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Making workplace wellbeing a priority

Discover how we achieved a Worcestershire Works Well Level 1 standard and what workplace wellbeing means to us as an agency.

Despite efforts from more businesses to treat workplace wellbeing more seriously, ‘The Workplace Health Report’ reveals:

• 67% of professionals are experiencing moderate to high levels of stress

• 60% feel anxious

• 22% suffer from clinical levels of depression

To counteract these scary stats, UK businesses must address the detrimental impacts work can have on the mental health of their staff.

That’s where Worcestershire Works Well (WWW) can help. After achieving our Level 1 standard, we thought we’d share our thoughts on wellbeing in the workplace and explain how this incredible scheme from WWW can make a big impact on your business.

Health and wellbeing at Design in the Shires

One simple way workplaces can become more in tune with employee wellbeing is to get involved with a programme or organisation that supports their cause.

A business might have the right intentions for improving wellbeing standards, but it's unlikely to have the resources or knowledge available to ensure these good intentions become satisfied.

“Employees spend a third of their waking hours at work, so we want to ensure it’s a positive and productive place to be.”

Liz Lane, Studio Manager and Head of Happiness, Design in the Shires

We recommend adopting specialist support from a professional organisation to help your business reach its wellbeing incentives.

At Design in the Shires, we joined forces with Worcester Works Well. After reaching out to WWW, they set the requirements for Level 1, which we managed to achieve with the fantastic help of Amanda.

What’s involved in the Worcestershire Works Well Scheme?

The standards for Level 1 included the following topics, each containing specific criteria:

Environment and Culture

Leadership and Management

Attendance Management

Health and Safety

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Misuse


Physical Activity and MSK

The first step in creating a stable and happy culture of wellbeing required establishing a dedicated health and wellness group, which consisted of Jessica Williams (Director) and Liz Lane (Studio Manager and Head of Happiness).

“As a small business, a lot of things we do to support workplace wellbeing are informal and part of the office culture. However, the Worcestershire Works Well allowed us to formalise some procedures so that when the business grows, we can implement these to new staff members easily.”

Jessica Williams, Director, Design in the Shires

After establishing a wellbeing group complete with resources, we planned to promote two campaigns with a health and wellbeing agenda to reach our ‘Environment and Culture’ criteria.

Workplace wellbeing needs commitment and consistency

For any company to successfully endorse a health and wellbeing culture, all aspects of leadership and management must commit to essential wellbeing values and provide an equality, diversity, and inclusion policy.

Other aspects, such as attendance and healthy life choices, required our leaders and managers to make resources available, raise awareness and show an inclusive support network for all staff members to feel comfortable enough to open up and talk if necessary.

“We wanted to create an open environment where all the team feel like they can discuss things that are bothering them. We want to reduce the stigma around mental health and mental illness so people can discuss this with someone in the team. We are in no way perfect, and we all have our good and bad days. However, we want to ensure we manage the workload, reduce stress levels, and share the load.”

Liz Lane, Studio Manager and Head of Happiness, Design in the Shires

Ultimately, all staff and company values need to embody a total belief in wellbeing for it to function at an optimum. It’s not just a gesture of “goodwill”, but a mantra the company must live and breathe through awareness, action, and ongoing support.

When it comes to wellbeing in the workplace, consistency is crucial too. At Design in the Shires, we’re honouring this essential value with a commitment to achieving the next level of Worcestershire Works Well.

Our efforts to remain consistent have also been recognised by the Hereford & Worcestershire Chamber Business Awards for the ‘Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace’ award two years running.

Workplace wellbeing improves company performance through trust

Mental health and wellbeing have always been important and personal issues for us. As a company, DITS was built on these integral wellbeing foundations and principles from the very beginning.

“We have introduced several initiatives to support employees to make positive lifestyle choices. Flexitime allows our staff to choose whether they wish to start late or finish early, to suit their lifestyles. We also have a ‘wellness hour’ that employees can take anywhere in the week to do something actively promoting an improvement in their wellbeing. The most popular time is finishing early on a Friday!”

Liz Lane, Studio Manager and Head of Happiness, Design in the Shires

Workplace wellbeing doesn’t just benefit a business by providing emotional support to its staff members, it also generates a more productive and motivated workforce in the process. We can certainly vouch for that.

All Work reports that companies who invest in wellness programmes produce:

• 37% lower absenteeism levels

• 65% lower employee turnover

• 10% higher customer satisfaction

• 21% higher productivity

• 22% higher profitability

With more companies adopting wellness programmes in recent years, the overwhelming consensus is that it not only improves the happiness of staff but the overall performance of the company.

“The health and wellbeing of our employees is our highest priority. We have ensured that it’s woven into the fabric of the company. Introducing this ethos to the workplace has resulted in happy, productive, motivated, and engaged staff.”

Jessica Williams, Director, Design in the Shires

It’s no secret that the best work teams worldwide share one thing in common – trust. Trusting ourselves and our colleagues in a work environment creates a sense of “psychological safety”, enabling us to connect with more focus on our work and heightened levels of communication and respect.

“It is vitally important that our employees feel they have a voice, feel included, empowered, and valued and assured that we are a safe space dedicated to supporting them. Our staff are our most valuable asset. The creation of an environment of transparency has allowed trust to thrive, empowering our employees to speak openly.”

Liz Lane, Studio Manager and Head of Happiness, Design in the Shires

Improve your workplace wellbeing with Worcestershire Works Well

As a company, our experiences have taught us that with the right support, knowledge and guidance, businesses can provide staff with the environment they deserve while improving overall motivation, engagement and productivity.

If you’re a Worcestershire based business, we recommend committing to the Worcestershire Works Well scheme.

For more information about how WWW can work for your workplace wellbeing, visit their website today.

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