to the business case. It is, after all, a common-sense assumption that the physical and psychological wellbeing of employees will affect their workplace commitment.

Value on Investment (VOI) is becoming a more popular evaluation tool in the wellness space, as it takes into account other less-tangible but equally valuable elements of employee health, such as employee satisfaction, sickness absence, productivity, and talent retention.

When an employer is considering introducing health and wellbeing programmes, it is important for FMs to be involved at the early stages of development because they will be required to assist with the planning as well as the implementation.

Encourage engagement and keep momentum There are many hurdles facing employers as they try to raise the health and wellbeing bar and engagement in wellness programmes is something that companies can struggle with.

According to 71% of GBAS research participants, employees largely prefer to manage health problems alone, which can lead to feelings of isolation and becoming overwhelmed.

It is, therefore, of paramount importance that companies promote positive wellbeing and healthy behaviours in the workplace.

This is of particular importance when it comes to sensitive issues that traditionally, employees feel uncomfortable with discussing with their employers, such as stress and mental ill health.

Stress is the number one health issue facing companies today so it will no doubt be a key area of concern for FMs.

FMs can help by creating an environment that promotes positive mental wellbeing. This can range from spaces for relaxation and meditation or quiet areas to private rooms where mental first aiders can speak to employees in confidence.

This space allocation can be extended to physical wellbeing. Rooms could be set aside for on-site visits from physiotherapists, exercise classes and even cookery demonstrations. FMs may also look to arrange for private spaces to accommodate group workshops which encourage conversations about overall wellbeing and sensitive issues, such as stress, nutrition and exercise.

These workshops could provide a forum for employees to open up and access the support they need while arming them with the tools to cope with the demands of working life.

Confidential lines of support, such as anonymous counselling services, can also overcome the engagement barrier, by removing direct employer involvement. FMs can assist in promoting these benefits and services by ensuring literature and posters are accessible and visible in the common areas.

Wellness programmes clearly serve as effective preventive measures and can be supported by other solutions, such as flexible working options, which allow employees to work around their personal life, giving them a better work/life balance.

With the help of FMs, companies can create champion corporate wellness programmes which drive the workforce forward and curb health-related problems in the company, creating a healthier and more productive workforce. TOMORROW’S FM | 49

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