The ultimate guide to workplace wellbeing in 2023

A quick summary:

  • What is Workplace wellbeing?
  • Why is wellbeing important in the workplace?
  • 3 benefits of promoting corporate wellbeing
  • Other benefits of encouraging corporate wellbeing
  • Tips for building an employee wellbeing strategy
  • Final thoughts on workplace wellbeing in 2023
  • How does Heka improve corporate wellbeing?

Workplace wellbeing has become an extremely important facet of any business, across every industry. In recent years, leaders realised the positive significance of corporate wellbeing and the need to put people at the forefront of business.

From the wrath of a global pandemic to the stress of a recession, both businesses and their employees have been up against the odds for a couple of rough years. Hopefully, this narrative is at a turning point as we move forward in 2023.

What has evolved positively is society’s view on topics like mental health, self-care and general wellbeing — and it has undeniably taken over the working world too. This newfound demand sees workplace wellbeing now labelled an utter necessity, as opposed to a ‘nice-to-have’.

These often frowned-upon conversations are now being encouraged by leaders in an effort to enhance corporate wellbeing, and as you can imagine, we’re very happy about that at Heka!

Ultimately, it’s an exciting time for workplace wellbeing, and while we’re a long way off perfection, this shift in attitude and the progressive decisions leadership teams are making will help shape a better future for employees.

We predict in just the next couple of years alone, the workplace will encourage openness, support healthier lifestyles and recognise that people must come first.

In this ultimate guide to workplace wellbeing in 2023, we’re addressing a lot of key points. If you’re thinking “slow down!”, don’t worry, we’re going to kick things off by answering the question, ‘what is employee wellbeing?’.
After that, we’ll answer ‘why is wellbeing important in the workplace?’ — something many HR professionals ponder.

With a robust understanding of corporate wellbeing, we’ll move on to the key benefits of promoting it, followed by how you can build an employee wellbeing strategy. Finally, we’ll wrap up with our conclusive thoughts and introduce you to our wellbeing platform!

As you can imagine, there’s a lot to get through, so, without further ado, let’s jump right into our super helpful guide to workplace wellbeing!

A group of female employees working in an office
What is employee wellbeing

What is employee wellbeing?

First and foremost, what is employee wellbeing? It’s a great question and one that deserves a great answer. Corporate wellbeing is simply the emotional, physical and social wellbeing of anyone and everyone in your organisation.

And that means everyone, regardless of role or seniority. It’s the wellbeing of our everyday working lives, and the commitment of leadership teams towards improving workforce happiness and satisfaction and alleviating stress, anxiety and depression.

On the surface, workplace wellbeing sounds very simple, but that’s far from true. You see, we, as individuals all have our own needs and desires. Some of us believe an increased salary would improve our wellbeing, while others desire health-focused perks.

In reality, there’s no right or wrong answer. But what we must realise is that pleasing everybody is never an easy feat and one that organisations must — at the very least — attempt to achieve.

If we break down the concept of an employee wellbeing strategy, it is nothing more than a label. The one you give to various efforts to improve workplace wellbeing. It’s the umbrella term for your care to detail with employee benefits.

It’s the leadership style you continuously encourage for managers. It’s the supportive nature of your company culture, and the openness it has developed to topics like health and wellbeing.

That is quite possibly the most accurate response we can give to “what is employee wellbeing?”. But that question is somewhat wasted without understanding why corporate wellbeing is so important.

Why is wellbeing important in the workplace?

Before exploring the various benefits of promoting corporate wellbeing and the strategies you can put in place, let’s look at why you should care.

Firstly, corporate wellbeing is the backbone of your organisation. It’s the reason employees bother to get up and arrive on time. The reason they make progress with projects and meet deadlines whilst maintaining quality.

If you’re wondering “is it really that serious?” then let us remind you that workplace wellbeing improves, so too does productivity, performance, retention and more.

While we’re going to explore some of these points in a lot more detail soon, just remember that when employees are happier, they are more engaged with their work.

And with traditional employee engagement methods no longer working, improving engagement is a very big accomplishment.

And if we are to go off the statistics from a Gallup report, it’s believed that higher engagement results in 20% higher sales, 17% higher productivity, and 21% higher profitability, whilst also reducing absenteeism.

See, when we ask the question “Why is wellbeing important in the workplace?” we overlook all of these other incredible reasons and opportunities. Now, let’s elaborate on the importance of corporate wellbeing by looking at 3 benefits.

Two employees smiling and laughing whilst working on one laptop
3 benefits of promoting corporate wellbeing


3 benefits of promoting corporate wellbeing

So, you now understand what makes corporate wellbeing so important in 2023. That said, it’s likely you want to know more. Why should you really invest in workplace wellbeing?

It’s very obvious that new programmes and initiatives don’t come without a cost. The best you can do is research the benefits of investing in corporate wellbeing.

That’s why we’ve gone into as much detail as possible in the points below, in an attempt to make your decisions much more informed.

It’s no secret that leaders who aren’t aware of the benefits of fostering workplace wellbeing, are in a dangerous position moving forward.

A healthier workplace makes for a healthier workforce 

First and foremost, corporate wellbeing has one goal, behavioural change. With the right tools, access to information, and encouragement from leaders, people are empowered through workplace wellbeing.

All of these efforts push employees in the right direction and lead to better outcomes like improved habits and fewer health risks, which lead to less time away from work.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the UK’s work-related ill health was dominated by stress, depression or anxiety, at a whopping 51 per cent in 2021/22.

It’s also reported that a shocking 17M days were lost in 2021/22 due to stress, depression or anxiety — revealing a much-needed rethink from businesses.

While workplace wellbeing cannot single-handedly correct these issues, it’s the beginning of a healthier, happier workforce. As we said, fostering a culture focused on health and wellbeing means encouraging behavioural change.

There are plenty of things we’d all love to change about ourselves. Some of us would prefer to give up addictions like smoking, others would love to improve their cardio health. It’s corporate wellbeing that sees employees thinking about these decisions much more.

What’s more, when we talk about healthier workplaces, we must look at ways of rethinking the environment itself.

Take a look at some of the largest organisations in the world, some of the most successful. We find entire campuses with state-of-the-art facilities to support workplace wellbeing.

Now, of course, that might be a little out of reach for your company as it stands, but it’s a clear indication that healthier workplaces create healthier workforces.

Think about everything from desk layout to general room design. Whilst we can encourage social interaction, the appearance of our workspaces can also make all the difference.

A better desk layout encourages more collaboration and strengthens relationships, and the better we get along with each other, the more engaged we are with our jobs — and of course, the higher the standard of corporate wellbeing.

Businesses get more done with workplace wellbeing 

Moving on, let’s look at how businesses can achieve more when they focus on workplace wellbeing.

This may sound bizarre to some, but businesses that take corporate wellbeing seriously, typically see improvements in productivity.

This doesn’t mean employees work harder because of that new Thursday yoga class. Truthfully, employee productivity improves because ‘presenteeism’ drops.

So, while the same amount of employees have been turning up each day, every day, they’re making much more impactful decisions, getting their workload priorities right and choosing to work at their best ability.

In fact, according to a BBC article, health insurer Vitality carried out a survey which found a shocking 40% of people said their work had been affected by health problems.

Ultimately, corporate wellbeing enables people to take back control of their mental and physical wellbeing, and by doing so, they’re able to focus on the next challenge in their day-to-day lives and careers.

Companies must hear employees out when it comes to improving workplace wellbeing. Especially considering employees who feel their voice is heard by leadership are 4.6 times more likely to perform at their very best!

Whilst a conversation around employee engagement and corporate wellbeing is worthy of an entirely separate discussion, let’s leave it at that for now.


Recruit the best, retain the rest

When it comes to recruitment, it’s riddled with obstacles HR professionals have to navigate in hiring the very best talent.

This is especially true for the modern workplace, with new talent being of a very different generation from the last.

Not only this, but most people are accustomed to job specifications, and platforms like LinkedIn now allow job seekers to filter out positions that simply don’t offer a specific wage or remote work.

This will force a lot of businesses to rework their policies and fringe benefits around corporate wellbeing. Given the needs and desires of employees constantly evolve, these are things that require regular thought and revision.

Attracting talent is one huge hurdle to face. But it doesn’t end there. Companies will need to retain talent by building an environment and organizational culture that empowers and supports employees in their quest for better mental and physical health.

According to legaljobs.io, 20% of staff turnover happens in the first 45 days of any new company, so while attracting talent is important, just as important is retaining them.

Despite this, excellent workplace wellbeing will be the answer to these problems. That’s because wellbeing will no longer exist solely on paperwork and wallcharts, but instead within the bloodstream of the business.

Taking corporate wellbeing seriously means taking the mental, emotional and physical health of employees seriously — it shows potential talent and current team members just how much leaders want the business to succeed.

As you can see, there are great benefits to implementing a strong workplace wellbeing programme. Many leaders believe wellbeing is a one-way system, simply to benefit employees, but they couldn’t be further from the truth.

While it’s correct that corporate wellbeing initiatives are offered for the workforce primarily, it does provide measurable benefits to employers also.

Any great leader will put their people first, without regard to what’s measurable or not, but it must be highlighted that a corporate wellbeing programme can be a win-win strategy.

As the working world battles with the war for talent, it is an absolute necessity that employers up their game to attract and retain talent. Whilst investment in corporate wellbeing alone won’t get you there, it’s definitely a good beginning move.

In 2023, times will be much harder, not only for people in general but businesses too. If leaders want to keep their company afloat, or sailing to success, they must address issues with recruitment and employee retention.

Other benefits of promoting corporate wellbeing

Now that we’ve covered some of the most prominent benefits of corporate wellbeing, we couldn’t leave you without just the four.

As we’ve said multiple times, the decision to improve workplace wellbeing is a big one and requires a greater understanding of what you’re up against.

Below, we’ve listed a number of other benefits in addition to the ones explored above. We recommend you use this list to carry out your own research.

  • Corporate wellbeing minimises presenteeism and absenteeism
  • Reduces healthcare costs associated with lacking support
  • Encourages better health habits outside the workplace
  • Strengthens employer identity for better hiring efforts

A group of friends or colleagues stood hand in hand facing the sun

How to build an employee wellbeing strategy

Building an employee wellbeing strategy takes time. As we’ve seen from the many benefits above, it’s a great investment. Each benefit exhibits a positive opportunity for the growth and success of businesses.

But now we’ve covered the benefits of workplace wellbeing, what are the best ways to go about an employee wellbeing strategy? One that will give your HR department all the tools and tactics to revolutionise corporate wellbeing.

Gain leadership buy-in for workplace wellbeing

Getting buy-in from leadership teams is the perfect place to start in boosting workplace wellbeing. That’s because ultimately, the time and resources are out of your control.

Don’t worry though, we’ve put together a free resource detailing how you can achieve this in your organisation. This is crucial before developing any action plan, survey or checklist.
You must first establish whether leaders in your organisation truly value corporate wellbeing. And if that answer is no, it’s your duty to convince them otherwise — this is a great guide to share with them if we do say so ourselves!

But without their interest, there’s likely going to be no improvement in workplace wellbeing. The truth of the matter is that we have no interest or concern for what we do not understand.

Take the opportunity to explain to leaders that by increasing corporate wellbeing, the organisation can establish a healthier culture, increase employee output, engagement and many more benefits.

Top tip: It’s also worth developing a wellbeing committee for your organisation — especially with those in the senior team. This group become collectively responsible for the employee wellbeing strategy.

Develop a culture of workplace wellbeing

We’ve made plenty of references to company culture in this guide to workplace wellbeing, but here’s where we dig right into the matter.

Let’s be clear, your organisational culture is paramount to the adoption and openness towards health and wellbeing.

Just because your company introduced beanbags into the office or free healthy snacks, it doesn’t mean employee happiness will shoot for the stars — no.

Instead, you must review everything that contributes to company culture. That includes behaviours, attitudes, beliefs — and more — from everyone in the workforce.

Take a toxic workplace for example. Leaders will belittle anyone who works their contracted hours instead of going above and beyond, just to suffer chronic stress or sleep deprivation.

Jokes aside, it’s very hard to shake this culture when senior team members are fostering those attitudes and behaviours in the majority of employees — but that’s an extreme example.

There are other ways in which attitudes and beliefs can hinder your company from developing a culture of workplace wellbeing. So the answer? Shift attitudes, behaviours and beliefs.

It’s no secret that leadership teams are super influential on the rest of the workforce. They have the power (and duty) to inspire and motivate everyone else.
By hiring the right managers or training your existing team, you can kickstart a culture reshuffle.

Make sure managers are listening and acting on the needs of their teams. Ask managers to discuss the personal goals, ambitions and concerns and worries of their teams.

These suggestions might seem minuscule in the grand scheme of things, but done consistently and authentically, a lot can be achieved.

Finally, employees must feel like they can speak up and come forward to managers. Once you achieve that, coupled with a revision of your workplace wellbeing perks, you’re on the track for healthier organisational culture.

Understand employee values and interests

Once you’re ready to go about creating an employee wellbeing strategy, your first port of call is to grasp exactly how your team currently feel about workplace wellbeing, any employee benefits available to them and overall job satisfaction.

This understanding is often achieved through staff engagement surveys, and you can use Heka’s free employee health survey to make this step much easier.

The reason you must really dig deep into the emotions of your team is that you cannot focus on improving corporate wellbeing blindly.

It may be the case that none of your team value finishing early on a Thursday, but would love in-office yoga sessions, or to participate in fitness challenges. You might find that some employees want to have Wellbeing Wednesday included in their benefits.

As we’ll discuss in our final point about measuring and refining your employee wellbeing strategy, you have to understand what people need and want.

Just like any strategy, data wins every time. Use our surveys and other HR resources to aid in supporting healthier, happier teams.

Create your own set of questions on mental and physical health in the workplace. Implement one-to-one wellbeing meetings with your team.

You may receive some surprising answers, but this’ll arm you with the solutions to a more successful employee wellbeing strategy.

Create a plan of action and involve your workforce

Once you have an idea of the kind of positives and negatives your employees identified in the workplace, you can begin to formulate a plan and put ideas into action.

Whether it was asking team members how they felt about work or prompting them for suggestions, you should now have all you need.

For example, if a lack of social interactions in the office was highlighted, consider team-building activities. If employees felt there was a lack of workplace wellbeing support, create an open environment that encourages discussions.

In its simplest form, your questionnaire will give you a set of problems or ideas for improving workplace wellbeing.

All that is required now is for you, and the wider leadership team to create an employee wellbeing strategy to tackle these issues.

Once this has been completed, it’s recommended to present the action plan back to your team for any final thoughts and ideas. Remember, this is an endeavour that aims to tackle a lack of workplace wellbeing.

For that reason, the inclusion of your team is important. They deserve to know how the company will go about improving corporate wellbeing. Doing so allows leaders to avoid any initial mistakes, as employees may highlight blips in the employee wellbeing strategy.

Involving the workforce also shows that you want to create something they truly want, a meaningful system that works for them, rather than ticking boxes.

If you can find the time, host a teamwide meeting to discuss the progress and respond to suggestions for the plan of action for workplace wellbeing.

Implement, measure and refine your employee wellbeing strategy

Last, but very much not least, HR teams and leaders should constantly measure the success of an employee wellbeing strategy.

This can be done via a new questionnaire, three to six months down the line, or by comparing the use of corporate wellbeing initiatives over the year. Alternatively, try our employee wellbeing metrics article for some nice measurements to track.

It’s extremely important HR and leadership teams understand the difference that corporate wellbeing has made in the company.

It also gives decision-makers better data to work from when making further improvements to health and wellbeing in the future. In the long run, corporate wellbeing will always need refining if it is to stay up-to-date and relevant to its workforce.

If HR professionals and leaders truly value their people, the employee wellbeing strategy built today will benefit both parties for years to come.

Data, in every sense, be it for marketing ambitious or the pursuit of healthier, happier employees has revolutionised businesses in recent decades.

If you expect your employee wellbeing strategy to just work, you’re wrong. And if you believe your competitors aren’t constantly assessing workplace wellbeing and making better decisions, you’re also wrong.

Implement a new employee wellbeing strategy, measure and analyse the results and refine your approach. The opportunity for huge growth in way of corporate wellbeing will be immense.

Other ways to build an employee wellbeing strategy

Before we move onto the final point of our ultimate guide to workplace wellbeing, let’s look at other ways in which you can develop an employee wellbeing strategy…

A woman stood on a mountain top doing a yoga pose
Final thoughts on workplace wellbeing

Final Thoughts on workplace wellbeing

It almost seems like we’ve covered everything in the way of corporate wellbeing for 2023. We started by looking at “What is employee wellbeing?” before understanding what makes it so important, not just now, but in both the present and future.

We’ve also examined the benefits of workplace wellbeing, whilst also looking at how you can build an employee wellbeing strategy. If we can say one thing for certain, it’s that the role of workplace wellbeing has been explosive in the world of work in recent years, and there’s no sign of that slowing.

Conversations around mental health, physical wellness and more are happening more often in the workplace — and that’s a great positive. Society has come a long way in recent years and will go even further, at a quicker pace in the years to come.

Here at Heka, we believe that 2022 was about recovering from the aftermath of a global pandemic. Now, 2023 presents new opportunities, and challenges.

It’s the year in which businesses must rethink their approach to workplace wellbeing. It’s a chance to get ahead of the curve, as opposed to reacting to it.

Rather than recognising the need for better workplace wellbeing perks like flexibility through losing top talent, organisations must identify these trends and act. That’s what we foresee as being a huge priority in 2023 for businesses.

To conclude, as an employee wellbeing platform, we have never been more excited than now for the future. Workplace wellbeing is really transforming, and at a rapid pace. What are your plans for 2023 and the future? How are you developing healthier, happier employees?


Heka’s mission to revolutionise corporate wellbeing in 2023

It’s no secret that workplace wellbeing has boomed in recent years — employees are taking a stand, and employers are stepping up to the challenge!

Despite this, it’s become apparent that a well-built employee wellbeing strategy is no easy feat. In fact, leaders are finding it requires both time and resources to really offer something valuable. A workplace wellbeing package that is bespoke to the needs of a workforce.

While this rings true from our experience talking to HR professionals and leaders alike, we believe we have the answer.

Through Heka, teams of all shapes and sizes — and in any industry — have access to a wellbeing platform that really understands their health and wellbeing preferences.

Since we launched Heka, we’ve introduced thousands of leading brands in the health and wellbeing space. From nutrition to holistic wellbeing, there’s quite literally something for everyone in your organisation.  

Axe-throwing? Heka has it! Treetop climbing? Yes! Learning and development, financial wellbeing support or therapy and counselling? Of course, Heka’s host for those too.

Heka’s mission is to cut through the noise and offer the perfect workplace wellbeing solution. Find out if we’re a good fit for your team by getting in touch with our employee wellbeing experts, today!


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