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Planning a Workplace Health & Wellbeing Programme

| Becca Clayton

A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning A Successful Workplace Health & Wellbeing Programme.

Does the idea of planning a health and wellbeing programme, or even a one-off workplace wellness event leave you feeling a little overwhelmed? If like many companies that we speak to, you simply don’t know where to start, rest assured this needn’t be the case. We are here to help you to focus on the outcomes; getting people engaged, promoting behaviour change, raising awareness and getting people to talk to remove stigma – all of the positives!

The great news, we think, is that if you are thinking about it then you are joining 46% of employers who were introducing wellbeing strategies in 2017

(Source: Employee Well-being Research 2017, The evolution of workplace wellbeing in the UK)

There is so much evidence from years of research now that clearly states that the wellbeing of your staff is what makes or breaks the business’s long-term success. Disengaged, overworked staff deliver low quality work and lack a commitment to your business, whereas a healthy, looked-after team feels capable and eager to perform at their best. After all, most people spend a third of their life in work, so they want to feel well and have their contribution valued.

In our experience, the key to ensuring your programme is successful and has a positive, lasting impact on your staff is complex. According to Becca, Founder of Tonic, however it’s very much a step by step approach. Planning and implementing a workplace health and wellbeing programme is a long-term commitment. It will only benefit your business if you assess which interventions best suit your people (to promote engagement) and you oversee the performance of each over time. So step by step, you need to

  • Send a clear message to your audience
  • Set SMART objectives
  • Plan your road map
  • Communicate effectively
  • Evaluate the outcomes

What do you want to say and to who?

Before planning a health and wellbeing event or programme look at the data you hold on your workforce such as gender, age and main reasons for sickness absence, this will help you to address any obvious hot spots. Establish the true cost of absence so you can later measure the impact the initiative has had on the business. Also ask employees what are their key health and wellbeing related concerns. A simple survey is one of the most effective ways Tonic finds of identifying what people need. For many it is to help staff positively manage or overcome major wellbeing challenges, which in turn makes them feel more valued by the company and invested in their work.

Set your objective

What is your objective for implementing a programme? Is it to reduce employee sickness; increase engagement; heighten awareness of work: life balance; to educate on the importance of stress management techniques or more to retain and reward staff?

  • Plan your initiative
  • Get full senior management team support. This shows employees you are serious and committed to the plan
  • Involve the right people – contact organisations that specialise in health and wellbeing activities. Using a 3rd party provider will also reduce the impact on in-house resources as the majority of work will be done for you.
  • Decide if the initiative will be a one-off event or part of an ongoing programme? Calendars are a great way to heighten awareness but also help to promote behaviour change which in turn will lead to better results and engagement.


Communication is key to making your programme a success. There are several ways to promote your event, the most successful being: advertise on your internally – use your intranet, put up posters, tell staff via team meetings, recruit champions in each department, send e-shots and even run competitions.


Put together a statement of who will do what and by when and ensure the deadlines are followed.


Short term – Use surveys to access the knowledge of employees both pre and post event. These can be distributed at the event and a gift given to employees who take time to complete them, branded water bottles or aromatherapy pulse points work well. Long term – Access the impact the health and wellbeing initiatives have had on sickness absence, staff turnover, employee engagement and accidents at work.

The benefits of  our workplace health & wellbeing programmes include:

  • Increased motivation and productivity. Ongoing support helps staff work through personal or work-related difficulties and maintain productivity in a healthy way. They’ll feel motivated to commit more energy to work.
  • Higher staff retention. Workers who feel supported will want to keep working for you. This means you retain talented people and lower recruitment and training costs.
  • Lower sickness absence. Staff will face fewer physical or mental health ailments that require time off.
  • Reduced presenteeism. Presenteeism is when staff come to work despite not being in the best physical or mental health, which causes them to perform below standard. According to research, presenteeism costs one and a half times more than absenteeism because it causes accidents, under performance, and mistakes. Jobs often need completing twice or staff have to take more time off than they originally would have.
  • Reduced costs. In 2016/17, Britain lost an estimated £15.4 million days due to stress, anxiety and depression. (Source: HSE Nov 2018). Furthermore mental health issues cost workplaces an estimated £26 billion per year, equivalent to £1,035 per employee. (Source: http://www.mindfulemployer.net).
  • Higher job satisfaction. Staff who feel appreciated at work gain more satisfaction from working. According to a workplace survey, 80% of people said that better wellbeing benefits would make them feel more positive towards their employer. 1 in 10 said that something as simple as complimentary fresh fruit would improve job satisfaction.
  • Improved reputation. Word gets around fast about companies that don’t treat their staff right, and this can put off applicants and customers. That’s why it’s within your best interest to build your reputation as a company that respects and supports people. It gives you a competitive edge and attracts talent.

At Tonic we work closely with each individual clients to provide stress-free planning of health & wellbeing events, bespoke to individual organisational needs, goals and budgets. All of the tools in the Tonic toolbox are delivered by fully qualified, experienced, passionate and of course insured practitioners. To limit the demands on clients in-house resource we provide structured, tried and tested appointment registers for all sessions and a complete on-line booking system. We offer full support, if needed, to help communicate events effectively and offer a full signposting and surveying service too.

Does your organisation view employee wellbeing as a broader business driver rather than as a tactical way to control absence or improve productivity? Do you value some of those proven benefits listed above? If so you will be interested in the Tonic Toolbox:

  • 1-2-1 Confidential Employee Health Checks
  • Stress Risk Assessments
  • Reward Days – Massage, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage
  • Stress Management Coaching
  • Nutrition e-MOT’s
  • Mental Health First Aid Training

If you are interested in planning any health and wellbeing activities in your workplace in 2019 simply register your interest now, or even tell us who in your organisation you’d like us to contact.  Email us at hello@choosetonic.co.uk 

Or alternatively, you can contact us here.

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