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Bringing the plan together : A well-being strategy

A well-being strategy that takes an integrated approach to mental health and well-being will address mental ill health regardless of cause, prevent harm by addressing risk factors in the work environment and promoting the positive and enable employees to thrive.

Why is a well-being strategy important?

Your well-being strategy articulates your organisation’s commitment to employee well-being and will help embed well-being in your organisation’s overall vision and day to day activities. Establishing a strategy (or at least some broad well-being goals) is useful for a number of reasons. These include

  • your well-being strategy sets your directions and priorities for the period assigned,
  • a well-being commitment that is endorsed and championed by senior leadership will assist you in justifying and requesting resources to support the implementation of your plan, and
  • a strategic, integrated and holistic approach to well-being is more likely to be successful in terms of impact on mental health and efficient use of resources.

Quick Win

Revisit your business case

When developing your strategy it may be necessary to re-engage with your leadership team and key stakeholders to revisit some of the prepare steps.

If necessary, you may want to revise your business case in light of the results of your evaluation, reconnect with employees, and reassess the availability of resources. Each of these points will be necessary in writing your well-being strategy.

Before writing your strategy

Before writing your well-being strategy it is useful to regroup after the results of the assessment and ask yourself some key questions.

How integrated and holistic can your strategy be?

Understanding the reasonable scope of your strategy will influence how responsibilities can be distributed between departments and team members. Will the strategy sit wholly within the wellness team, or is there an opportunity to embed it into a broader health and safety strategy?

What resources do you have available for implementation?

Whilst you plan, try to keep resourcing in mind to avoid over committing or under delivering. This can include financial resources, time, and individuals and departments involved. Having more resources available to support the project will make it easier to implement your action plan. If you are too ambitious with what you seek to achieve with limited resources, you risk not delivering and losing employee support for your initiative.

Targeting your strategy

Remember that for most organisations, addressing the Mitigate Illness and Prevent Harm pillars will form the basis of their well-being initiative for a number of years. Whilst the Promote Thriving pillar is an important part of the Thrive at Work Framework, it is a very ambitious aim for most organisations. For organisations with resource limitations, focusing on the Mitigate Illness and Preventing Harm areas will ensure legal compliance and build an important foundation upon which you can add activities that promote thriving.

After considering the above points, invite relevant team members to participate in the development of your strategy.

The ultimate goal is to develop an integrated approach to mental health and well-being that addresses the needs of employees across the full spectrum of well-being.

Resource

The Thrive at Work team has developed a well-being strategy template. You can add your organisation’s information to the template or use it as a guide to develop your own.

If you already have a well-being strategy

Many organisations using this toolkit will already have a well-being strategy in place. If this is the case, we recommend reviewing your existing strategy to check the following:

Are the key mental health and well-being activities from the Thrive at Work assessment tool in your well-being strategy?

If there are important and strategic well-being related activities that you listed in your assessment, you may consider revising your strategy to include it. It is important that you only add the activities that are strategically important for mental health and well-being.

Does your strategy take an integrated approach – does it contain activities that are designed to mitigate illness, prevent harm and promote thriving?

If your strategy does not currently take an integrated approach, consider restructuring it in line with the Thrive at Work Framework. This will enable your organisation to support a broader range of mental health needs.

Have you included methods by which your organisation can increase the maturity of well-being activities, for example, are there plans to introduce measurement or evaluation of existing activities?

If not, review the example metrics in the Thrive at Work assessment tool or learn about new data collection methods and select at least one metric or employee feedback avenue that may help you track your well-being goals. This will help you understand the impact of your activities; where you are doing well and where your employees may need additional support.

Next step

Action planning

Action planning involves organisations converting their well-being strategy to actionable activities to be introduced or progressed.