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How To Create A Staff Wellbeing Policy In 2022

The return to hybridized office life is a relief for many people who’ve been stuck working from home for the better part of the last two years. However, with such a major shift in your working dynamic, your staff wellbeing policy most likely needs a rethink.

So much has changed during the pandemic, and there are still plenty of challenges to work through. Where do you start? Stay tuned as we set you on the path to creating an excellent work culture in the new normal.

Why You Need A Staff Wellbeing Policy

You know that you have your staff’s best interests at heart, but this must reflect in your staff wellbeing policy too. It’s easier than you would believe to overlook seemingly minor details that end up having dramatic effects on the cohesiveness of your team and their job satisfaction.

A company that looks after its employees gets loyalty and hard work in return.

Staff wellbeing is fundamentally about workers feeling safe, cared for, and happy in their working environment. There are also numerous legal responsibilities that upper management must always look out for.

Key Aspects of a Staff Wellbeing Policy

What should you prioritize in your staff wellbeing policy? These are the key things you'll want to keep your eye on.

Office Wellness Starts with Health & Safety

A robust health and safety protocol is of paramount importance to any working environment. This extends beyond your everyday staff to any casual or part-time workers, as well as anyone who sets foot on the premises.

Why is this so important? You certainly wouldn’t want to work in an environment that feels unsafe or damages your health, and nor do your employees. Fortunately, there are guidelines you can follow.

To ensure you are consistently compliant with the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards, you should have your premises regularly assessed by health and safety consultants.

OSHA compliance officers do not usually give forewarning before inspecting your premises. So, it’s in your best interests to have your workplace assessed once every three months, by your own wellness committee. Hosting biannual accident prevention training and developing emergency protocols for all members of staff is also essential.

Create Wellness by Promoting Fairness in Remuneration & Working Hours

How do you maintain fairness regarding wages and hours? Staff should not be working more than forty hours per week unless they’re getting paid overtime. Even then, studies show that excessive overtime hours increase stress levels and decrease employee occupational health.

Squeezing your staff for work hours above and beyond their contractual obligation may also foster disloyalty and resentment, leading to a higher staff turnover, decreased productivity, and a net loss.

As a manager, it’s an important part of your responsibilities to ensure that no staff member is overworking themselves or not getting compensated fairly. If an employee feels like they’re getting out what they are putting in, they are more likely to feel happy and satisfied in their position. Through fair remuneration and working hours, you can create wellness goals for your employees.

When it comes to wages and salaries, inflation and industry-standard remuneration should always come into consideration. You can have an open conversation with the candidate or employee about their salary and benefits expectations, what they feel their time is worth, and how much they need to not just make ends meet, but to have a good quality of life. This should also be outlined in the staff wellbeing policy.

Prioritize Employee Support Services

What does it mean to prioritize employee support? Well, your staff are people, and people need looking after. They need access to support in times of need. When staff knows they have a safety net, it can go a long way towards reducing the stress they feel at the workplace. With that in mind, you can regularly review and update your staff health insurance and retirement plans.

Another welfare service that may alleviate workplace tension is confidential counseling. This offers your staff the chance to speak to a professional about their stresses and hassles related to their colleagues, superiors, responsibilities, and changes in the workplace.

Create an Open Workplace Culture

What is open workplace culture? Generally, it’s an atmosphere of honesty and equality within the workplace that puts people at ease. Your workers feel comfortable speaking openly about their struggles and frustrations in an honest yet professional manner. This comfort comes from knowing that they won’t get penalized for being honest with their colleagues or managers.

Whether face to face or virtual, good communication fosters productivity and boosts morale. Managers that are approachable and have a solution-based mindset can be far more effective at dealing with conflict and bottlenecks.

If a situation involving serious conflict arises, it may be necessary to bring in professional mediators to resolve the situation. If you’ve been unsuccessful in resolving the conflict, there are several services available that specialize in conflict resolution and workplace mediation. At the very least, they should be able to restore a semblance of civility to the environment.

Provide the Right Assistance and Training

Why is training so essential? Imagine trying to do a job without first receiving proper, professional training. Stressful, isn’t it? Of course, every job involves a bit of learning on the fly, but there is no replacement for adequate instruction. Having properly trained employees help them to feel competent and increases the quality of their output. Offering refresher courses to employees that have been with you for a long time benefits both parties.

Staff that feels as though they are being provided with opportunities for advancement and skills development may also feel more motivated and less stressed at work. Nobody likes the feeling of working at a dead-end job and investing in the skills of your workforce benefits both you and them.

Keep a Vigilant Eye Out for Harassment

Everything may seem fine on the surface, but the prevalence of workplace harassment and inappropriate conduct is still high.

Some employees may feel uncomfortable coming forward with complaints of this nature for fear of rocking the boat or losing their jobs. It’s therefore the responsibility of every manager to do what they can to make it known that there is a zero-tolerance attitude towards harassment of any kind.

Including what steps are taken when an incident occurs in your staff wellbeing policy is an excellent idea too, as it provides clear guidelines for everyone involved.

Be Realistic with Your Deadlines

Pressure can be intense for both management and entry-level employees, and there can be a tendency for managers to unload that pressure onto their teams.

All that you will achieve by setting unrealistic deadlines for your staff will be poor-quality work, stress, resentment, and general destabilization. Every member of staff should be given adequate time and resources to complete their work.

Make Your Staff Wellbeing Policy Count

Your staff's wellbeing policy acts as the roadmap for building a strong workplace culture. Updating it to reflect the current hybridized situation and keeping your staff up to date with these changes will go a long way towards proving that you don’t just say your business cares, it proves it too. If you don’t yet have a wellbeing policy in place use a staff wellbeing policy template to help you craft one for your company. Having a policy won’t guarantee the well-being of your employees will be met, but it is a start. Proper implementation is the next step after.

Written by: Kelly Lowe