When we feel safe, supported, listened to and valued, we thrive, and this is where Wellness Action Plans (WAPS) can strengthen your workforce.
WAPS in your organisation can help – by strengthening each one of your team members, ultimately this will strengthen your organisation as a whole.
But, what are Wellness Action Plans?
Written by employees, these personal documents are shared with managers to include information on when and why an employee might feel unwell, and what keeps them feeling well. Although they’re not legally binding, these plans promote ongoing discussion to create a safe space where people can thrive.
Overall, they’re an easy and practical way of helping individual team members support their own mental health at work. And if you’re a manager, they’re a useful resource to support the mental health of your team. Anyone can complete one, you don’t need to have a specific problem to feel the benefits, but should you want to improve your wellbeing in general, or access the right support for recovery after injury or illness, you’ll have some practical measures in place when they’re needed the most.
What should a Wellness Action Plan include?
Include guiding questions and suggestions to help your employees fill it in and explain to them that this document is confidential between themselves and the line manager, unless the employee consents to it being shared further.
Use the following prompt questions in your wellness action plan for employees:
- Think about and share what supports your mental health at work.
- Think about and share what makes you unwell at work.
- Think about and share things that can help keep you well.
- Talk about what support you need for a specific mental health problem.
- Review your experience and approach regularly and make sure the support you receive is the best for you right now to feel empowered and in control.
How do Wellness Action Plans help managers?
By fulfilling their duties as a line manager a WAP can:
- Help you structure and start conversations about mental health with your employees.
- Help you understand your employees’ experiences and needs.
- Help with identifying and considering reasonable adjustments.
- Help ensure employees returning to work after absence are appropriately supported show new starters that you are committed to their wellbeing.
For more information about implementing a Wellness Action Plan and their usage within the workplace contact our expert HR team – Hertfordshire’s leading HR consultancy, bringing your business the benefits, protection and experience of an entire HR department.