Build a healthier future

In today’s society, there are increasing pressures – both inside and outside work – with a faster pace of life, higher expectations, social media (life through filters) and often more information and/or choices than we know what to do with. All of which can impact (in varying degrees) on our physical and/or mental health. Taking pro-active steps to focus on self-care, physically and mentally, can make all the difference in ‘taking back control’ and building resilience to face in to the challenges of the changing world around us.

We spend such a large proportion of our adult life at work and as a corporate and socially responsible business, we not only recognise the importance of health & wellbeing of our people, but also the positive impact that we can have on our wider networks and communities. It is no longer about work-life balance, but a focus on the wellbeing of our ‘whole self’ and our work-life integration. Focusing on and supporting a healthier future for our people is not only the right thing to do… it makes business sense!

Our Health & Wellbeing journey…

In writing this blog, it was difficult to know where to begin, there is so much to write about.

At Bespak, we could focus on our agenda over the past 12 months, how we have continued to build upon our health events and promotions, which have included blood pressure checks, smoking cessation sessions, wellbeing in the workplace sessions, time 2 talk and weekly ‘walk and talk’ sessions with our Mental Health First Aiders, mental health awareness week (with a packed agenda of activities), mindfulness sessions, suicide prevention day and men’s mental health (as part of international men’s day).  We could talk to the introduction of our new Occupational Health Provider or ongoing Employee Assistance Programme that we offer, including a portal full of useful information and fact-sheets.

But, what we really wanted to share is what brings this all to life. We can share with you our personal learnings along the way (in terms of the part we have played in building and leading a Health & Wellbeing agenda) and what we believe will keep us moving forward into 2020, stronger, healthier and more united in our approach.

 

Our top tips & learnings along the way:

  1. Communication is key – The ‘why’ we are running an event, awareness session or promotion is equally as important as the event itself. Continuing to promote a positive message and letting people know that we focus on their health and wellbeing because they matter to us – not just in work, but as a whole, is key. In addition, we continue to look at what methods of communication are effective – given our locations and work activities – to ensure that we are reaching as many people, at the right time and with the right context (pre, during and after the event).  We would love to say that we have this ‘absolutely nailed’, but we don’t, yet!  We do however continue to learn and evolve our approach along the way.
  1. Lead and drive the agenda with passion and positive resilience – It hasn’t always been easy, however we have been incredibly lucky to have a team and network around us who have as much passion and positive resilience as we do to make a positive difference to health & wellbeing. We see the amount of time, dedication and effort that is placed in to every single event or promotion that is carried out, some of which ‘land’ and some which don’t have the impact that we were hoping for.  It could be easy to be disheartened in these situations; however the good far outweighs the bad and it is all learning! We adapt and continue to move forward.
    1. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel – Depending on the focus for the Health & Wellbeing agenda, there is so much information and support that is already available. In running our campaigns alongside recognised International or National awareness days we have been able to use materials or support packs that are already available online – and also feel part of a bigger movement & network.  Here are a few links that we have referred to:

www.time-to-change.org.uk
https://www.awarenessdays.com
https://www.mind.org.uk/

      1. Build a network of Health & Wellbeing Advocates across (and outside of) the Company – Health & Wellbeing is not an ‘HR Initiative’ and it is down to each and every one of us in an organisation to bring this to life. By building a network of advocates it keeps the conversations going, keeps the ideas fresh and it is easier to communicate and cascade messages – and receive constructive feedback on how to improve.  Through increased communication and sharing the good news stories, along with the reasons why, we have seen a fantastic increase in the number of people coming forward to share ideas and get involved.
      1. And finally… Try, try and try again! The needs and challenges surrounding Health & Wellbeing will continue to evolve, so be brave to experiment with new ideas to bring the agenda alive. We keep the focus of ‘what’ we want to raise awareness of, why it is important to us, look at what we have done previously (and the impact of that) but we also dare to be different, to try something new and learn and evolve.  It is often in these moments that the magic happens!

What’s new for 2020?

In September 2019 we established a Health and Wellbeing Committee, where 3 key themes emerged from the work that we all carrying out locally; Mind, Body and Environment.  It seemed fitting that these became the pillars for our 2020 Health & Wellbeing agenda and we have collectively committed to a minimum of 4 events/promotions.   These are:

Dry January
Women’s Health (alongside International Woman’s Day)
Mental Health Awareness Week
Men’s Health (alongside International Men’s Day)

In addition, we will also recognise our continued localised agendas and in support of the 3 pillars.

This is fantastic news in terms of the opportunities to drive a more consistent approach to Health & Wellbeing across Bespak, build our respective networks, share information, learnings and resources and ultimately collectively focus on what is important to us… driving for a better, healthier future for our people and our organisation.

 

From all at Bespak , we wish you a very happy, prosperous and healthy 2020!

 

We are keen to expand our network, so if you do something great where you work or would like to share ideas, experiences and best practice, we would love to hear from you.

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