Supporting Wellbeing Champions in Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
Updated: May 31
Unlike their larger counterparts, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) rarely employ full time wellbeing managers and yet these businesses are not immune to workplace stress. In fact many who work in these organisations would argue that the pressures can be greater since leaders need to wear multiple hats and work long hours to meet client expectations.
How then can SMEs help their employees to thrive and avoid stress related absences? This is where the role of a Wellbeing Champion becomes very important.
What is a Wellbeing Champion?
Wellbeing Champions are employees who volunteer to spend a portion of their time to promote wellbeing initiatives within an organisation.
Why would they do this? Usually because they have a passion for it.
They often have a strong interest in fitness, nutrition or mental health, born out of their own background and sometimes from overcoming adversity. They have experienced the benefits of focusing on their own wellbeing and want to share their passion with others.
How can a Wellbeing Champion make an impact in an SME?
Assuming they have the motivation to make a difference and they have the blessing of their CEO, what discernible impact can a Wellbeing Champion have in a busy SME? Quite a lot in fact!
As well as reducing absence through ill-health or stress, they can play a crucial role in retaining and attracting key employees. It therefore makes sound business sense for SMEs to have at least one person fulfilling this role.
The role however can be challenging, particularly since the Wellbeing Champion is usually performing the role along with their 'day job'. External support and mentoring can therefore make a big difference to their success.
We offer a Wellbeing Champions Development Programme to equip would-be champions to have the maximum impact in their organisations. They also become part of a wider community of wellbeing champions who have similar goals and challenges.
To be impactful, a Wellbeing Champion will need a combination of the attributes mentioned below:
Influencing skills; The Goldilocks principle is useful here – too much influencing and they can put people off, not enough and they will dilute their impact. They need the right amount and right type of influencing to engage stakeholders and participants in wellbeing initiatives.
Managing a budget; Managing money is not absolutely essential but it certainly increases the options of what resources can be offered to employees e.g. for external training, coaching, talks, and offsite events. Knowing how to get the best value from your budget, by listening to other wellbeing champions is very useful.
Templates & Best practices; Designing a wellbeing strategy and programme of activities from scratch, will generally be very time-consuming. It will encroach heavily on the employee’s other work duties. It pays to use templates and tools that have been used elsewhere both to reduce the time required and to increase the likelihood of success.
Strategic approach; It can be tempting to jump in and do ‘stuff’ however a well thought-out strategy will be more impactful in the long term. The strategy will need to reflect the rhythm of the organisation’s business, as well as their current and expected wellbeing needs.
Link to business performance; Effective Wellbeing Champions will be able to demonstrate the value of the wellbeing programme, in terms of how it links to the key performance metrics of the business. For example, showing how happier employees is leading to happier clients. Making this type of link will ensure they garner ongoing stakeholder support.
Please contact us to find out more about our upcoming programmes for Wellbeing Champions Training. We would be pleased to help your SME to prosper.