On 20th November we hosted a wellness seminar, led by Michelle Flynn a qualified health and nutrition coach, looking at how our clients can improve their own wellbeing as well as the wellness of their employees.

I had decided that as a business we wanted to provide a topic that was related to recruitment but would add value to our client’s wellness, retention and productivity strategies too. Having already used Michelle and other coaches for our internal staff I was well aware of the positive impact coaching has on employees. However, it wasn’t until I started investigating the topic that I realised just how large an issue wellness represents to the British economy. The two most startling statistics were:

Mental health issues cost employers £39.4 bn in absenteeism last year

15.4 million working days were lost due to work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017/18

With technology having made such an impact on how we work in the last 20 years it is no surprise that people feel that they are burning out. The modern workplace culture is to work less hours in the office but be on call 24/7.

This is in stark contrast to when I joined recruitment in 1996, then mobile phones were a luxury and if you did have one work would never dream of calling you on it after hours. When you left the office you physically stopped work. Holidays were just that a complete break from the office and a chance to recharge the batteries, nowadays we may reduce the time we spend responding to emails and messages, but we never switch off.

If you want to attract and retain staff then you as a leader or as an organistaion need to make changes to ensure that you are promoting wellness within the workplace.

What were the learnings from our Wellness Seminar?

1, Any initiative that involves a break in the normal working pattern has to be driven from the top. If the Directors don’t participate and engage then your staff will feel anxious about participating. Paradoxically the pool table, ping pong table or walking group you have signed off on to reduce stress and anxiety levels may actually be increasing them.

2, There is a vast difference in the benefits financial services firms offer in the way of wellness. If you are serious about recruitment and retention, then all firms need to have employee wellness as a priority during 2020.

3, From our feedback on the event everyone who attended felt that they could benefit from additional coaching. Easy solutions to this would be to provide in house wellness seminars or offer coaching allowances as part of your package.

4, Small changes make all the difference, ensure your staff take breaks from the desk during the day and not contact them when they are on holiday. Two small but effective changes that will see a big change in employee wellness.

Post our Wellness Seminar

Whilst my fellow director Marcus and I are committed to reviewing our companies own wellness plan for 2020, we have immediately extended our coaching to other people in the company. We have recognised that it is not just the most senior or highest performers that can benefit than this but everyone.

If you would like to hear more about our Wellness Seminar and our findings please contact me on 0207 663 5978 or stuart.duncan@saxtonleigh.co.uk , alternatively I would be keen to hear what you are doing to improve wellness either as an individual or as a company?

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