Carl Chapman, associate & head of workplace health, Barnett Waddingham writes a blog series explaining what wellbeing really means
Barnett Waddingham's Carl Chapman is writing a blog series on Eudaimonia using the Greek alphabet as a reference point to give insight into how this old concept can significantly improve your business performance by maximising output from your greatest asset.
Φ φ – phi
This one should be easy, permanent health insurance.
Providing adequate protection for our employees so that, should the worst happen, they and their families are protected financially is so important yet appreciation of these types of benefits is low because we naturally don’t like to think too much about those sorts of scenarios. However when the need arises those insurances are invaluable and provide piece of mind.
Permanent health insurance otherwise known as group income protection is possibly the most valuable of all. I recall reading that only 10% of the population have protection in the event of long term disability. I think a lot of employees will naively believe that the state will provide for them but in truth the state will provide a few hundred pounds a month and even that is being reduced.
For low earners that amount may be sufficient but for the vast majority it is nowhere near enough and would push people into extreme financial poverty.
It is probably worth saying at this point that I am not on commission to sell phi policies yet it is an area I feel quite strongly about.
The question I would ask to those employers who don’t offer it is “what would you do if a long standing employee fell ill with a debilitating condition?” More often than not the employer would financially support that employee which can be expensive over the long term.
If you do already offer this benefit to your employees my advice would be to shout about it. It is a great benefit and with a few stats and a bit of education your employees will also realise how valuable it is and how great you are for looking out for them.
Χ χ – chi
When seeing chi I instantly thought of tai chi and that somehow brought me on to think about one of the hot topics of the moment, mindfulness. Before anyone says it; I fully appreciate the two are very different!
I have heard a lot about mindfulness over the past year and if I am brutally honest I know very little about it. What I do know though is that some people swear by it and more and more employers are introducing mindfulness into their wellbeing programmes.
I think the best short description for mindfulness I have heard is “living in the moment”. I guess with our busy lives both personally and professionally it is easy to just be swept along by life and neglect to pause and reflect.
As I said I don’t know enough about mindfulness to comment in detail and I’m sure I would aggravate practitioners of mindfulness if I were to carry on, yet it makes perfect sense to me that if we can help our employees to manage workloads better and make better decisions then it can only benefit our businesses in the way that time management or resilience training has done in the past.
If you haven’t already looked into it, it may be worthwhile.