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22 March 2021

In good company: supporting employee wellbeing


With the pandemic highlighting – and exacerbating – physical and mental health issues, organisations must boost their support and guidance. Here’s the stats you need to know, and the steps you can take to help employees look after their wellbeing.

To start with, 72% of employees aren’t aware of what health support is available at work.

First things first, you need to make sure employees know where to find health and wellbeing tools and information. Clearly signpost policies so people understand their sick pay and benefit rights.

Whether employees are working onsite or remotely, communicate health and safety requirements regularly and clearly. We find visual communications are the most effective way to engage employees with these kinds of messages, whether it’s an infographic of dos and don’ts, or a video of a leader walking through social distancing measures on site.

Be aware that 96% of illnesses are invisible and that 1 in 6 people experience common mental health problems.

Your line managers are on the frontline when it comes to employee experience. They’re in a prime position to notice when an employee might be struggling and are often the first port of call when someone reaches out for help.

So help prepare your line managers to support their teams, with guidance and training on communication and pastoral care. And don’t forget their needs too – provide bespoke support and resilience training for those looking after others.

Make your communications accessible to everyone. Write clearly, make user-friendly layouts, consider colour, describe images, and give videos captions and transcripts.

Finally, bring in the experts to help you in this specialist area. Curate a bank of informative content – from nutrition to financial wellbeing. Create your own seminars or ‘Ask an expert’ service by inviting internal or external speakers to offer advice on important issues.

A lot of this research will not come as a shock. Health and wellbeing has always been important for organisations. But it’s a growing concern. 3 in 5 adults say their mental health worsened during the pandemic, and 3x more employees are turning up to work sick since 2010.

The best wellbeing programmes and initiatives will be useless if you don’t have a company culture that supports them and inspires people to look after their physical and mental health.

Inspire a culture of care, reminding people ‘It’s OK not to be OK’ and encouraging people to check in on each other.

We’ve heard from organisations who trained employees as mental health first aiders and held informal, online ‘drop-in’ sessions for anyone who wanted to talk. Personal stories from colleagues are also a powerful way to signal that it’s OK to speak up and to encourage employees to share their own issues.

And don’t forget physical health. You don’t have to offer expensive gym or fitness app memberships. Our clients have organised fitness challenges, encouraged walking meetings, and held employee-led mindfulness and fitness classes to add movement to their people’s working lives.

Every company is different.

While wellbeing is a universal issue, each company is on their own journey to creating a supportive, inclusive culture. With your own diverse employee audiences, facing challenges that could be unique to your organisation.

That’s why Sequel’s Four Pillars™ Internal Communication Measurement Index is a tool that brings together both workplace experience and wellbeing. Offering regular, simple and cost-effective measurement, the Index gives organisations the quick insight you need to understand their individual employee experience and makes recommendations for change.

It helps you to understand how your employees are feeling, giving you the best chance to instil a culture of care – and the supporting communications to support it.

This blog is adapted from Sequel’s eighth annual Trends Report. For more insight and guidance to help you focus on human communication in a hybrid world, request your copy at hello@sequelgroup.co.uk

Keen to understand your organisation’s employee experience and check in on employee wellbeing? Find out more about the Four Pillars™ Internal Communication Measurement Index here or email paul.jones@sequelgroup.co.uk