The countdown is on for the Not-For-Profit People Conference and there’s plenty to get excited about in addition to the bar and canapés networking opportunities promised on the first evening…
Aimed at educating not-for-profit leaders on how best to attract and retain talented people for their organisations, it’s unsurprising that health and wellbeing in the workplace is one of 6 focus points of the Not-For-Profit People Conference and a subject of some of the talks and sessions made available to the conferences 500 attendees.
Obviously, workplace wellness should be a priority for any industry but there are a couple of reasons why NFPs in particular need to maintain awareness of how their organisation promotes health and wellbeing:
- Limited funds – NFPs will have budgets that are unlikely to stretch to offering luxury employee perks or rewards schemes
- Susceptible staff – given that NFPs are often dedicated to support vulnerable people and groups, the day-to-day work can be emotionally, physically and mentally demanding for employees
These challenges will always be central to their daily operations, aren’t going anywhere and can’t necessarily be ‘solved’. NFPs have to think outside the square to ensure they can retain their staff by growing a healthy work environment.
Investing time and resources to workplace wellness means investing in your team; helping them build resilience and hopefully, maximising the contribution they make to the organisation during their employment.
What is wellbeing?
It should go without saying that creating opportunities within the workplace to improve well-being should be inclusive. Well-being doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has to do it together, although team activities are certainly encouraged.
At my previous workplace, we were strongly encouraged to attend a lunch-time spin class together as a ‘team bonding’ activity. The sessions were a fun way to alleviate the pressures of the working day and well suited to a group of competitive fitness fanatics. Obviously high-intensity spin classes are not for the fainthearted and this example lends itself to the point that activities should be chosen carefully depending on what will appeal to your team.
Wellness activities in the workplace should be achievable and optional. Inspiring wellness in the workplace is about creating opportunities for staff to comfortably and willingly make time for their health and wellbeing during the working day.
Inspired by this article by Ethical Jobs, here are some areas of the workplace where health and wellbeing can be integrated.
It’s common knowledge that sitting at desks all day is bad for our health. Being stationary for large portions of the day is a real issue, so this means adapting workplaces so employees are encouraged to move on the regular:
- Standing desks
- Varied workspaces
- Walking meetings
- Extended lunch-breaks to encourage mid-day exercise
- Make your organisation bike friendly
Don’t Overdo Overtime
If you’ve successfully recruited the best people for your NFP, chances are they’ll be the type to go above and beyond for your organisation. The trouble is that this can prevent them fostering a healthy work-life balance and eventually, will affect their wellbeing and mental health.
Unregulated overtime in the office sets a precedent that it is the norm – make sure it’s discussed and recognised. Ask your team to log their overtime hours and offer time in lieu or a review of their workload when the hours clock up. Overtime may be a sign that your employee requires more support in a particular area.
Work to eradicate overtime rather than encourage it.
Practice What You Preach
The Not-For-Profit People Conference will offer an entirely vegetarian/vegan menu. Ethical Jobs live and breathe their commitment to being an ethical and sustainable organisation. They run on Green Power, consume FairTrade exclusively and are committed to only using 100% recycled paper. Check out their Ethical Paper pledge here; they’re even encouraging other companies to join them in pledging to avoid using office paper that destroys our native forests.
Encompassing the values of your organisation into its very structure is the perfect way to lead by example. Your values could influence how you approach sustainability, gender and cultural diversity and mental health within the workplace.
By Claudia Bellwood, Temp Consultant, Rusher Rogers
If it takes your fancy, you can peruse more of our musings here.