In the labyrinth of employee support, two terms frequently emerge, seemingly interchangeable but fundamentally distinct: corporate wellbeing and wellness. So, what are the differences between the two and which should organisations prioritise when it comes to their employees? 

What’s in a Name: Defining the Terms 

Corporate Wellbeing: This term encompasses the entirety of an individual’s experience within a workplace. It includes their mental, emotional, and physical health, as well as how satisfied they feel with their work-life balance, sense of purpose, and relationships with colleagues. Gallup goes further in defining what makes up corporate wellbeing; career, social, community, financial and physical. 

Wellness: Often a subset of wellbeing, wellness typically refers to the physical health and fitness of an employee. It’s about promoting behaviours like regular exercise, proper nutrition, and routine medical check-ups. While undeniably vital, it’s just a single piece of the larger wellbeing puzzle. 

Beyond Physical Health: The Emotional and Mental Aspects 

An employee hitting the gym three times a week might be in great physical shape, but if they’re struggling with job satisfaction, work-life balance, or stress, can we genuinely say they’re experiencing optimal wellbeing? It’s essential to address the emotional and mental layers of health. 

A recent survey found that 84% of employees see improving their wellbeing as a top priority, with 74% stating it’s more important than advancing their career. Yet, 80% face obstacles, with most centred around work factors such as heavy workloads, stressful roles, and long work hours. Three key areas need to be considered when it comes to workplace wellbeing – environment, policy and behaviour. Corporate wellbeing strategies must not only focus on mental wellbeing but must foster a work environment that actively promotes wellbeing and open conversations about mental health in order to support employees. 

Better Being are the experts in positive behaviour change. Get in touch with us today to discover how we can enhance the wellbeing of your employees.  

Fostering a Dual Approach: Merging Wellbeing with Wellness 

Rather than pitting wellbeing against wellness, why not marry the two for a holistic approach? Here’s how: 

Develop a Holistic Wellbeing Strategy: Rather than focusing on gym memberships, consider implementing a strategy that encompasses all areas of wellbeing. At Better Being, our wellbeing strategies focus on four core pillars – Movement, Mindset, Nutrition and Recovery – to ensure tangible benefits.  

Focus on Education: Awareness is the first step towards change. It isn’t enough to simply tell your employees what they should do to improve their wellbeing. By providing them with a variety of tools and resources, employees are empowered to create long-term positive behaviour change in the workplace and at home and achieve that work-life balance. Furthermore, educating team leads and managers about the significance of mental health can foster a more compassionate workplace environment. 

Create Inclusive Initiatives: Whether your employees are behind their desks or in the field, it is vital to ensure that your wellbeing strategy meets your people wherever they are.  Whilst in-office employees may benefit from workshops or webinars, in-field employees may be more suited to onsite toolbox talks. Promote team challenges such as Push For Better or Movember to create a sense of community, foster meaningful relationships and purpose.