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5 steps to implement a well-being programme

Posted by Nikky Lee - 28 September, 2021

Looking to implement a well-being programme but not sure where to start? Follow these five steps to get your plan off the ground.


1. Get leadership buy-in

Just as organisational culture starts at the top, so does wellness and well-being. Leaders are role models for their employees and when it comes to well-being, talking the talk is not enough, they need to walk the walk too. To successfully implement a well-being programme, everyone from your C suite to team leaders and managers must on the same page, both in its priority and what the programme will look like on the ground. One of the most effective ways to ensure well-being remains top of mind among your leadership team is to incorporate it into your businesses goals or KPIs.

Tips to get your leadership team on board:

  • Present your well-being mission and goals.
  • Outline your strategy to achieve said goals.
  • Use absenteeism, presenteeism and staff turnover numbers to highlight the financial cost of poor well-being.
  • Invite leadership feedback on your well-being plan.


Tool: Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your workplace well-being with Good4Work


2. Set up a dedicated team

Many hands make light work. Many hands can also achieve more than a single person. Rather than letting one person shoulder all the responsibility for managing a staff well-being programme, set up a dedicated team to help brainstorm, plan, and organise your wellness initiatives. Team members can be anyone from around the office. Where possible, we recommend having a representative from each of your internal teams to voice any wellness challenges their team is facing.


Related content: The Manager's Guide to Workplace Well-being


3. Create a programme of initiatives

These should be meaningful and relevant to your organisation’s well-being challenges. For example, if you know your employees struggle with stress, consider events that may help alleviate that, such as running a stress seminar or organising access to a meditation app.

Note, it is easy to focus on physical well-being, but also consider initiatives to promote social, mental/emotional, financial and career well-being too, such as social events, mental health talks, diversity training and financial literacy training. There is more than one kind of well-being and your programme should aim to incorporate all aspects. Also consider asking your staff for ideas too!


4. Establish policies around well-being

If you want to get serious about employee well-being, we recommend creating specific policies to aid and promote it. A few key policies to consider are:


A diversity and inclusion policy

This policy helps employees feel respected and empowered, and that they belong and have a fair chance to progress their careers regardless of race, gender, sexuality, age, health, disability or family status.


An anti-bullying and harassment policy

Employees have a right to feel safe in their workplace. An anti-bullying and harassment policy sends a clear message to both your employees and potential employees about your businesses stance on bullying and harassment while also providing a process and actions to follow should an incident occur.


A health and well-being policy

The policy can serve as the foundation of your well-being implementation and can cover a range of policies and procedures aimed at supporting well-being such as:

  • Alcohol in the workplace.
  • Smoking in the workplace.
  • Mental well-being.
  • Reducing sunburn risk.
  • Returning to the work after illness or injury.


Related content: A handy tool for building a well-being policy


A flexible work policy

With Covid-19 bringing flexible work to the fore, a policy explaining how your organisation supports and promotes flexible working is a great addition to your well-being programme. In particular, consider flexible work arrangements that may help your staff undertake further study and career development, manage their work-life balance and balance their work and family needs.


A mental well-being policy

This policy can outline how your organisation promotes mental well-being and the processes that are in place to supporting employees experiencing poor mental health. This may include processes such as:

  • How you identify stress and fatigue in the workplace.
  • Where employees can find support if they’re mentally/emotionally struggling.
  • A return-to-work plan for employees coming back into the workplace after mental illness.[1]


5. Measure employee well-being

This will help you understand the impact your well-being programme is having, identify any well-being issues you may have overlooked or been unaware of, and help you consolidate your programme on the areas where it is most needed.

When it comes to measuring employee well-being, there are several options available, many of which can be used in tandem to get a holistic understanding of your workplace culture. For example, you could combine an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) survey with a well-being survey to get a measure of both your employee experience and well-being.


Help your workplace build the ability to bounce back from challenges with The Manager's Guide to Workplace Well-being.

Download the Manager's Guide to Workplace Well-being

[1] Wellplace.nz. 2021. Create a mental wellbeing policy and action plan, www.wellplace.nz

Topics: Employee Experience

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