How to use workplace values and habits to create a wellbeing culture

How to use workplace values and habits to create a wellbeing culture

Shared values are at the heart of every workplace culture, and your business’ core values should be reflected in its business plan as well as its wellbeing policy.

While large-scale culture change is a difficult and gradual process, it’s the most vital component of a successful wellbeing programme. Free fruit and gym discounts might be popular perks, but they’re not truly reflective of your culture and values.

Workplace culture centres around ideas, customs and social behaviour, and exploring these themes is the first step towards building a strategy that supports and champions wellbeing.

But a detailed strategy means nothing unless it’s brought to life by the actions of the people across your organisation. Aligning your wellbeing strategy, company values and workplace culture will give you a clear focus and help you advocate for wellbeing in the boardroom.

How are values demonstrated in your workplace?

The easiest way to gauge how well your company values are reflected in the workplace is to get feedback from all areas of the business. This could be in the form of a simple questionnaire, pulse survey or focus group.

Remember to consider different perspectives — a new starter might see things differently to a business manager or company director.

You could ask questions such as:

  • Finish this sentence: in this organisation we value...
  • What do we expect of our employees?
  • What can our employees expect from us?
  • How are our values reflected in the actions of individuals across the organisation?
  • What is our organisation’s reputation within our industry?
  • Are we transparent in our decision-making?
  • How do we recognise success?
  • How is conflict handled in our organisation?
  • How are we prioritising diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace?
  • How do our workplace values reflect the Five Ways to Wellbeing? These are:
    • Connect
    • Be active
    • Take notice
    • Learn
    • Give

You can download these questions as a ready-formatted PDF: Our free workplace values questionnaire.

Watch: How to create a wellbeing culture and support your people

Last month, our Group Head of People, Vicky Walker, spoke at the CIPD Festival of Work where she shared her tips for embedding wellbeing in your organisational culture.

The short discussion includes advice for HR leaders who want to adapt their approach to employee wellbeing to reflect our post-pandemic working practices and a renewed focus on mental health.

Workplace habits are workplace culture

Identifying and fostering positive habits is one of the most straightforward ways to make an impact on your company culture and instil values across the organisation. You can do this by observing common day-to-day habits and reflecting on whether they truly represent a healthy workplace. Remember, habits include all kinds of behaviours, including working hours, communication styles and delegation techniques.

Completing a ‘stop, start, continue’ exercise is a simple way to get started with this. From there, you can work with management and leadership teams to encourage habits that reflect your company values, helping you to create consistency in behaviours across the business.

Remember to think about the habits displayed by line managers, leaders and colleagues across different departments.

Your list should be specific to your workplace, but might look something like this:

Habits to stop

Habits to start

Habits to continue

  • 5pm meetings
  • Skipping lunch breaks
  • False urgency
  • Pressure to work overtime
  • More timely communication
  • Regular fresh air breaks
  • Shorter meetings
  • Managers demonstrating proper work-life balance
  • Training in coaching skills
  • Promoting DE&I
  • Recognising success
  • Leadership team being visible in the workplace

This exercise is also available as a free template, ready for you to fill in and share with your team.

Our free wellbeing strategy e-book

We’ve recently published a free interactive e-book, which outlines everything you need to know to evaluate your company values, build an effective wellbeing strategy and help your people build healthy, positive habits.

ebook-preview

The Workplace Strategy Workbook: How to drive culture change and help your people build positive habits that stick

From influencing company culture to engaging leaders and business partners, the workbook contains three chapters of guides, ideas and resources to help you create an effective wellbeing programme for your business.

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