Building happy teams: strategies for creating a culture of wellbeing

In this blog, Cass Briscoe, Founders Associate at The Future Kind, shares her thoughts on how organisations need to go beyond spa days and free cups of coffee to create a culture of wellbeing.

9th May 2024

Guest blog written by Cass Briscoe, Founders Associate at The Future Kind

I think we’re all aware by now that employee wellbeing is more than a buzzword. Companies are increasingly recognising that a healthy, happy workforce can lead to increased productivity, lower staff churn, and a stronger brand reputation.

But how exactly can businesses achieve this? The answer doesn’t lie in spa days and free cups of coffee (although we love an oat flat white) but rather in meaningful business strategy.

First, let’s look at what wellbeing is. There is no single agreed upon definition, as it represents more than a one-dimensional state of health. Wellbeing is a holistic blend of physical, mental, and emotional stability, and includes the following 8 pillars:

  • Physical wellbeing: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding harmful habits.
  • Emotional wellbeing: Managing stress, nurturing relationships, and practicing resilience.
  • Intellectual wellbeing: Stimulating mental challenges and creativity.
  • Occupational wellbeing: Satisfaction in work, career growth, and work-life balance.
  • Financial wellbeing: Managing personal finances effectively and achieving financial stability.
  • Social wellbeing: Quality social relationships with family, friends, and community.
  • Environmental wellbeing: Living in a healthy, sustainable, and safe environment that supports our goals, work, and joy.
  • Spiritual wellbeing: A person’s sense of purpose, meaning, and connection to something greater.
A comprehensive culture of wellbeing addresses all these dimensions and recognises that any disruption in one area can negatively impact the others.

The wellbeing wheel is a great way to look at each of the 8 pillars in turn and identify which areas need more attention - you can plot where you are across each of the pillars and reflect on what has a low score and why.

Once you know the areas you need to improve, you can start to implement meaningful changes.

Here are some suggestions:

Work-life balance

Maintaining a balance between personal and professional lives is crucial for employee wellbeing. Offer flexible working hours, remote working options, and paid time off to help employees manage their responsibilities without compromising their careers. Encourage managers to respect boundaries, ensuring work does not spill into personal time.

Open communication

A culture that values open communication helps employees feel heard and understood. Create safe spaces where employees can voice their concerns without fear of repercussions - regular 1:1 meetings, feedback sessions, and anonymous surveys can foster open dialogue. Addressing issues promptly and empathetically shows employees that their wellbeing matters.

Support mental health

As well as providing tangible resources like mental health days and access to therapy services, you can play a crucial role in de-stigmatising mental health issues. Discussing mental health openly in the workplace, and training managers to recognise signs of burnout and stress and offer support when needed.

Opportunities for growth

Employees who feel stagnated often experience burnout and dissatisfaction. Provide opportunities for professional growth through training, and encourage staff to explore different roles within the organisation, allowing them to find positions that match their interests and strengths

Lead by example

Leaders who demonstrate a healthy work-life balance, show empathy and prioritise their wellbeing set a positive example for the rest of the organisation. They should actively participate in wellness programs and encourage others to do the same.

Create a sense of purpose

Employees who find meaning in their work are generally more satisfied and resilient. Communicate the organisation's mission and how each employee's role contributes to that purpose. Involve employees in decision-making and allow them to participate in meaningful projects that align with their values.

Creating a culture of wellbeing is not something that happens overnight- it’s an ongoing journey that thrives when everyone's genuinely onboard, from the boardroom to the break room. With your trusty wellbeing wheel, you can regularly check progress and make improvements to whip up a supportive space where employees feel happy, valued, and ready to tackle anything.

About The Future Kind

We’re on a mission to create a world where all people get to work for kinder, fairer and better designed companies. We do this by designing company Operating Systems that guide your team’s everyday for startups and scaleups. We discover your operating challenges and develop daily practices that propel your people and your growth. By defining and operationalising values and rituals that live beyond vague statements on your website, we deliver positive change that’ll improve your retention, streamline your strategy, and support every person touched by your company. Learn more about us and our work at https://www.thefuturekind.co/