Increasing employee engagement is important for any employee retention efforts. One approach adopted by the hospitality industry to increase employee engagement and commitment, is the introduction of employee wellness programmes. The goal of these programmes is to help employees to change their habits into healthy ones. This is done through a combination of efforts to enhance their self-awareness, change their behaviour, and to provide a supportive environment in work. Many researchers also identify several positive benefits that businesses can gain from employee wellness programmes, such as increased productivity, employee trust, and commitment, as well as reduced turnover and absenteeism.
Creating A Wellness Programme
To create a programme that promotes workplace wellbeing in the long-term, you should consider various aspects and plan carefully. The first thing to do is think about why you want to implement the programme. Many businesses skip over this fundamental aspect, realising only later that they don’t know what results to expect. You should try to determine what your staff would benefit from the most and also think about which programmes would suit your restaurant or café the best.
It’s important to talk to your staff in order to understand their needs, and their opinions about possible wellbeing programmes. In order to do this, you should talk to your staff individually or as a group; alternatively, you could send out staff surveys, which are useful to ask which aspects of the workplace need improving.
When you are ready to create your programme, your plan should include a number of key aspects; including, for example, who is responsible for running each programme, when it will start, how the effectiveness will be monitored, and what resources you’ll require. Consider starting simple and evolving the programme gradually, to prevent overstretching your resources.
Here is a list of some wellbeing programmes that might be a good fit for hospitality businesses:
Nutrition and Fitness
Both nutrition and fitness are vital to the physical wellbeing of your staff so having a wellness programme that promotes taking care of yourself can only improve morale and reduce absences due to illness. Distribution of information in the workplace, presentations, or even offering free healthy snacks are all good ideas. When staff see promotional materials daily, they may feel motivated to change their diet for the better, particularly if it becomes a group activity where their colleagues do it too.
Operation Transformation, which airs every January on RTÉ, highlights Irish workplaces that have gotten involved each week and also provide useful tips on healthy eating and exercise. You should focus on the importance of physical activity and share information about this topic with your team. Be sure to make them aware of the relevance of physical exercise in everyday life and benefits for not only the body but also the mind. Just taking a half hour walk or using the stairs instead of the lift will help employees to keep fit.
Access to Information
Promote local workshops about mindfulness or stress reduction in the workplace. Consider displaying leaflets about local groups for staff and customers who may find them useful. Some people’s wellbeing issues may affect their performance in work and can cause absenteeism.
You should think about planning events and activities around international days or campaigns related to wellness and wellbeing. Or even something as simple as organising a group cinema trip every quarter. Team building days can encourage friendships to grow and help to promote a supportive atmosphere in the workplace.
Planning and implementing a wellbeing programme takes up time and resources, but in the long-term it should increase productivity and staff retention. Sometimes limited resources can be an obstacle to the development of a wellness programme. If you’re finding it difficult to create a strategy because of lack of budget, then you should consider GRID Finance. GRID specialises in providing flexible finance to hospitality businesses. GRID’s cash advance service is a great short-term finance solution. It is repaid as a portion of your daily card sales, so it works with the ebb and flow of your business.
Find out more about this flexible finance option and how it works.