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Five tips to become a workplace health and wellbeing Ninja

This blog, written by our co-founder Su, is a reflection on what can help us to have a mindset that brings HWB conversations into the workplace.  It builds on an original blog from 2017.

How can I become a HWB Ninja?

HWBInspiration was co-founded in 2017 as a result of work that Claire and I were commissioned to lead on behalf of the Manchester’s Health and Wellbeing Board.  Health and wellbeing in the workplace has become evermore important.  The pandemic has ‘shone a light’ on we need to pay attention to if we are to remain healthy, well and lead fulfilling lives.  2020 has brought many things into sharp relief, and we’ve been more reflective about the workplace factors and conditions that need to be in place to promote positive health and wellbeing.

I’ve been writing blogs over the last 3 years.  It’s interesting to look back at some of my earlier posts. I realise that some of the tips and hints for health and wellbeing still hold true despite the sense that the world has been ‘tipped’ on its axis.  I’m being cheeky and reusing some of the tips from a previous blog to encourage us all to think about the small habits that we can put in place to focus on our health and wellbeing in 2021.

Back in 2017, I reminded myself that we all need to have knowledge, skills and expertise to support each other in our health and wellbeing endeavour.  When I think someone has mastered a particular mind set or skill, an image of a Ninja pops into my head. I was delighted to see that the informal definition of Ninja is “a person who excels in a particular skill or activity’.   We’ve taken this concept further over the years and it has become part of who we are and how we think. 

Glimmers of Brilliance (GOB)

This year we developed our #GOB21 calendar with two of our fully-fledged HWB Ninja’s, Jess and Matt.  #GOB21 has hints, tips and resources to support individual and team HWB activities and ideas.  If you would like to become a fully-fledged HWB Ninja, share a blog, case studies or resource with us.  Until then see if you can find the HWB Ninja Apprentice behind the one of the tiles.  Enjoy the hunt.

Practical Ninja Moves

Here is a reminder of some of the practical ways that you can apply Health and Wellbeing activities in the workplace.

TipMe (Ninja)My teamMy manager/organisation
1Find your healthily work life blend and take breaksEncourage the team to discuss their work life blend, have lunch together, scrutinise all the meetings the team attendsRole model good management practice – take breaks, avoid sending e-mails ‘out of hours’ or let people know that you don’t expect a response ‘out of hours’
2Avoid presenteeism (coming to work when unwell)Discuss what presenteeism means as a team – especially now that we are using digital platforms and experience ‘back to back’ phenomenonMake it clear that you expect people to stay at home when they are unwell (that it’s not a badge of honour to come to work when you are unwell) Review sickness absence policies to support people to return to work
3Develop health and wellbeing objectives for yourselfSupport colleagues with positive HWB behaviours by developing team health and wellbeing objectivesBuild in time to discuss health and wellbeing – simply ask how people are and celebrate positive health and wellbeing behaviours
4Be active, use the stairs, move around from your desk, use apps to encourage you to get up and walkHave team meetings standing up or while walking, pedometer challenges.  You can still do this despite the restrictions.Develop options to support people to be active at work such as virtual walking groups, running groups, yoga
5Keep yourself healthy and ask for help when you need itEncourage the team to ask each other for help when they need it and how to support each other when specialist help may be neededEnsure that people have access to excellent occupational health, rapid access to counselling, physio, MOT’s

Go well into 2021 and I’m hopeful that we can find a path through this together.

How creativity can boost your wellbeing

How creativity can boost your wellbeing

This blog from our resident HWBI Ninja, Matt Worden, reflects on how he has used his artistic skill with groups to boost health and wellbeing. We’ve been working with Matt for over 2 years and he has the amazing ability to bring our ideas and concepts to life. He has constantly given us inspiration and works tirelessly to help people to tap into their potential.