Wellbeing Champions FAQs
What is a Wellbeing Champion?
A Wellbeing Champion is a volunteer selected to further your wellbeing strategy by supporting health campaigns and having purposeful wellbeing conversations with colleagues.
Wellbeing Champions or Ambassadors are your eyes and ears, they’re out on the ground activating your wellbeing strategy and making sure it truly lives – these guys are banging the wellbeing drum and speaking to those hard to reach populations that often don’t, or can’t engage.
What does a Wellbeing Champion do?
There are two areas in which Wellbeing Champions may add value to the wellbeing activity in your organisation:
- Supporting existing wellbeing campaigns or creating their own wellbeing campaigns
- Being on the ground looking out for people who may need support by having wellbeing conversations and signposting them to support
With this in mind, our Activation Day programme gives a full day of learning to get your network of Wellbeing Champions off the ground and ready to go. It covers:
- Understanding wellbeing at work and what it means to have a Good Day at Work. This allows the network to have a clear framework of the barriers to having a Good Day at Work and what enables a Good Day at Work. This section demonstrates what they are aiming for, giving their role purpose and meaning.
- Creating successful health campaigns. It can be difficult to get people to change their health behaviours despite our best efforts and using techniques from ‘Behavioural Insights’, we provide your Wellbeing Champions with a clear framework to use for health campaigns which will engage as many people in your health initiatives as possible.
- Having effective wellbeing conversations. In order to make conversations about wellbeing successful, we equip the Wellbeing Champions with clear boundaries of responsibility, set their expectations realistically and give them techniques to manage a wellbeing conversation.
What is the responsibility of a Wellbeing Champion?
Wellbeing Champions are not Counsellors and they are not Doctors, and the boundaries of the responsibility they hold requires absolute clarity during your organisation’s activation process. The role and responsibility of the Wellbeing Champion is to spot signs and symptoms of compromised mental health and wellbeing and be committed and skilled enough to have a wellbeing conversation which signposts your people to the wellbeing resources that are available – their value is being the early intervention.
This is a key bridging function in an organisation, often there are lots of resources available to people such as counselling, Occupational Health, EAP services, yet people are not accessing and using them at an early stage. The Wellbeing Champion can be this vital bridge to promote the resources and assist people in accessing them; their role is not to solve issues, it is to support people in accessing the help they need.
What is the difference between a Wellbeing Champion and a Mental Health First Aider?
Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders have a different focus and entry point. The attention of a Wellbeing Champion covers both physical and mental health, focusing on catching and supporting people before they enter a crisis thus acting as a preventative measure inside your wellbeing approach. Mental Health First Aiders support those people who are in a mental health crisis. These roles therefore are very different in terms of focus and the necessary skills and tools required to support people at different places in terms of their health and wellbeing.
How do I recruit a Wellbeing Champion?
The Wellbeing Champion is a role that people take on as an addition to their day job so it is recommended that your network is formed from volunteers who have an interest in health and wellbeing and learning new skills.
Advertising the role across your organisation with a clear definition of the role and responsibilities usually generates enough interest to create a well-resourced Wellbeing Champions network. We often find that there are a number of volunteers that have experienced a physical or mental health issue themselves – these Wellbeing Champions are often therefore well placed to understand how people in need may be feeling and what support they require. It is important to remember however that these Wellbeing Champions can be vulnerable individuals themselves and it is critical to build support and awareness around this into your development process.
There is no magic number of Wellbeing Champions required, however it is recommended that all areas of your business have a Wellbeing Champion who is visible and available. This may be by departmental function, geographical location and/or job level.
How do I train a Wellbeing Champion?
Robertson Cooper can support you in all aspects of creating and training a network of Wellbeing Champions:
- Support in setting up the network effectively – recruiting the Wellbeing Champions, setting out the role definition, and importantly, designing how the network will govern itself as time progresses.
- Our activation programme gives a full day of learning to get your network of Wellbeing Champions off the ground and ready to go, ensuring they are behind your strategy, know how to create a good health campaign, and can confidently have those all important wellbeing conversations.
- Our ongoing support keeps their engagement and enthusiasm alive, delivering them new wellbeing topics, new tools and continually updating their knowledge and expertise on crucial aspects of workplace wellbeing.
To learn more about how we could support you with activating or upskilling your Wellbeing Champions, click here.
Our top tips to get your Wellbeing Champions off to the best start
- Set out the role and responsibilities of the Wellbeing Champions concisely and directly, including setting expectations around the time required to fulfil the role.
- Create a clear and concise ‘resource pack’ which details all the wellbeing offerings already in existence in your organisation. These can be used to support increased engagement of your wellbeing strategy.
- Create a regular forum where Wellbeing Champions can collaborate, share knowledge and plan activity together.
- Create some noise at launch with your Comms team and make your Wellbeing Champions visible with lapel pins or coloured lanyards.
- Get Senior Leadership support – and get them to shout about it!
Wellbeing Champions Guide
Your Wellbeing Champion network needs careful thought and design to ensure it has longevity and delivers results – we can be there for every step of the way.