Employee wellbeing is going to be a key focus for all businesses going forward – and with time at a premium for those juggling busy work and home lives, one Health Cash Plan and Wellbeing Training provider is helping their team take a little time out for themselves.
Staff at Paycare have each been given two Wellbeing Days to use at any point during the year in addition to their annual leave, in a bid to help them relax and unwind, enjoy their hobbies, or try a new activity. It’s just one part of the organisation’s Workplace Wellbeing offering designed to support their team’s physical, mental, financial and emotional health.
While health is the primary motivation, it’s been made clear by other companies who have introduced similar perks that engagement, motivation and loyalty to the organisation are all positively impacted as a result.
Wellbeing Manager Kerry B Mitchell explains: “There is so much going on in everybody’s lives, and this has increased in the past year with home schooling, working from home, and other extra responsibilities being heaped upon everyone as a result of the pandemic.
“Many of our team wear multiple ‘hats’ whether they are parents, carers for family members, studying, or fulfilling other roles – so we know how much they value time where the focus is on their enjoyment and wellbeing.
“That’s why Paycare has introduced the Wellbeing Days – there are no limitations on what we expect the team to do during them, as long as it’s an activity they enjoy and that it’s focused around their own emotional health and happiness – so no email-checking, admin, ironing or cleaning the car (unless these are activities they genuinely enjoy)!
“We want to encourage our people to reflect on what they do for their own wellbeing by giving them a clear message that it matters to us as an organisation! This is especially important considering almost 60% of employees say they neglect their own mental health because they are busy at work. We also hope the days will help put the team in a different headspace for their work and personal life, which is the key to being happy!”
Some of the team members are planning trips to spas when they reopen, or even duvet days at home – while others will be filling their days with sport, action and adventure.
Head of Operations Nicola Mumford adds: “Wellbeing means different things to different people, and that’s why we haven’t been prescriptive about how the days are used.
“In this remote working environment, giving time to our people to take breaks, get some perspective and focus on themselves is absolutely the right way forward. It’s about ensuring there’s not a mentality that working hard means you’re being productive, but instead we focus on productivity coming from working well and working happy.
“While remote working allows for better flexibility, and for our teams to take breaks as and when they need them, we want to progress this further as we all adapt to the ‘new normal’ and one way of doing this is the introduction of these two days used for resting, recharging, and resetting where the team can do anything which promotes positive mental health.”
As well as looking after the team’s physical and mental health through cashback on healthcare costs and access to wellbeing training and support, Paycare’s Workplace Wellbeing strategy also focuses on offering staff the chance to boost their wellbeing through being an active part of their community. This includes paid Volunteer Days so they can assist a charitable organisation of their choice, and £250 each per year to kick-start a fundraising initiative, again of their choice.
To support other organisations with introducing new wellbeing policies, the Paycare team has launched its Workplace Wellbeing guide, available at www.paycare.org/workplace-wellbeing.