Investing time and effort in your employees wellbeing WILL make an impact to your bottom line. Put the wellness of your employees first and you will see increased productivity, creativity, loyalty and a reduction in sickness, absenteeism and churn. Employee investment and happiness makes absolute commercial sense.

We challenge you to select one of the tips from the articles below and implement it into your staff room / downtime area TODAY and promote it in your staff briefing / 10 at 10 / huddle!

Create an environment where people feel like they have a work life balance. Whether it is emails only inside work hours or an email free Friday where people have to walk to talk to each other. 

Adam Chatterly

Natalie McMillan
Managing Director of McMillan and Associates Ltd

Natalie is an HR and OD professional, who has worked across a range of sectors including manufacturing, health, charity and not-for-profit. She has worked at board-level as an HR Director, Deputy Chief Executive and CEO. Natalie now runs her own business, McMillan and Associates Ltd, providing outsourced HR and OD support and consultancy to businesses across the UK.

Natalie has significant experience of working with businesses to develop their strategy and approach to their workforce. She is passionate about helping businesses to understand the importance of their people if they want to be successful and profitable. Having been a CEO of a £70m business she is better placed than most to understand the commercial incentives of well-being and taking care of your staff. She has a track record of developing, implementing and evaluating the impact of well-being initiatives including significant reductions in absence and improved employee engagement scores.

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Statistic One

89% of workers at companies that support well-being initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work


Statistic Two

87% of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing work and personal commitments


Statistic Three

Women represent just under half of the UK workforce (14.7m at July 2018)


Statistic Four

All women experience the Menopause and for the majority of women it occurs naturally between the ages of 45 and 55 years and lasts between 4 and 8 years (NuffieldHealth,2019)


Statistic Five

More than nine out of ten (94%) felt their symptoms negatively impacted on work (Newson,2019)


Statistic Six

51% of respondents reported having time off work due to their symptoms – a further 51% had reduced their working hours, and 32% considered quitting their job (Newson,2019)


  • Ensure all emails are only read at work – and stick to this as a manager – the more you send out of your working hours, the higher the perception is that team members need to do it as well – encourage a work life balance.
  • Schedule downtime – whether that is at 5pm on a Tuesday, or 9am on a quieter day – schedule team discussions / workshops /  team-time, during work hours only and make sure to have resources available (as mentioned on Tuesday’s daily challenge) throughout the week
  • No one wants to sit in a room and be talked at for 2 hours! Swap departmental “spaces” so that teams can cross-experience throughout the business rather than just sitting in a meeting room or the staff room all the time.
  • Building a platform such a ‘Perkbox’ into your employee offering and budget can provide employees and teams with fantastic social, family friendly, medical and in-house benefits. : Anything from free cinema passes to a Café Nero once a week every week – this will appeal toeveryone and can even be made to appear bespoke to each employee
  • Studies on women’s views show that they want employers and managers to:

    Have more knowledge and awareness about the menopause

    Be better able to talk about it and discuss appropriate workplace adjustments – as per Equality Act 2010

    Provide staff training and develop supportive workplace policies

For more information on supporting your female workforce through the menopause visit



By Paul Wilson, Corporate Solutions Director, Aviva

But soon it won’t be on trend - it will be the norm. Prospective employees will want to know what wellbeing package is on offer when considering a new job. And they’ll expect there to be one.

We are already seeing this happen with pensions. In 2012 it became mandatory for every employer to offer a workplace pension scheme. In a survey we ran this year, pensions came second in the list of benefits UK employees were most interested in, only losing out to annual leave.

When it comes to wellbeing there are three, core themes:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Financial

These themes shouldn’t be looked at in isolation. All three forms of wellbeing can have an impact on each other. Someone facing money worries can quickly develop mental health issues which may manifest themselves in physical symptoms. This can then start to affect their ability to be at their best at work.

Financial wellbeing, in particular, can sometimes be overlooked by employers when they are designing a wellbeing strategy. There can be a fear around getting too closely involved in employees’ private lives. And it is of course very British not to talk about money.

So, we have come up with five ways a company can promote financial wellbeing to their employees:

1.  Shout about what you offer!

You can have the greatest wellbeing package in the world, but if your employees aren’t aware of it, you are not getting the return on your investment. Put the information somewhere easily accessible or hold regular benefit events. Your benefits provider may have marketing materials that you can share directly with your employees. Life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection can offer a financial safety net should the worst happen. If you offer some great benefits, shout about it!!

2.  Push your pension

As I mentioned, employees are really starting to value their workplace pension. Make your workforce aware of what they are getting by staying in the scheme. Yes, they have to put some money in, but you are also paying into it and so are the government. If it’s affordable, look into offering more than the minimum contributions. This could be achieved through a matching system i.e. if your employee increases contributions by 1% then you will do the same. Many workplace pension providers will have campaigns that can be run with your workforce.

3.  Can you offer a Mid-Life MOT?

A midlife MOT aims to help people aged 45+ to better plan their work, wealth and wellbeing. Many people in that age bracket are known as the ‘sandwich generation’ – they are looking after their children and their elderly parents at the same time. 

Some will feel they are well into their career, but in reality, they could have another 25 years of work ahead of them. Their skills and experience should never be overlooked, but it can be important they are given time to take stock of where they are, and where they may want to get to.

Aviva has been running mid-life MOTs with its own employees for over a year now and they have proved so popular we are now taking the MOT out to other businesses. The government has also developed its own mid-life MOT which is available to employers and employees online. You can also listen to our podcast about the mid-life MOT.

4.  Help your employees get better at maths

This may sound like an odd one, but it could really make a difference. A report by KMPG in 2018 found that almost one in two UK adults of working age struggled with using numbers. It means there are many people who may not fully understand the best way to take control of their debt, how to run a household budget or where they could make savings. This could have the knock-on effect of money worries leading to mental health issues. If you want to help your employees in this area, then the National Numeracy website is a great starting point.

5.  Encourage a culture of openness

As a society, we don’t like talking about money. But that can be to our detriment at times. Try to encourage staff to open up if they are feeling under financial pressure. You may want to bring in a third party, such as a financial education expert, to get the conversation going around money, debt, savings etc. Feeling (at least a bit) more comfortable talking about money in the workplace could just relieve some of the strain people are feeling.

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It’s evident that employee health, directly influences behaviour, attendance and output. British Gas for example, some years ago, introduced back care workshops for employees within physically demanding parts of the business. Almost 300 employees participated, and the company saw a reduction in back pain related absence of 43%, creating a business benefit of £1,660 per participating employee. It was discovered that for every £1 invested in the workshop, the company received a return of £31.

Businesses can develop a plethora of differing workshops (with spas being especially well placed for this) with subjects as varied as: wellbeing, posture, resilience, mental health and nutritional programmes. If not feeling confident enough to do this, differing companies have sprung up, offering health plans and more, so that you may attract, retain and reward your staff members.

Why not introduce a workplace wellness challenge! These are activities which aim to engage people in becoming happier & healthier and the long-term results could be healthier lifestyle behavioural shifts. Challenges can be undertaken frequently or infrequently, however consistency produces the best results of course. Short duration challenges, e.g. one week or one month, are more focused and effective.

Challenges should be designed to reward effort and make it possible for as many people to succeed as possible. Encourage employees to walk, cycle, take public transport or organise a car-pool. Measurement is often subjective but by introducing a points system, seems to be the easiest and most understood form.



Some workforce challenge suggestions include:

  • Sleep eight hours a night
  • Drink a litre of water daily
  • Exercise for 30 minutes twice a week
  • Try and avoid the lift and walk to differing departments
  • Spend 15 minutes stretching every morning
  • Eat 5 servings per day of fruit & veg (share healthy recipes with colleagues)
  • Eat breakfast daily
  • Volunteer to help a colleague
  • Read a book
  • Take part in a relaxation or reflection session
  • Read a self-help book
  • Enrol in an educational course
  • Spend more time outdoors
  • Become someone’s mentor
  • Have lunch with a colleague and get to know them better
  • Seek medical help for any reoccurring health condition


by Beata Aleksandrowicz 


Beata Aleksandrowicz is an international expert on massage, healing and wellbeing. She is a founder of the Aleksandrowicz System® and former creator of the Pure Massage Spa Training Method®

Beata is a powerful advocate on educating people about the importance of touch, massage, wellbeing and spiritual growth. She is the author of two books on massage translated in several languages and published worldwide by Duncan Baird. Beata serves as a member on the Mental Wellness Initiative for The Global Wellness Institute and is a judge for the World Spa & Wellness Awards.

Therapist burnout is a real problem for our industry and usually means that their passion is gone. When they lose their passion for their work it is very difficult for therapists to treat clients well and provide the much-needed wow factor.

Few people truly understand how burnout can negatively affect the quality of treatment delivery. This goes much deeper than merely dealing with a therapist who looks unhappy on the spa or salon floor. Management can help therapists to recreate that passion by connecting them with the deeper reason of choosing this profession in the first place.

Mental and physical preparation

One of the most important things is to help your team to understand that their body is their tool. They need to take care of it, which requires discipline and repetition in the same way an athlete would prepare for sport or a dancer prepares for a performance. What they eat, the quality of their sleep, the way how they treat their body will affect their work. Lifestyle advice is essential, and you should promote the benefits of meditation, yoga, Pilates and physical fitness like swimming or jogging.

It’s important when a therapist is facing several massages in a day that they need to stretch their body at the start of the day. Their muscles and joints need to aligned and warm up, like every athlete would do before and event or a dancer before their performance. There is also need for mental preparation: even five minutes of meditation in the treatment room, before starting the shift will make a huge difference. Breathing exercises and visualization can make the difference between a good or a great day.

Staff should also be instructed to stretch their body between treatments. Simple full body stretch or few side bends will make a difference. I always advise therapists to breath and stretch between treatments. It’s possible to rest in 10 minutes if you stop, breathe, meditate and recuperate, whilst avoiding social media. Take a deep breath before each client and start from zero. See that person as a new person, starting every treatment like it is the first of the day.

To conclude the day staff should be encouraged to reflect for few minutes what they learnt today and what needs to be improved.

Structure and planning can help to reduce stress

Teaching your team how to structure their day is an important first step in this process.  Good time management, maybe with a checklist in the morning ensures that everything is done more efficiently. Knowing that the room is ready and then familiarising themselves with the schedule is part of their mental preparation which will reduce stress. Ideally, they will come earlier in the day and take a moment to close their eyes, take a breath and visualise their day – how it starts and ends and what they hope to achieve.

Value your staff

It’s not enough to focus solely on the therapist. This advice will be ineffectual if you don’t create the right work environment. One of kindness, and appreciation that inspires and motivates people.

Teach your team to support and help each other. As a manager, you need to truly understand the complexity of their work, checking if they really do have enough time between each treatment to prepare the room, to talk to the client etc. Foster an open environment with your daily meetings which go beyond KPI’s and targets by making these more personal and engaging.  Set aside space for a staff room, that’s a nice place to be, where they can properly rest and recuperate on their breaks. 

I often see expert practitioners and ‘gurus’ brought into spas instead of providing adequate care and training for the staff they already have. I don’t think that this serves the purpose. It demotivates the core team of therapists. You cannot avoid the key fact that staff need continuous training. However difficult or challenging it can be, we cannot pretend anymore that our therapist “will do” by themselves or that this is responsibility of colleges. Colleges are bound by their syllabuses that don’t allow them to evolve fast enough to meet the client needs of today. They often struggle. This is first. Second, when you employ therapists to work in your spa they are not on they own anymore, they are part of your team and you need to team them accordingly.