When we refer to Social wellbeing in the workplace, generally we are referring to the extent to which an employee feels a sense of belonging at work. The Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA) class Social Wellbeing as the “forgotten facet” of wellbeing initiatives but one that is incredibly valuable to both employees and employers.
Social Wellbeing comes down to an individual’s sense of belonging and purpose and is becoming an increasingly important factor in the decision-making process of the emerging generation of workers. Creating a culture of recognition plays a key part in this, alongside any initiatives that help drive relationships between co-workers in a business. The impact can be so big, that individuals who have a friend at work are reported to be seven times more likely to feel engaged. With the global workforce becoming increasingly remote, however, especially in these current days, there is more of a need for employers to think intentionally about this than ever.
There are several different ways that businesses have been successful in fostering positive Social Wellbeing in the Workplace, including:
Bringing people together as a whole, or as a team, on a regular basis to communicate on company progress, staff achievements, success stories and other items helps foster a sense of collective purpose and keep people united.
From big events like the Christmas Party or Quarterly nights out, to drinks on a Friday or office pizza nights, these things make a big difference. In some cases, this can also involve investment in premises and the creation of breakout spaces with pool tables, gaming consoles etc that make social interaction a genuine culture across the business
Not everyone is into sport, but not only does this enhance Social Wellbeing it has a clear and obvious benefit to Physical Wellbeing also. Whether that’s entering a team to a corporate league or putting a relay team into a one-off race, these can really bring people together
Forced participation in “good causes” can sometimes have a negative effect, but sponsoring charitable initiatives, encouraging participation, and perhaps even allowing for paid CSR days can help develop a shared sense of purpose amongst staff
Productivity is king in most businesses but allowing people to build personal connections matters. Allowing some weekend catch-ups on a Monday morning, creating a shared lunch space that people actually want to be in or breaking some drinks out of the fridge at 4 pm on a Friday, there are a number of little things that can be done that add up to a big cultural impact.
Every employer will be faced with different circumstances and some ideas may work better than others in each context, but what is key is that Social Wellbeing is not allowed to be the “forgotten” facet of a Wellbeing strategy in your business.
For more information on the ways that both we and our clients have supported Social Wellbeing amongst our employees, get in touch and speak with one of our MCS Life Ambassadors.