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Healthier & Happier Teams – Part Two

Focussing on from my most recent article on developing happier and healthier teams throughout the pandemic. As organisations continue to progress throughout the pandemic, it’s a good opportunity to review your company benefits to ensure they’re fit for purpose, resilient to societal changes, support your staff where they need it and help maintain engagement levels – especially in a post Covid environment.

Physical activity – support getting active

When gyms and shared exercise spaces have been forced to close, there’s no doubt it affected our activity levels.  Whilst some people found new ways of keeping fit, Yorkshire Cancer Research’s poll showed that exercise amongst adults dropped by 25%. In the changing circumstances, providing gym memberships may not be fitting, however, perhaps it could be an idea to provide access to fitness apps and online classes. Employers have begun encouraging community groups for shared interests around health and activity to foster stronger team building amongst their employees along with boosting motivation and morale as a sub-factor.

Mental Wellbeing – supporting good mental health

21% of UK employers have stated that health support from their employer has not improved even slightly since the beginning of the pandemic. As a Clinic, we have noticed stress and anxiety being the most common mental health complaints in today’s society, with work being a significantly large contributing factor. Coronavirus has undoubtedly increased this, and we have seen a significant rise in our mental health service as a result.  Over half of those surveyed in Britain’s Healthiest Workplace 2019 reported feeling some element of work-related stress, which can lead to both absenteeism and presenteeism.

Employers can support their staff through encouraging a work-life balance, through flexible and remote-working policies, allowing your workforce to feel more in control of their time and better manage their responsibilities. Encouraging a supportive, understanding culture around mental health, through policies, workplace initiative and education will help to remove still-existing stigma.

Alongside this, a method many of our clients have found effective is developing specific employee assistance programmes. This focusses on providing direct support for staff members, accessible from anywhere. This programme can offer anything from financial advice to counselling.

Their health – make it easy to understand their health and access treatment.

Exercise and mental health care both contribute to good physical health and form part of the “prevention rather than cure” strategy. However, we cannot cease to acknowledge that problems do occur, it’s a sensible idea to have the right provision in place. Comprehensive corporate healthcare packages are that it offers your employees fast access to primary care through GP services. Since people are working from home and in lockdown, access to GP’s and consultants that can offer virtual and telephone consultations.

The pandemic has put health at the forefront of people’s minds, so the ability to measure health in a meaningful way is of the utmost importance to the individual and employer. As an employer, knowing the health risks of your teams allows you to target your interventions to make them more effective and welcome to those who need them most.

For many organisations, the pandemic has also reinforced just how much they rely upon their human capital as they rebuild operations to reflect the changed circumstances, which are unlikely to change for years, if not forever.

If you’d like to discuss how The Whitehall Clinic could assist you and your organisation, feel free to reach out to alexandra@whitehallclinic.com to discuss.