How to make it work with Wellbeing Champions
Wellbeing champions are employees, who choose or are chosen to focus on improving the wellbeing of their fellow colleagues as part of the company wellbeing initiatives.
Why have wellbeing champions?
Firstly, peer promotion is a good way of supporting and boosting the wellbeing agenda of the company. Secondly, and just as importantly, mobilising staff champions when running a wellbeing programme improves employee engagement in the initiatives.
Wellbeing champions need support
In order to make a wellbeing champion programme work, the champions need support. The programme itself also needs buy-in on an organisational level. Support and resources can be offered in many ways such as:
- Incorporating the champion programme in the HR policy
- Training for the champions
- Monthly updates
- Champion events
- Email or social media groups
- Communal resources hubs
Training can really improve the success of wellbeing champions
Training the wellbeing champions can really improve the success of this initiative. Using wellbeing champions as ambassadors of health benefits in the workplace and healthy behaviour in general can be more cost effective than training all staff at once. That means training the champions to pass on the message to the other employees. The champions can take away from their training what will work in their organisation and focus only on this, thus making the teaching much more targeted.
- Training could cover topics such as:
- Mental wellbeing at work
- Physical activity at work
- Healthy eating
- Stop smoking
- Bullying and harassment
- Domestic abuse awareness
After the training, the topics should be discussed with the champions to help them process and communicate the message on. Hopefully some training will also inspire more initiatives as the champions start thinking of other issues that would be relevant to address within their teams.
Get your champions flying with clear goals and dedicated time to pursue them
Start by setting the expectations with the wellbeing champion. Their role should be to raise awareness of available activities, to facilitate or come up with new activities, and to collect feedback from staff. Our suggestion is that the employee be allowed to dedicate up to 4 work hours per month to the programme. It goes without saying that wellbeing champions should be passionate about wellbeing themselves. They may also choose to volunteer more of their time outside work to the activities.