For some years now the concept of employee wellbeing has been filtering through the corporate world. Employers are realising the benefits of taking care of their people and wellness strategies are being embedded into business operations; from providing healthier food in the staff restaurant to local gym membership and lunchtime mindfulness sessions.
And it makes absolute sense. Healthier, happier people take less time off due to illness and are generally more engaged in what they’re doing, which means they are more productive. And a healthier environment in which to work, where staff can see that their company actually cares, is more likely to result in higher morale and a more positive business culture – a happier workforce contributes towards a better bottom line and helps give companies a competitive edge. But, maybe even more relevant than profit and performance, ensuring employee wellbeing is a positive way of counteracting a rather alarming statistic – according to mental health charity Mind, 1 in 6 people experience mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and stress.
How employee wellbeing translates into corporate events
We’ve noticed an increase in wellness days running alongside the more usual conferences, away-days and team-building days. Running a day totally dedicated to employee health and wellbeing may be beyond some companies, but there is no reason why wellness can’t be incorporated into any corporate event – you may even be doing an element of it already. Here are a few ideas that could be introduced at your next conference or sales team event.
Feed the mind as well as the body
A conference can sometimes feel like a very long day, so keeping delegates fuelled and refreshed is key to keeping your audience alert and engaged. Choice of food, however, is key – avoid carb-heavy foods and offer fresh fruit, smoothies and enticing salads instead. You can read more about clever catering here.
Be more active
Sitting around all day is exhausting! So why not incorporate time outside or how about introducing a walking meeting, where delegates can quite literally walk and talk, get some fresh air and feel more stimulated. Similarly, you could mix things up and borrow some ideas from the unconference concept, which will really encourage participation and engagement.
Build a wellness wall
This is where delegates are invited to write a note about something they’re grateful for; be it something related to the day’s activities, something they’ve learnt that day, or even something related to their work that is displayed on a wall. It’s a simple activity that makes people think about what makes them feel good. It’s also a really good way of getting feedback and knowing what works and what doesn’t.
Give delegates something they can take away with them
And we don’t mean souvenirs! Having all your people together is an ideal opportunity to introduce new ideas into the workplace. This might be a session on mindfulness and useful techniques that delegates can be practise at their desks. Or share some simple yoga moves that can combat tension.
The power of music is incredible and research has shown that background music improves levels of focus, performance and creativity. Meanwhile, whist the thought of singing might make a few people shudder, encouraging delegates to have a quick sing-song at the start of a conference is a great way of removing stress and improving concentration – and it’s just brilliant at bringing people together.
Often overlooked, smell is the strongest of the five senses. Using aromatherapy and infusing a conference or meeting room with certain aromas can have a very positive impact on delegates. Peppermint oil, for instance, is invigorating, whilst the smell of cinnamon can counteract mental fatigue.
A full-on packed agenda for the day is too intensive to be useful. It’s important to allow delegates time to relax and digest all the information being received; make sure there is downtime between different sessions. Provide chill-out areas with comfy seating or beanbags and playing music will help delegates relax and unwind.
Is employee wellbeing important to you?
We’d love to help you create an event program that delivers your key messages and engages your staff. What’s more we can help you ensure that the event is creative and healthy too. If you’d like to find out how your next corporate event can incorporate employee wellness, contact us 01932 22 33 33 or email email@example.com