initiatives including confidential free physio for employees, and Emily Kellock, Business Development Manager, explains “We find it extremely valuable to invest in these services.”
Way 3 Upskilling on wellbeing
We’ve heard about a huge range of activities that businesses put on to help their team learn more about ways to support wellbeing overall.
These include mental first aid training, sessions with a health & wellbeing coach, and daily wellbeing e-mails and webinars. Citipost Mail are even in the process of training a workplace wellbeing champion through a partnership with Live Life Better Derbyshire.
As the saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’, and through training like this, employees feel able to offer real support to each other. Paul Banton, Ruddocks’ Managing Director, is clear. “There is a real sense of feeling empowered to offer real support when it is needed,” he explains.
Way 4 Helping nature thrive
Creating wild gardens, planting trees, making a wildlife haven and even ‘growing your own’ help staff get physically active for positive purposes, while providing a breath of fresh air and an important moment of peace.
“Spending time around nature is shown through research to reduce depression and anxiety, especially when combined with exercise,” explains Print4 Director Matt Boam.
Way 5 Keeping active
A really simple way to do this is hold ‘walking meetings’, which happens at Reuseabox. Other organisations have seen the positive impact of incorporating movement into the working day through activities including on-site Pilates classes (held in production hours); discounted gym memberships; company fitness challenges and encouraging lunchtime walking. “It has such a positive impact to break the day and get outside,” agrees Andrea Priestley, Director at Birch Print.
Way 6 Giving back
Helping others through initiatives such as volunteering days (Ruddocks work with the Trussell Trust and local foodbanks), charity fundraising events (which include dressing up, cake sales and raffles, at Simpson Group) and litter picking, provides a strong sense of working as a team through making a difference.
A member of the team at Ruddocks fed back that “Being able to personally support the local foodbank is hugely rewarding. We are collectively making a real contribution to our local community.”
Way 7 Open conversations
A workplace culture that encourages and supports open and honest conversations enables staff to bring their whole selves to work. This culture can be built through seeking and actioning team feedback (work which can be gathered through in-house surveys and conversations, or, as was the case at Simpson Group, working with an external consultant); an open-door policy; weekly all-team communications; and partnerships with local organisations that themselves emphasise the value of an open culture.
Tradeprint invite local organisations, including Andy’s Man Club, Maggie’s Cancer Centres, and Street Soccer to visit them in the workplace. These organisations explain what they do, and raise awareness of the support they offer as a result. Head of People & Culture Heather Thomson-Whyte says this approach has made a real difference overall: “We made a conscious culture shift to provide opportunities for open wellbeing conversations. The stigma attached to talking about this is falling away, and our team are much more open with their experience and concerns.”.
Way 8 Thoughtful gifts to show gratitude
Welcome boxes for new starters are a lovely way to show someone that it’s great to have them onboard. Christmas hampers, which can ease the pressure at what is at times a financially-tricky time of year, makes a real difference. “Colleagues are gifted a turkey, chocolates and wine round Christmas time. This eases the pressure for those responsible for cooking large family dinners,” explains Sarah Tishler, Development Director at the Simpson Group.
Way 9 Recognising hard work and achievements
There are many ways to show that staff are valued. Monthly ‘Colleague Champion’ awards high-spot great work throughout the year. Long-service awards highlight how valued long-term commitment is to an organisation, while celebrating outstanding individual achievements such as staff qualifications is a really positive way to bring people together.
When Label Apeel apprentice Richard passed his Level Two print apprenticeship with distinction in all levels – the only person in the history of the course to do so! – the company threw a pizza party to show how proud they were, and to enable the whole company to enjoy celebrating his success.
All staff at Reuseabox join the company’s profit share scheme after a year. “It’s a nice way to get staff to share in the successes of the company,” says Ellie Good, Chief Purpose Officer.
Way 10 Sharing social time
Fun with colleagues, which could include regular get-togethers, staff parties and team building activities, cement a sense of positive team work.
We’re heard of some brilliantly diverse, inclusive and inventive ways that businesses bring teams together socially. These include quiz afternoons, annual summer staff parties, and drinks and meals – including, in the case of Print4, retired staff members. “Celebrating serves as an ongoing reminder to our employees that their contributions will always be valued,” says Matt Boam, Director at Print4.
Birch Print took their team members to Denby Pottery, where everyone had great fun doing something out of their comfort zone. Citipost Mail hold an annual Games Day, and even an intra-company Bake-Off contest. Hannah Simmons, Citipost Head of HR, says “These events are fun, and also promote team building and stronger working relationships.”
Way 11 Making room for wellbeing
This is all about comfortable spaces that emphasise a company’s commitment to the fact that taking breaks from work matters. This could be anywhere from a renovated kitchen or comfy seating area to a room dedicated to wellbeing, a quiet safe space for team members to head to when they need to, with information about support resources easily available.
“Our kitchens at home are social spaces, hubs where people come together, so we believe it should be no different at work,” says Paul Banton, Ruddocks MD.
Way 12 Building a supportive culture
All these elements are building blocks that combine to create a supportive culture where everyone in an organisation feels they can thrive in the workplace because their wellbeing matters. As Reuseabox Chief Purpose Officer Ellie Good summarises: “It is the culture above everything else that matters to most people.”
It’s important therefore also for organisations to highlight that they are there for their employees when a bit of extra help is needed.
This can be through appointing wellbeing ambassadors, establishing specialist support groups, and committing to flexibility; as well as through making external resources, such as employee assistance programmes and the Printing Charity’s free, confidential employee helpline, available to all.
The clear employee benefits of this approach provide benefits to the overall business too. “We have seen a real change over the last few years because of our continuing focus on supporting our staff,” states Paul Banton, Ruddocks MD. “We have a good, positive atmosphere and people are happy, which is reflected in all that we do.”
Every business in our sectors can launch the Printing Charity’s free, confidential helpline to their employees, to provide practical and emotional support as part of their wellbeing resources. Visit the helpline section of our site to find out more.