Wild Wellbeing Days
Improve the wellbeing of your employees
Did you know that every three in five employees experience mental health issues at some stage in their career, costing the UK economy £30 billion a year? And it’s not just the economy that suffers, clearly this comes at a huge personal cost to the individuals involved too. It is likely that one in eight of your workforce is suffering from a mental health issue right now.
Employers have an important role to play in helping improve the wellbeing of their staff and The Wildlife Trusts can offer a helping hand. Research shows that individuals spending time in nature report improved wellbeing, which is why The Wildlife Trusts have designed their Wild Wellbeing Days. Staff members taking part spend the day surrounded by nature, whilst discovering new ways to look after their health and wellbeing. They also experience the feel-good factor of having achieved something worthwhile for wildlife and their community.
Similar initiatives led by The Wildlife Trusts have shown excellent results, with an independent review finding that 95% of Wildlife Trust volunteers with low wellbeing report an improvement within six weeks of involvement with their Wildlife Trust. Employees from Siemens have also reported a marked change in wellbeing, with 81% stating they felt happier and healthier following just one day with their Wildlife Trust. That’s 4 in 5 people that participated!
As well as improved wellbeing, our Wild Wellbeing Days give colleagues a chance to connect with one another outside of the usual working environment – strengthening relationships back in the office.
Wild Wellbeing Days can make a BIG difference
Our Wild Wellbeing Days are about improving your staff’s health and wellbeing, as well as making a difference to wildlife in your area.
Did you know?:
- Taking a positive, proactive approach to mental health at work can help you fully engage your staff, making them more receptive and productive.
- Developing a reputation for tackling wellbeing and looking after your staff will help you to retain existing and attract new employees.
- Being outside increases our activity levels and improves our physical health; it also boosts our social and psychological wellbeing by reducing stress and anxiety, increasing positivity and self-esteem.
By providing your employees with the space and time to access nature, you can help them to feel better, think happier thoughts and help them connect with others.
"It was a great day. I feel physically and mentally refreshed!" -Siemens employee
"What I liked about the day... learning new things, meeting new people, being active and doing something good for the environment.” - Costain employee
A typical Wild Wellbeing day
A Wild Wellbeing day involves your teams spending a day at a local nature reserve that is being looked after by The Wildlife Trusts. This could be a woodland, by a lakeside or in a meadow. The day will include:
- Orientation – introduction to the site and the wellbeing objectives of the day. A guided walk with an interesting and engaging expert
- Conservation task – a conservation task (agreed in advance) which is accessible and suitable for all in the group
- Lunch – communal lunch; a chance to bond outside the office
- Fun activity e.g. den building, fire-lighting
- Reflection – an opportunity to reflect back on the day both individually and as a group
The day itself is based around the recognised ‘five ways to wellbeing’ pathway:
- Connect with nature and people
- Be active through exercise and activities
- Take notice of the world and nature
- Keep learning by developing skills and self-awareness
- Give back to nature and the community
A range of activities may be used from wellbeing walks to conservation tasks, mindfulness exercises to outdoor crafts. Each activity is carefully thought out and delivered by professionals.
Before the day we work with employees to ensure they feel inspired and informed so that they are confident to participate to their full ability. We take a baseline measure of their wellbeing at the end of a normal working day and repeat this at the end of a Wild Wellbeing Workday for comparison.
Employees will also be provided with resources to take away and inspire them to keep up a connection with nature.
Over the past year, nearly 700 Siemens staff have taken part in the Wild Wellbeing programme across the country. Following the programme,
- 81% of employees reported increased mental wellbeing following their first day
- 63% of participants felt that team spirit was better after their Wild Wellbeing Workdays.
The work they carried out helped to create a beautiful, safe and wildlife-rich natural environment for the benefit and use of local communities. For example, in Cumbria 300 kg of rubbish was collected from Foulney Island nature reserve, clearing areas and making it better for nesting birds and people alike. Staff also had the opportunity to learn more about the birds they were helping.
Over half of construction workers have suffered mental ill health in their lives, with one in four having considered taking their own life. Recognising the need to support their staff, Costain decided to take part in the Wild Wellbeing days, changing the pace of activity and tasks throughout the days from more strenuous directed activities such as raking meadows to mindfulness walks and meditation, and onto self-directed activities including bushcraft.
Every Costain employee that took part reported feeling happier, healthier and more positive on their return to work. They also learnt a number of valuable ways to help look after their wellbeing from being outside chatting to others, to learning new things and meeting new people.
I enjoyed being with people and working as a team in a friendly, relaxed environment. (Costain employee)