In 2018, AXON pledged making the wellbeing of our staff a key priority. Although we have had long-standing activities in place for many years, (i.e. flexible working hours, work from home options, annual wellness benefit, and mindfulness training sessions in the office, among others), in 2018 we created an official program to ensure that we were taking this to the next level. We wanted to ensure that wellbeing wasn’t just being used as a buzzword, but that we were actually making a strong commitment to support this area. We are therefore thrilled that earlier this year Great Places to Work© has recognized AXON for Excellence in Wellbeing, based on the input of our staff on how we support various aspects of wellness.
Why a focus on wellbeing makes sense in the workplace
As we spend so much of our lives within the office environment, employers are well poised to make a meaningful impact towards the wellbeing of our employees. I would even take this a step further to say that as employers we have a responsibility to staff to support them in this area.
In addition to wellbeing and having a strong contribution to personal happiness and fulfillment, there is a strong business case for supporting employees. The intrinsic link between wellbeing and increased productivity and reduced absenteeism is well documented. Providing tools and training sessions to encourage wellbeing not only shows employees you care, but can contribute to a more positive work environment and supports the idea of working smarter, not harder.
You may find that you are already doing some of these things, and may have them embedded into your workplace already. What are you already doing to support your employees and what could you add to make your program more well-rounded? Keeping a pulse on the team, and what they are seeking support in, will help to inform your program.
How AXON supports wellbeing
As one of the people driving our internal wellbeing program (called Wellbeing Wednesdays), I am particularly proud of our recent recognition. Our program has a simple but important goal: to support employees in positively managing their own wellbeing and helping them understand how they can positively influence the wellbeing of others.
We have put in place a number of activities aimed at supporting and raising awareness holistically across the facets of wellness based on the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’, including mental wellbeing. Simple actions like providing resources, inviting speakers to discuss aspects of wellbeing, and creating an environment that allows for open and honest discussion about wellness are how we have begun our program. We’ve included information on everything from desk yoga, to the benefits of avoiding eating ‘al desko’, to mindfulness classes, to unique classes that might spark interest in being active!
We work hard to address the aspects of wellbeing that resonate with our staff, and the particular needs that those working in consulting, a demanding industry, could benefit from most. For example, with many younger team members, there was an interest in financial wellbeing – personal finances often being a major stressor for many people – and so we worked to bring in an external speaker to discuss how to save for a deposit in order to get on the property ladder. We continue to seek feedback from our team on the types of topics they want us to cover within the program.
We’ve really seen a positive uptake on our program at AXON and I encourage senior leaders to consider what they are doing for their staff to support them and what more they could be doing. Similarly, as we continue to evolve our own wellbeing program at AXON, I’d welcome insights on what has worked well for others. Is there anything you’ve seen work particularly well in supporting your teams with their wellbeing?
By Elisabeth Mozel-Jury