How to run a wellbeing meeting at work

A quick summary:

  • What is a wellbeing meeting at work?
  • The importance of a 1-2-1 meeting to discuss wellbeing
  • Including employees in the planning phrase
  • The benefits of this preparation
  • Wellbeing meeting questions
  • Coming up with other wellbeing meeting questions
  • Conclusion on hosting wellbeing meeting at work

Being a manager isn’t easy, nor is it for everyone. There’s many qualities that distinguish the good from the great; one of them being the know-how to run a wellbeing meeting at work.

Additionally, It also requires communication and interpersonal skills, a forward-thinking approach, problem-solving, and that just scratches the surface.

Across every industry, from healthcare to construction, hosting a wellbeing meeting at work for employees helps businesses achieve more, build better relationships and avoid unnecessary problems, such as burnout and job dissatisfaction.

Some managers opt for a swift 30-minute 1-2-1 meeting, others an hour. Regardless, what many fail to recognise is just how infrequently wellbeing is discussed. Instead, some managers choose only to discuss current workloads and timescales, before wrapping things up until next week. 

As we move forward through 2023 and beyond, the 1-2-1 meeting as we know it has begun to feel a little outdated. Managers and leaders alike should recognise that now is the perfect time to launch things like Wellbeing Wednesdays and wellbeing meetings at work - sessions that focus solely on these three things:

  • How does my team feel?
  • How can I improve wellbeing in the workplace?
  • What needs to change for healthier, happier employees?

Making these questions the priority of a 1-2-1 meeting will see some revolutionary results. Managers will form better connections, eliminate a toxic culture, and feel more appreciated and respected by their teams.

Of course, these things don’t happen overnight, but with perseverance, good managers can become great leaders. So, how exactly should managers go about running a wellbeing meeting at work to discuss topics like mental and physical health?

In this guide to running a wellbeing meeting at work, we’re going to look at what it is, why it’s important, and start with some pre 1-2-1 meeting prep questions. Once we’ve been through those, we’ll take a look at some example wellbeing meeting questions you can consider, before rounding off with a conclusion.

Two employees talking during a 1-2-1 meeting
What does a wellbeing meeting entail?

What is a wellbeing meeting at work?

Although we’ve touched on the matter above, what does a wellbeing meeting at work really look like? Typically, it’s a session held weekly, monthly or quarterly to discuss the health, wellbeing and happiness of an employee.

A 1-2-1 meeting of this nature empowers employees to come forward about any health concerns, be it mentally or physically. But that’s not all. In fact, a wellbeing meeting at work could be used to discuss some of the following:

  1. Financial wellbeing
  2. Emotional wellbeing
  3. Poor dieting, nutrition or addictions
  4. Social wellbeing
  5. General lifestyle

These topics may be a touch on the personal side, but providing employees are comfortable, it can be very a powerful tool for getting to know employees better and offering the right support.

Head over to NHS Employers, where you can find out more about health and wellbeing conversations in the workplace — a great read in addition to ours!

The importance of a 1-2-1 meeting for wellbeing

Now, we’ve looked at exactly what makes a wellbeing meeting at work, but why are they important? What does it matter how people feel both inside and outside the work setting?

Health and wellbeing isn’t black and white; and it’s important we don’t draw a line of neglect between work and life. Because they should coexist, and employees should feel comfortable speaking openly about their need for support.

It’s these stigmas that make the notion of a wellbeing meeting at work bizarre suggestion for some businesses. And that’s exactly what we’re here to put an end to with our article.

So, in addition to ending this disconnect between work and life, what else makes this kind of 1-2-1 meeting so vital? Well, it also support an organisation in establishing a healthier company culture.

When people feel empowered to speak up without being criticised or belittled, they become more honest with managers and peers alike. Something all businesses should strive for — the more honest and open your employees are, the happier they become.

Therefore, it isn’t just in the interest of employees but also employers, making the idea of a wellbeing meeting at work very appealing. If you still haven’t recognised the importance of a 1-2-1 meeting of this nature, stay with us!

Two employees sat near a window in a wellbeing meeting at work
How to include employees in the planning of 1-2-1 meetings

How to include employees in the planning phase

A lot of managers and leaders fail to understand just how powerful collaboration can be for decision-making. In everyday business, decisions are thought out, planned, and executed by a select few.

Yet, this doesn’t have to be the case, especially when it comes to a wellbeing meeting at work — after all, it’s purpose is to support the employee in question, and so a 1-2-1 meeting structured around them sounds most effective.

It’s crucial managers listen to the ideas and suggestions of their people. Some of the questions leaders may ask themselves include:

  • How do they want this 1-2-1 meeting to work? 
  • How long should these meetings take? 
  • What are the measurable outcomes of these sessions? 

In most cases, success starts with collaboration. The initial plan of action for these discussions will be tough. With enough time, communication, and dedication from both parties, managers can craft the perfect wellbeing meeting at work - one that focuses on improving overall employee wellbeing.

After all, happier employees drive higher engagement, and higher engagement drives better productivity, job satisfaction, and many more benefits. As a manager, try to look beyond these sessions at the bigger picture.

What kind of results am I hoping to achieve?
How will these meetings bring out the best in my team?
How effective can I make these meetings to improve staff wellbeing?

  • What kind of results am I hoping to achieve? 
  • How will these meetings bring out the best in my team?
  • How effective can I make these meetings to improve staff wellbeing?

Initial prep questions to support your plan

Starting with the first phase of any wellbeing meeting at work, how exactly to run them with your team. This wouldn’t be a great how-to guide without diving further into the preparation for this kind of 1-2-1 meeting.

As we’ve covered above, collaboration is key, but one of the biggest responsibilities of being a manager is in the title itself, to manage.

How can you ensure equal collaboration with staff members, while setting out a plan for a perfectly executed wellbeing meeting at work?

Before we dive into wellbeing meeting questions, we’re going to look at initial preparation. Below, you’ll find a list of prompts to better structure these meetings. Take what you like from this list, and start asking away with your team members

  1. How long do you think this 1-2-1 meeting should last?
  2. Should our 1-2-1 meeting be weekly, fortnightly, or monthly?
  3. What day of the week would you prefer them to take place?
  4. Do you have a preference for morning or afternoon?
  5. Would you like to host our sessions in the office or outside?
  6. Do you feel comfortable sharing personal information?
  7. Are there any topics we should avoid discussing?
  8. Are you happy for me to make notes on our conversation?
  9. How would you like to get the most out of wellbeing meeting at work?
  10. Should we agree on measurable outcomes from our conversations?
  11. Where should we store the notes from our conversations?
  12. Are you happy for me to share details of our discussions with others?
  13. Would you like any other managers to join our discussion from time to time?
  14. Do you feel comfortable taking lead on the setup of these discussions?
  15. What subjects are you happy to discuss regarding personal wellbeing?
  16. Should we look to make an ‘actions list’ off the back of each meeting?
  17. What are your genuine thoughts on regularly discussing personal wellbeing?

As you can see, there are so many angles to take with your initial prep questions. These will give you a greater understanding of the direction for 1-2-1 meetings, but also how well received the initial idea has been from your team.

Of course, this is simply a starting point, as your questions may change from individual to individual. Consider adding your own set of questions, removing some of the examples, and making the questionnaire as relevant as possible.

Similar read: Understanding duvet days

The benefits of understanding this preparation

Preperation, as we’ve discussed above is crucial — especially when it comes to people’s health and wellbeing. If leaders get it wrong and their approach is misjudged, employees may take offense or feel insulted.

That’s why have this initial prep stage allows managers to avoid small mistakes and remain compassionate and understanding. If managers dictate the 1-2-1 meeting, disregarding the ideas or opinions of employee, it will likely be rendered an a pointless exercise.

The benefits of being prepared means remaining time efficient, having meaningful conversations and really putting the employee first.

A couple of employees laughing and smiling during a 1-2-1 meeting
Wellbeing meeting questions to ask employees

Wellbeing meeting questions to ask employees

Now for the part we’ve all been waiting for. Through rigorous thought and research, we’ve found these 20 wellbeing meeting questions to be the most effective. No longer do you have to shoot in the dark when supporting people’s health and happiness.

Once you’ve established a structure for a top-notch 1-2-1 meeting, what kind of questions should you ask during them? Below, you’ll find some examples around personal wellbeing, self-care, mental and physical health, and wellbeing in the workplace.

Top tip: although our list is thorough, it is by no mean exhaustive. Remember to carry out your own research in wellbeing meeting questions. We’ve said it multiple times in this article, but it’s about personalising the experience for each member of your team.

  1. How have you been feeling leading up to our first wellbeing meeting at work?
  2. How have you been feeling this past week?
  3. What three words describe your common emotional state during work?
  4. What are your energy levels like after a day at work?
  5. Do you find yourself struggling with a healthy sleeping pattern?
  6. Have you ever left work feeling upset?
  7. Do you often find you have a lack of appetite?
  8. Have other commitments in life been affected as a result of work?
  9. Do you suffer from stress, anxiety, or depression outside of work?
  10.  What are the triggers causing these emotions outside of work?
  11.  Does your job amplify/trigger those emotions at all? 
  12.  Have you found ways to tackle these feelings both in and outside of work?
  13.  Have you ever considered or received help for mental health problems?
  14.  How are your relationships with others outside of work?
  15.  On a scale of 1 to 5, how physically active are you weekly?
  16.  Is there any way we can support a more active lifestyle in or outside of work?
  17.  How can work help with any mental health problems you may be facing?
  18.  Is there anything else you’d like to share or discuss that we’ve missed?
  19.  Are there any improvements to our discussions you’d like to suggest?
  20.  Is there anything I can improve on in delivering these wellbeing meetings?

Again, these are just examples wellbeing meeting questions. You must tweak your topics of discussion to fit within the framework you both collectively agreed on. This is particularly relevant in terms of any boundaries set by your employee, such as not wanting to discuss mental health.

With enough time, many people open up and feel comfortable discussing themes like mental and physical health, wellbeing, and self-care.

These questions might be a little too personal for your first wellbeing meeting at work, so use them appropriately and know when’s best to ask these personal questions.

If you want to get the most out of your team and help each staff member find true value in these 1-2-1 meetings, you must patient as a manager. 

Coming up with other wellbeing meeting questions

Outside of our examples above, how can you come up with other wellbeing meeting questions? The answer we’re about to give might come as a surprise, but give us a chance!

We first recommend trying the wellbeing meeting questions we’ve listed in this article — providing your employees are happy to discuss mental health etc.

Then, after you have hosted a number of these conversations, we recommend having a think about the interests and areas employees prefer to discuss.

What we mean is, if Jil from sales prefers to discuss dieting, poor weight management and the negative emotions she experiences because of this, you, as a leader, should look for relevant wellbeing meeting questions to broaden this discussion.

The same applies for John in your marketing team. If you find your conversation navigating down the topic of addiction or poor financial wellbeing, then again, it’s important to find wellbeing meeting questions that are relevant.

A male employee looking around smiling while holding his office
Our conclusion on hosting a wellbeing meeting at work

Conclusion on hosting a wellbeing meeting at work

Finally, let’s wrap up our findings and thoughts on hosting a wellbeng meeting at work with your team members. As you can probably tell, we’re all for this idea.

Not only have we covered what it is, why it’s important and how to prepare, but we’ve tried to make our guide as practical and solution-based as possible.

Having a 1-2-1 meeting with your employees each week, month or quarter is absolutely essential if you were to ask us.

Of course, wellbeing surveys, feedback reports and tracking wellbeing metrics is important. But without really speaking to people and understanding their needs, there’s only so much leaders can learn.

If we can give you one thing to take away from this guide it’s to never neglect the health and wellbeing of your workforce, but also to approach it as an ongoing and serious function in your business.

We would go as far as to say that without employee wellbeing, without holding a wellbeing meeting at work with your team, you run the risk of pushing them away, forcing them to depart for a company that cares.

Instead, become that company that cares; treat people with respect and be compassionate about their health and wellbeing. Employees are one of the biggest stakeholders in your organisation and deserve a 1-2-1 meeting with managers to talk all things wellbeing.

How can Heka help with employee wellbeing?

If there’s one thing we’ve established here, it’s the sheer dedication required to support employee wellbeing. Building healthier, happier teams doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it start or end with a 1-2-1 meeting.

There are a ton of other ways to increase job satisfaction, performance, and productivity, but having holding a regular wellbeing meeting at work with employees is one step in the right direction.

The level of commitment required to support employees is enormous, and we understand that. In fact, that’s why we built Heka in the first place.

Heka takes the weight of employee wellbeing off the shoulders of managers through access to 1000s of wellbeing experiences, services, and products.

Over time, we’ve learnt exactly what works and what doesn’t on an individual basis. This allows our platform to make the right suggestions and ideas on what users will love and enjoy.

Whether that’s life coaching, meal deliveries, vitamin supplements, vegan smoothies, or virtual therapy, there’s something for everyone on Heka.  If you are responsible for a team and understand the benefits of prioritising employee wellbeing, book a demo with our wellbeing experts to find out more. Just hit the button below!

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