Employee Engagement

Top Tips for Improving the Wellbeing of Your Employees This Winter

Top Tips for Improving the Wellbeing of Your Employees This Winter

The lead up to Christmas is usually teamed with bouts of festive fun and parties with colleagues, friends and family however this year, our festivities are looking a little quieter than usual. Although we can still eat and drink our body weight in mince pies and mulled wine from home, it’s important that employers stay mindful that this period may be tough for some of their team. 

Winter is a rocky time of year for many and with the ongoing unpredictability of Covid-19 and the second lockdown, this has only heightened. The days have grown shorter, the dreary weather may have led to a lack of motivation, stress and exhaustion and cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) have upped. According to recent research one in three people in the UK suffer from SAD and women are 40 per cent more likely to experience symptoms. 

With the usual side effects of the winter months and the addition of Covid-19 stress - financial, home-schooling, shielding etc, it’s important that employers are there to support their team through this period as much as possible. Businesses don’t have to do anything elaborate and expensive, just basic improvements that can help boost your team’s mental and physical health. Here's some ideas to get you started:

Five a day and hydration

The lead up to Christmas tends to involve a lot of overindulgence. Chocolates, mince pies and alcohol usually replace fruit, veg and water and although most people feel a huge sense of happiness as they reach for their twentieth Quality Street of the day, the knock on effect of an unbalanced diet can also lead to them feeling unmotivated and sluggish.

To counteract the impact of winter overindulgence, you could send your employees a fresh fruit and veg box to their home to encourage healthy eating habits or sign them up to a subscription for a company such as, Gousto or Hello Fresh for throughout the winter months. 

Ensuring your team get their five a day and drink plenty of water is integral to their physical and mental wellbeing. It’ll help combat illnesses, lift their spirits and increase productivity levels. 

Encourage exercise and activities 

For most, winter is a time of hibernation. The days get shorter, the weather gets colder and most of the UK vow to a few months wrapped in their duvets eating Milk Trays by the fire. However, the physical and mental side effects of not getting outside and exercising aren’t so great!

Employers can combat these side effects by encouraging their team to get outside as much as possible. Whether it’s a lunchtime walk to stretch their legs, a 5K run to blow off some steam or a trip to the gym, any form of exercise will destress, refocus, and re-energise employees. 

Why not add a sense of competition in the workplace to encourage exercise? At Neon, we set a target at the beginning of lockdown to run or walk 300 miles for charity before Christmas Eve. We’ve tracked our progress on the App, Strava and the leaderboard has spurred us all on to get out in the fresh air as much as possible - we’re 3 weeks in and have already smashed our target! 

Reward and recognise 

After such a challenging year we know that it is more important than ever to reward, celebrate and recognise everything that your employees have achieved in 2020. 

Your team may be feeling a little deflated by the fact that Christmas is going to be a bit different this year and celebrating with your colleagues in person may not be possible but, there are a multitude of different ways you can connect with your team and help put a smile on their faces. From virtual cooking classes and festive hampers to overnight treats and vouchers, there are so many different options for you to reward, recognise and show appreciation to your team this Christmas. 

Alternatively, you could give your staff the gift of time! Businesses such as, M&S, Pets at Home and Wickes have announced that they will not be opening their stores this year on what’s usually one of the busiest days of the year - Boxing Day - to show appreciation to their staff and to allow them to spend quality time with family whilst they can over the Christmas period. 

Be proactive

1 in 4 employees report to have a physical health problem whilst 1 in 5 of those employees report to have a mental health condition.

An employee's physical and mental health can, of course, be impacted by external factors outside of the workplace however, there are measures that can be put in place by businesses to support and improve their team’s wellbeing. 

All of the above points are integral to help prevent a physical or mental health condition but, it’s even more important to be observant and proactive if you think an employee is already suffering. Be mindful, supportive and committed to your employees wellbeing and you will build a healthy workplace that is powered by dedicated, motivated and happy employees all year round.

Get in touch if you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you support your team through incentives, reward and recognition or virtual event solutions during this time.