Why we need wellbeing champions at work

During the pandemic, conversations about mental and emotional wellness dominated social communities. Many of us reconsidered how we think about our wellbeing, and communities united to explore how to improve our physical health, financial circumstances, and mental health in a socially-distanced world. Fast-forward to the ‘new norm’ and this shared focus on wellbeing has remained central to many workplaces.

The post-pandemic world of work has changed – it’s now normal to work remotely, or in a physical location, or to do a hybrid of the two. The future of work looks different for us all. So how can we continue to focus on wellbeing amidst the changing landscape of our work environments?

Jenny Edwards, Wellbeing Champion at Everybody, shares her experience on the role of Wellbeing Champions and how they support wellbeing at work.

How do mental health first aiders and wellbeing champions support wellbeing at work?

Regardless of where we work, creating an environment of trust is key to opening up conversations about mental health and wellbeing. Having a community of Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders expands the support available beyond people teams and line managers, and shows a real commitment to employee wellbeing.

Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders can signpost to helpful resources, provide an empathetic ear, and support the organisation’s wider wellbeing strategy.

Having Wellbeing Champions in place in the workplace also provides a formalised support structure within the business, showing both employees and partner agencies that the company is committed to mental and physical wellbeing.

Who can become a Wellbeing Champion?

Anyone with an enthusiasm for wellbeing and a keen interest in improving the working environment and supporting engagement is a good candidate for a Wellbeing Champion. Due to the nature of the role, they should be approachable, willing to help, and have a basic understanding of healthy lifestyles and health promotion.

Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders should be recruited into the position and undertake training to make sure they have the skills and knowledge necessary to protect and nurture wellbeing.

What impact have Wellbeing Champions had at Everybody?

In the role of Wellbeing Champion, I’ve been able to provide the wellbeing team with an additional level of support in moving our wellbeing strategy development and initiatives forward.

Over the past year, we’ve sourced and supplied mental health training for our team members, with dedicated sessions for line managers and the executive team. A managers community has been created to provide opportunities for collaboration and to identify wellbeing initiatives and approaches that support our teams.

In addition, we’ve recently established a community of Wellbeing Champions, bringing a range of passions and skills to enhance our wellbeing support and guidance.

Wellbeing in the workplace is a journey and is continuously evolving – there is no one-size-fits-all approach. An organisation’s commitment to promoting wellbeing is vital to the success of establishing a culture that embraces wellbeing at work and supports every member of the team.

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