Why wellbeing at work is no longer a company perk

Written by Christina Lawrence

In this update, Christina Lawrence Head of People, explains why she is pleased that wellbeing at work is now recognised as a business strategy across many sectors and no longer deemed a “company perk”.

As PRMA Consulting’s Head of People and Mental Health First Aider, I am a champion of employee health and wellbeing, and normalizing conversations around mental health.

There is growing recognition of the importance of building healthy workplaces and working lives,1 and employers are understanding their role in supporting the mental health of their employees. I believe that wellbeing at work initiatives should no longer be deemed a “company perk” but made intrinsic to the holistic promotion of excellence in work, collaborative relationships, and supportive values.

Supporting our colleagues with a series of wellbeing at work sessions

At PRMA Consulting, to help our global colleagues through the change and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are continuing our initiatives to support morale and complement our successful work-life balance philosophy.2

I am thrilled that a new series of wellbeing at work sessions is being delivered virtually to colleagues. This series is focused on finding calm and an empowered mindset.

In the first session we looked at ways to release stress from our body. We learnt that when we feel anxious or overwhelmed, we sometimes feel tension within our body, which we may experience through short, rapid breaths. Slowing down our breathing and taking longer breaths can help us to calm down and reduce overwhelming feelings so we can take more considered action.

Our breath is our anchor,” said our session facilitator Claire Aristides.3It can centre us when things feel frantic, connecting us back to the present moment. Learning to breathe deeply and use breathing techniques to calm the mind in stressful times is an essential tool in a busy life.”

Claire guided us through a simple breathing meditation designed to quieten our minds and help us take away the stress and tension that our bodies do not need to hold onto.

This meditative body scan combined deep breathing with visualization of a bubble of calming light that moved through the body. The technique helped us to relax the nervous system and calm the sensation of fight and flight that we may be feeling in a stressful world.

I found that taking a moment to simply connect with my breath, connect with my body and mind, gave me a nurtured feeling, ready for a calm and productive day at work.

Ninety-eight percent of employees say that PRMA Consulting truly cares for its staff

I am thrilled that my colleagues are engaging with wellbeing initiatives like this, practicing them, and recognising their value.

In our annual employee survey, 98% of employees said that PRMA Consulting truly cares for its staff.

Employees referred to their appreciation of our wellbeing initiatives, and referenced mental health benefits such as:

  • Enhanced collaboration: Colleagues felt a sense of collaboration by joining the workshops together. They felt calmer and therefore more productive after each session. They also felt a sense of togetherness by all being online together.

“It was very insightful of you to create and implement this company wide support. I doubt if many other organisations have offered such a spectrum of easily-accessible initiatives.” Anonymous colleague feedback

  • Improved self-awareness: Employees commented that sharing how they were feeling showed them that it is OK to sometimes not be feeling their best during these extraordinary times, and that others are having similar experiences.

“The wellbeing workshop opened a whole new dimension on how I can deal and interact with my emotions. I can see myself in better harmony after knowing how to use mindfulness to energize myself, overcome challenges, and achieve goals.” Anonymous colleague feedback

  • Allowing time to reflect: The ability to take a step back and reflect is a skill that sometimes must be taught and given time for – particularly when people are immersed in their day-to-day responsibilities.

“The wellbeing techniques have really helped me both at work and home to re-focus and calm my thoughts to carry on with tasks” Anonymous colleague feedback

I am so pleased with this feedback and the opportunity to work with colleagues to continually improve our wellbeing programme at PRMA Consulting. Our investment is making a difference and I am looking forward to welcoming employees to the next series of workshops.

Further reading:

  1. CIPD (2019) Health and Wellbeing at Work. Available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/health-and-wellbeing-at-work-2019.v1_tcm18-55881.pdf. Accessed 1 November 2020.
  2. PRMA Consulting (2020) Home working: 6 tips for fostering team connectivity in times of distance and disruption. Available at: https://www.prmaconsulting.com/blog/home-working-6-tips-for-fostering-team-connectivity-in-times-of-distance-and-disruption/. Accessed 1 November 2020.
  3. Claire Aristides, Mindology App (2020). Mental Wellbeing: Where to Start? Available at: https://mindology.mykajabi.com/blog/mental-wellbeing-where-to-start. 1 November 2020.

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