Travel2Next and Next Wellbeing work in partnership with each other to promote various activities on site. Next Wellbeing also offer lots of information on a variety of health and mental benefits. To find out more click on the sections below.
What is a Wellness Action Plan?
A WAP is a personalised, practical tool we can all use – whether we have a mental health problem or not – to help us identify what keeps us well at work, what causes us to become unwell and the support we would like to receive to boost our wellbeing or support us through a recovery.
We all have mental health just as we all have physical health and a WAP is designed to support us all to manage our mental health. A WAP gives ownership of the practical steps needed to stay well at work or manage a mental health problem. It also opens up a dialogue between a Manager and a team member, to help gain a better understanding of an individuals needs and experiences and therefore better support their wellbeing.
WAPs are also particularly helpful during the return to work process, when someone has been off work due to a mental health problem, as they provide a structure for conversations around what support will help and what reasonable adjustments might be useful to consider.
How will the WAP benefit employees?
Utilising a WAP will enable planning in advance and gaining an awareness of what works and what doesn’t work for a individual. A WAP can help employees to develop approaches to support their mental wellbeing, leading to a reduced likelihood of problems.
If an employee does experience a mental health problem, the employee and manager will then have an idea of the tailored support that could help, or at the least a tool to use in starting that conversation.
The WAP is not only a tool to support staff when they are experiencing problems – it also helps identify how an individual’s wellbeing can be proactively improved.
What does a WAP include?
- Approaches an individual can adopt to support their mental wellbeing
- Early warning signs of poor mental health to look out for
- Any workplace triggers for poor mental health or stress Potential impact of poor mental health on performance, if any
What support is needed from a Manager
- Actions and positive steps you will both take if they are experiencing stress or poor mental health
- An agreed time to review the WAP and any support measures which are in place Anything else that they feel would be useful in supporting their mental health
The WAP is intended as an agreement between an employee and a Manager in order to promote their wellbeing or address any existing mental health needs, including any adjustments they may wish to discuss.
The Wellness Action Plan
The WAP consists of 8 questions and the template is towards the end of this section.
- Plan some time on your own to fill in your WAP
- Schedule some confidential time with your Manager to discuss it
- The WAP should be written and owned by you, expressing your own personal choices, your personal experience and your needs.
- Consider what would be helpful for your Manager to know before the meeting:
- What you are like when you are feeling well and flourishing at work
- What a work environment that promotes good mental wellbeing looks like for you
- What helps maintain your mental wellbeing
- What coping strategies do you already use for dealing with poor mental health and why these have been effective
- How you’ve addressed similar challenges in the past
- What hasn’t worked for you in the past and why you think this might be
By allowing the individual to take ownership of the process and of the WAP itself, this will empower them to feel more in control.
As a manager, you will be a key support in encouraging your team members to develop their WAP. You could start by:
- Asking your team member to have a go at completing the WAP
- Scheduling some time to discuss their WAP with you and finalise it based on these discussions
- By regularly reviewing the agreed, practical steps in the WAP, a Manager can support a team member to adapt it to reflect their experiences or new approaches they find helpful.
Once the WAP has been drawn up, factor in some time during your catch-ups or 1-to-1’s to review the WAP and make any necessary changes.
The WAP is most effective when treated as a live, flexible document, so a regular ‘feedback loop’ with your team member to assess what is and isn’t working is an important part of the process.
The role of a Manager is to discuss their plan with them and provide support. This may include seeking guidance from their HR representative on what is possible for any reasonable adjustments. Try to avoid influencing them by offering your own advice or suggestions.
The WAP should be held confidentially between manager and employee, with the employee being made fully aware of how the information will be used, and therefore only providing information that they are happy to share. If the employee is filling out a WAP as a result of being unwell, you may ask whether they would consent for a copy of it to be held with HR along with any other information about their wellbeing, such as an Occupational Health report or a Return to Work plan.
Often, we are all experts on our own mental health and the support or adjustments we may need. The WAP provides the space and structure to consider this. The plan needs to include all the things that are important to the individual’s mental wellbeing, from their triggers and signs of poor mental health, to what action to take and what support they need when or if they become unwell.
In order to fulfil our duty of care to keep all employees safe at work, we are obliged to break confidentiality if an individual is experiencing a crisis.
At Next we want to have a culture that promotes and enables us all to achieve positive mental wellbeing.
There are factors in our workplace that influence employee mental wellbeing. Understanding and addressing these factors has a wide range of benefits, both for our people and the Company such as social wellbeing and the productivity of everyone at Next.
Our employees will only benefit from the things we do at work to improve wellbeing if they take time to care for their health and wellbeing outside of work and participate in the initiatives we offer.
Who does this policy apply to?
This policy applies equally to everyone.
The effective implementation of this will be supported by other Health and Safety and HR policies.
To address working conditions and practices that are likely to affect the mental wellbeing of our people, including how their work is organised, their work environment and how they are managed, we will:
- Give employees information on and increase their awareness about mental wellbeing.
- Provide employees with the knowledge and tools to look after their own mental wellbeing and
of those they manage.
- Give employees the opportunity to positively influence how they carry out their role and to
develop and fully utilise their skills.
- Encourage and enable employees to be responsible for achieving a work / life balance which
promotes their wellbeing.
- Ensure employees know what is expected of them by providing them with good management
support, appropriate training and adequate resources.
- Regularly monitoring our performance, assess our progress and take positive action to improve
the opportunities for positive mental wellbeing.
- Give non-judgmental and proactive support to employees who experience mental ill-health
and ensure they are treated fairly and consistently.
To provide support and assistance for our people who experience mental ill-health whether work related or not, we will:
- Investigate factors at work that are likely to be key contributors to reduce levels of mental
wellbeing and address them where reasonable.
- Treat all matters relating to individual’s mental ill- health in the strictest confidence and share information only when necessary.
- Promote good communication between individuals and their Managers and encourage people to discuss mental wellbeing openly with their line managers or others if they wish to without any fear of judgment or stigma being attached to them.
- Train Managers on the importance of actively communicating with those who want to talk about their mental wellbeing.
- Provide Managers with the knowledge and confidence to support and signpost those who may have mental wellbeing concerns.
To recognise that whilst some pressure in the workplace promotes creativity and productivity, too much pressure can lead to stress and ill-health and to acknowledge the importance of identifying and reducing stress and pressure in the workplace, we will:
- Identify workplace stressors and seek to eliminate or control them wherever practicable.
- Provide training in good management practices, including those relating to health and safety.
- Provide access to appropriate services for those affected.
- Provide adequate resources to Managers so they can implement this policy.
Everyone has a responsibility through their actions, behaviours and the way they communicate to
making the Company’s Mental Wellbeing Policy effective.
Next have the responsibility to:
Take reasonable steps to provide a culture where mental wellbeing is proactively managed.
Directors and Managers have the responsibility to:
- Lead by example and create a culture and environment conducive to positive mental
- Ensure good communication between themselves and the employees they lead.
- Proactively assist and support employees who need it.
- Ensure employees are given the training and resources to do their job and to develop.
- Monitor workloads to ensure they are achievable.
HR / Health and Safety have the responsibility to:
- Organise training and awareness courses on mental wellbeing in conjunction with suitable
- Coach and support Directors, Managers and all employees in relation to this policy to ensure
senior Managers regard mental wellbeing as a priority for their teams.
- Develop HR policies, procedures and guidelines that support this policy.
- Develop processes which allow us to monitor and report on levels of sickness absence which relate to mental health problems.
- Access and signpost those who suffer from mental ill-health to appropriate third party service providers and experts.
- Develop a network of Mental Health First Aiders.
Review this policy and monitor how effectively the policy meets its aims and objectives via indicators such as sickness levels, causes of sickness, use of Occupational Health, staff turnover, early retirement through ill-health and staff complaints.
Individuals have the responsibility to:
- Look after their own mental wellbeing and raise issues of concern; seeking help if required from colleagues, their Manager or HR or where available Occupational Health or Employee Assistance Programmes.
- Look out for the mental wellbeing of their colleagues and seek advice from their Manager, HR or Mental Health First Aider.
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The role of Mental Wellbeing First Aider in the workplace is to be a point of contact for an employee who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the person to get appropriate help. As well as in a crisis, Mental Wellbeing First Aiders may also be valuable in providing early intervention help for someone who may be developing a mental health issue.
Mental Wellbeing First Aiders will be able to:
- Spot the early signs and symptoms of mental ill health
- Start a supportive conversation with a colleague who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress
- Listen to the person non-judgementally
- Assess the risk of suicide or self-harm
- Encourage the person to access appropriate professional support or self-help strategie This might include encouraging access to internal support systems such as EAPs or in-house counselling services
- Escalate to the appropriate emergency services, if necessary
- Accompany those having a critical incident until they can be supported by friends, family, Emergency Services, their GP or other relevant NHS professional
- Maintain confidentiality as appropriate
- Complete critical incident documents as and when necessary
- Protect themselves while performing their role
Trained MWFA’s will also be able to:
- Raise awareness and mental health understanding
- Reduce stigma around mental health
- Boost knowledge and confidence in dealing with mental health issues
- Promote early intervention which enables recovery
What Mental wellbeing First Aiders are not
At no time does the Mental Wellbeing First Aider role (or anyone trained in MWFA skills) supersede company policy: first and foremost they are all employees of the company.
To support mental wellbeing first aiders we will:
- Setting up networks (with a clear remit) for support and idea sharing (overseen by someone with a HR background)
- Putting in place a Mental Wellbeing First Aider role and policy document to ensure clarity on expectations
- Empowering Mental Wellbeing First Aiders to maintain their skills with regular refresher skills training.
- Develop and promote clear referral or assistance pathways so Mental Wellbeing First Aiders can signpost effectively to support
- Increase mental health understanding across the rest of the organisation to help normalise the conversation around mental health
To find out who your mental health First Aider is, please see Head Office
To find out who your mental health First Aider is, please see Online
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To find out more information please contact the Health and Safety department on x 6506