The importance of wellness in the workplace has only really been explored fairly recently, especially with the growing mental health concerns facing modern businesses. The most fundamental point surrounding the topic is that wellness is not just important for employees - it’s important for employers, too. Ultimately, every employer wants a talented, hard-working and productive labour force to permit business growth and development. Wellness in the workplace plays a huge part in achieving this, simply because happy employees are more efficient and loyal.
Whilst the importance of wellness within the workplace is widely agreed upon, exactly how you introduce wellness systems to the work environment remains a challenge. The primary struggle that employers face is the fact that wellness is not a skill and therefore cannot be taught or practised. Instead, it must be facilitated and given a platform to thrive.
Wellness is not a single entity; it is the result of multiple different environmental factors and soft skills coming together. Promoting these soft skills and creating the atmosphere required is key to promoting wellness in the workplace. Therefore, employers should focus on how to train the skills in question and shape their workplace culture to cultivate a wellness-driven approach to work.
Positive team building exercises are a great way to encourage this. Through targeted team health and wellbeing activities at work, it’s possible to improve the traits which result in a more positive working environment.
At Catalyst Team Building UK, we leverage over 45 years’ of team building experience to develop and run activities of unrivalled quality. Each of our activities is designed with learning outcomes in mind, enabling us to target specific soft skills and traits which promote wellness within the workplace. In this guide, we are going to explore how wellness activities at work can help to build some of the most important learning outcomes to consider when encouraging wellness.
Communication is easily one of the most important workplace skills and it only becomes more important from a wellness perspective. Employee satisfaction and happiness are dependent on a host of different variables but healthy, engaging and honest relationships are absolutely essential. However, for an employer, it’s impossible to force staff into building these relationships and attachments. All they can do is encourage honest communication and bring people together.
Team building is incredibly good at not just practising business-related communication skills, but team bonding, group mentality and trust, too. Most positive team building exercises rely on effective communication between members and an understanding of one another's skillsets. It’s during the less professional ‘fun’ of team building that participants can turn off and actually get to know one another. This is absolutely invaluable for promoting wellness within the workplace.
Collaboration is the act of individuals or groups working together to achieve a common goal. In a business sense, it is a key factor in any team’s success or growth. From a wellness perspective, collaboration helps to solidify inter-departmental and inter-colleague relationships, creating a positive can-do attitude where everyone is united. Furthermore, collaboration often involves the delivery and receipt of constructive criticism; learning to handle criticism is a key skill for any positive working environment.
In health and wellbeing activities at work, collaboration can be practised in a traditional sense through group challenges or in more quirky ways. For example, our own Meditainment event asks participants to meditate together and take part in guiding the group direction throughout the activity. Whilst practising collaboration, this event does so in a more wellness-oriented and calming manner, solidifying relationships in a whole new way.
It goes without saying that conflict management is one of the hardest skills for us to master. Humans are extremely complex and we each respond to conflict in a different way. Combine this with the stress of the workplace and it creates a very challenging issue to address. From both a business and wellness perspective, conflict management is key for helping staff make the correct decisions and deal with their emotions efficiently and effectively. Employees who can deliver and take feedback correctly are happier, more productive and more likely to improve their skills over time, which is exactly what any business wants.
In wellbeing activities at work, conflict management usually manifests itself through competitive challenges that pit teams against one another. The team building exercises that teach this skill best are those which force participants to directly confront one another and battle for the same resources or items, replicating a business situation. However, in truth, almost all team building activities practise some level of conflict management by making employees work as a unit. There will always be someone whose opinion does not align with that of the majority and practising the handling of that conflict plays a huge role in workplace wellness and happiness.
Purpose and Vision Alignment
Mission statements can often read like an elevator pitch for outsiders, but their true value is within the organisation. The best employees are those whose goals align with that of the company and so making these goals well known is essential. A member of staff who knows the company vision and agrees with it feels as though they have a purpose and are contributing to a greater goal. It’s this sensation that can drastically increase satisfaction and employee wellness.
Aligning employee goals with the company is a highly complex task but team building activities can have a brilliant impact. Many activities can help foster a culture which directly relates the company mission, whilst others are better for embedding the values of the organisation and encouraging brand ambassadorship. Through this, employees feel more positive about what they do and about coming to work in the first place, promoting both productivity and workplace wellness.
The constantly evolving world of business is in a perpetual state of change. As a result, businesses are also changing rapidly with structural shifts, role adjustment and job title changes occurring regularly. For some members of staff, the natural evolution of business operation is difficult to work with, simply because we are creatures of habit. Teaching employees how to manage change, adapt and work with their new situation will prepare them for the inevitable role shifts they will experience, boosting productivity and positivity during these difficult periods of uncertainty.
Many corporate team building events present staff with rapidly changing scenarios. Games and activities can have new variables injected at any time, forcing the participants to adapt and become more accustomed to the sensation of adjustment. Leveraging these activities is a brilliant way of practising the skill in a fun environment without necessarily decreasing the pressure that the workplace can often exert.
The learning outcomes listed are only the tip of the iceberg when thinking about the most important soft skills employees can possess from a wellness perspective. Team building activities are easily some of the most effective and impactful wellbeing at work ideas; the key is to select those which are designed with specific goals in mind.
If you are looking to promote wellness within your workplace or develop a specific skill within staff, explore our range of events, categories and outcomes to find the perfect activity for you. Catalyst Team Building UK is always on hand to answer any questions and offer bespoke advice tailored to your goals or requirements, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are unsure or have any questions.