How to create a wellbeing committee in the workplace

A quick summary:

  • What is a wellbeing committee? 🔎
  • The purpose of a committee in the workplace 💚
  • 4 steps to create a health and wellbeing committee ✅
  • Building healthier, happier teams with our employee wellbeing platform 🏆

We’ve all heard of a Chief Happiness Officer (CHO), and we’ve all seen job descriptions boasting a long list of wellbeing benefits - but do you know what the role of a wellbeing committee is in the workplace? Putting together this A team of wellbeing warriors can help you build a strategy around employee health and happiness once and for all.

The task of enhancing morale, engagement, happiness and the general atmosphere has always been the responsibility of one or two employees. And perhaps a back-burner job for much larger HR operations. Put simply, it isn’t high on the agenda of many organisations, which usually comes down to commitment and available resources. 

Well, a health and wellbeing committee may be the answer to this woe. Rather than giving the responsibility to one individual, some companies are adopting the wellbeing committee approach. Assigning the task of promoting healthier lifestyles to employees, both in and outside the workplace. 

In our post, we’re diving deep into what a wellbeing committee is and why your company could be missing out on a revolutionary opportunity. We’ll take you through the steps required to create your own health and wellbeing committee in the office. By the end of this, you should have a greater understanding of the tools, tips and tricks to take wellbeing into the hands of a powerful group of team members. 

What exactly is a wellbeing committee in the workplace?

What is a wellbeing committee?

Starting with the most important question of all, what exactly is a wellbeing committee in the workplace? A health and wellbeing committee has the responsibility of building three key attributes into your workforce: 

  • Engagement
  • Morale
  • Happiness

It is a group of individuals, (preferably from across the board, as opposed to only C-level employees) who set aside time to meet regularly and determine the best action to build health and happiness in the workplace. By doing so, businesses can often benefit in various ways, including the following:

  • Employee work efficiency
  • Overall business results 
  • Retain talented employees

Ultimately, a wellbeing committee takes the pressure off one individual and creates a supergroup of wellbeing managers. And while the rise of Chief Happiness Officers continues to soar, the reality is that there’s a dark side to being a CHO

Did you know that employees who are happier at work take 10x fewer sick days than those that aren’t happy in the workplace?

Why does a health and wellbeing committee matter?

The purpose of wellbeing champions in the workplace 

Let’s now turn our attention to the purpose of a group of wellbeing heroes. Why bother in the first place? As we touched on above, CHOs simply can’t manage the weight of company whole morale. It may sound fairly straightforward, but in the long term, trying to please everybody is no easy feat - something we’ve all learnt in life. 

The purpose, therefore, is to alleviate the stress and pressure of CHOs and bring fresh ideas to the table from other members of your team. By doing so, you open up the conversation to many more employees, while also seeing new perspectives. After all, it’s your employee wellbeing strategy that impacts the very people in your team, so why not involve them? 

Not only this, but one survey found stress to be the most common reason when asking employees “why are you unhappy at work?”. Additionally, 1 in 6 employees are actively looking to leave their current role. 

These statistics, whilst not so alarming, do question what companies are doing wrong when it comes to managing employee wellbeing. It’s suggested that much more needs to be done, like organising a wellbeing committee in the workplace.

So, now that we understand the purpose of a health and wellbeing committee, what are some common objectives and goals that should be set? 

  • Encourage healthier lifestyles for all employees
  • Build a positive overall workplace culture
  • Provide access to programs and memberships that help employees live healthier
  • Ensure employees have the chance to practice health and wellbeing at work
  • Improve general employee engagement, morale and happiness
  • Support employees on an individual level

This list should give you a general idea of the kind of outcomes and results your wellbeing committee should strive to achieve.

Choosing your wellbeing committee team members

How to form my health and wellbeing committee team

Before you create your health and wellbeing dream team, it was important to acknowledge the definitions and roles of health and wellbeing committees. Now that we’ve learnt the basics, it’s safe to assume you are ready to move forward. 

Below, we’ll take a look at how to choose the members of your new committee, including numerous wellbeing committee ideas you can incorporate to build out the foundation of a solid wellbeing strategy. 

By leaving nothing out, this comprehensive guide is all you need to begin taking the healthier and happiness of your workforce seriously. 

So, how do you choose the best employees for your wellbeing committee? It’s rather simple, and your first port of call should be to put out the feelers - see who would be interested in joining the A team. 

Alternatively, you could also run wellbeing committee member interviews. This will give you a much better understanding of the ideas, intentions and dedication some employees are willing to give. 

When choosing your ideal candidate, you must look out for some of the following qualities:

  • Empathetic
  • People-centric
  • Thoughtful
  • Selfless
  • Great listener
  • Calm and patient
  • Sociable and friendly
  • Solution driven
  • Good understanding of leadership skills

The list could go on, and you should use these initial attributes to form your wellbeing committee team. Ideally, you need a general leader to push things forward by organising meetings etc. However, everyone else should also possess great leadership qualities, with the ability to read, understand and support others. 

Once you have your chosen list of candidates for a workplace health and wellbeing committee, it’s time to ask them why they want to join? This doesn’t necessarily have to be an interview format. Put together a series of questions to ask candidates, with a deadline for their answers - take a look at some of the following examples: 

  • Why do you want to join the wellbeing committee?
  • Do you understand the importance of workplace wellbeing? 
  • What qualities do you believe a wellbeing committee member should have?
  • How would you describe your leadership style?
  • How would you look to make an initial contribution to the committee?
  • What 3 objectives would you set for the health and wellbeing committee?
  • Who would you suggest would be a great candidate for the team?
  • Are you able to attend all wellbeing meetings each week? 

Your team’s answers will indicate who would be a great fit for your committee, and who wouldn’t. It’s important to quiz your new wellbeing committee members on how meetings should be organised, such as when and where they should take place. 

As a leader, it’s safe to assume you’re already extremely busy; too busy to come up with a strategy alone. Ask your new committee members to come up with some initial ideas as to how to transform wellbeing in the workplace.

It may be a good starting point for your new team to put together an employee survey. After all, how can you build on the health and wellbeing of your workforce, if you’re unsure as to the current challenges and statistics?

Wellbeing committee ideas for your company

Wellbeing committee ideas for the workplace

With your dream team finally established, it’s time to look at the wellbeing committee ideas you members should be working on. We will take a look at a number of ways in which committees can start building healthier, happier workplaces. 

Remind your team that a committee works only when everyone communicates in harmony. Your group should be open to new ideas, and everyone should have a voice. This is the best way to make progress on your wellbeing strategy. Take a look at a number of wellbeing committee ideas below!

Mental health initiatives 

In the aftermath of the global pandemic, mental health initiatives have taken the workplace by storm. Employees now actively seek out wellbeing and mental health packages, when choosing an employer. This means your wellbeing committee should begin to seek out ways to support mental health. 

This doesn’t necessarily need to break the bank, but some form of support should be readily available. With everything going on in the world, it’s sometimes hard to stay positive, and this emotional turmoil can seep into our working lives. 

Leaders must recognise the impact it can have both on a personal and professional level for employees; a lack of positive mental health can see absenteeism and presenteeism rise in the workplace, which in turn affects work efficiency and results. 

Among your wellbeing committee, consider a range of opportunities, such as surveys or wellbeing meetings between managers and employees. To highlight the significance of mental health, one survey found only 13% of employees would feel comfortable talking about mental illness at work.

Regular employee surveys and check-in

Talking about surveys, they are a great way to manage the wellbeing of a large number of people. Understanding the progress your new health and wellbeing committee is making is vital to accomplishing much more in the future. 

Sit down with your new committee and decide on a set of metrics that can help measure the results of your wellbeing committee ideas. Take a look at our post on various ways to measure employee wellbeing.

You should consider a set of regular surveys on different areas of wellbeing, such as financial wellbeing, mental health and more. While it may seem extreme to delve into each individually, it is the best way to manage wellbeing in the workplace - and also gives you the best insight.

Check-ins are just as crucial as regular surveys. Check-ins aren’t just about ensuring employees are healthy and happy, but also to build relationships. Employees need to feel valued and know that their thoughts and feelings are heard. 

Between your health and wellbeing committee, decide how 1-2-1 wellbeing meetings will work. What questions should be asked, and who will host these discussions. Your team must understand that mental health and wellbeing is a personal matter, and it’s worth training your wellbeing committee members on how to deal with questions around these topics. 

Organising team building and social events

Everybody enjoys downtime, and that should be no different in the workplace. Building a successful business starts with building successful relationships. Your new health and wellbeing committee should make it a priority to organise team building activities and social days for your employees. 

Here at Heka, we regularly host social events, at least once a quarter, where the entire team gets together. It’s through days like this that relationships between employees can be built. This is especially true, if not vital, for remote workforces. 

Between your committee, come up with a number of opportunities to bring everybody together, outside of normal working days - with emphasis on “outside working hours”. If you’re seen to organise events during work hours, like lunchtime for example, it’s likely to come across as half-hearted. Providing everyone is available, there shouldn’t be much push back from your employees if they see the plans to be fun!

Putting together proposals to C-level executives

Last and certainly not least, let’s talk about a wellbeing committee idea all committees should be doing right now - proposing new ideas to decision-making employees. While the role of a health and wellbeing committee is to find solutions and monitor health and happiness, the ultimate decision (especially financial decisions) comes down to C-level employees. 

You must let your committee know they can approach management with all kinds of requests and ideas, should they see fit to support employee wellbeing. What good is a wellbeing committee that feels uncomfortable with approaching managers? All that can be achieved are great ideas, but little action. 

If you’re not a C-level employee, discuss with your committee the very best ideas, and which you all vote to put forward. It’s important you propose ideas and changes with evidence to back up why they work and how they will benefit the organisation. 

Understanding how to effectively communicate ideas to managers is a surefire way to get your wellbeing committee ideas heard. Ultimately, it's your group's responsibility to propose numerous ideas, and leaders must expect this flow of requests. After all, progress only comes when fresh ideas are brought to the table. 

Using our employee wellbeing platform

Using Heka to boost employee health and happiness

If you’re looking for more ways to support employee wellbeing in the workplace, in addition to your wellbeing committee, look no further than Heka. 

We’re an employee wellbeing platform providing thousands of experiences to teams throughout the UK. From outdoor activities like treetop climbing, mental health consultations, language learning and so much more.

Find out more here. If you’re ready to get in touch and learn about the various ways Heka can benefit your team, book a demo with one of our wellbeing experts!