Derval O’Rourke’s Top Tips for Employee Wellbeing

As people consider life changes at the start of the new year, Irish Olympian Derval O’Rourke has put together her top tips to help boost staff morale in 2024.

It comes as research from the ‘Healthy Ireland at Work, A National Framework for Healthy Workplaces in Ireland 2021 – 2025’ shows that only a third of businesses in Ireland have a formal health and wellbeing strategy.

The three-time Olympian and co-founder of the workplace wellbeing platform SAOL is highlighting ways in which employees can improve their own well-being and that of their colleagues. She says this will help to support businesses to connect, engage and retain people.

Derval’s Top Five Tips are:

1. Mindfulness and Mental Wellbeing

The New Year is a time when employers need to be extra aware of their employees’ mindset. Now is the time to promote mindfulness, stress reduction and mental health awareness. This can be a difficult area for workers to navigate, and SAOL will be hosting a number of initiatives in January, including a Q&A with Cognitive Behavioural psychotherapist Emily Murphy and a workplace wellbeing live session called Burnout, Sleep & Selfcare.

2. Financial Wellbeing Support

Post-Christmas finances can be a real source of stress for most people, but there are lots of experts available to answer questions and offer advice on financial management, budgeting, and planning for the future. Financial expert and qualified financial advisor Tom Grant will be hosting a SAOLTalks session in January, which will feature a live Q&A on finances and financial health.

3. Career Development Opportunities

Employers need to invest in their employees’ growth by offering training, skills development programmes, or mentorship opportunities. There are lots of programmes available to workers which offer in-person and online training, and it’s important to talk to engage in those that best suit a person’s own needs. SAOL has a number of experts available who can answer questions on how to acquire a transferable skill set and more.

4. Work/Life Balance

Getting the right work/life balance has been a major factor in worker satisfaction in recent years, and that trend is set to continue. It’s important for workers to switch off when they’re not on duty, and reading is a fantastic way to do this. SAOLBooks launches on January 8th, and novelist Michelle McDonagh will lead this initiative alongside writer and broadcaster Kate Durrant.

5. Goal Setting

After setting goals – be they financial, fitness or food – it’s important to follow them through. It can be tough to stick to your goals, so maybe pair up with a friend or colleague, and you can share motivational tips and encouragement as you continue on your journey. You can follow programmes such as SAOL’s January JumpStart Challenge, which helps people form a new habit in 21 days.

Derval said: “The new year is a great opportunity to reset, but it can also be a time of anxiety for all sorts of reasons. Small adjustments to your habits and mindset can make a big difference to your mental, physical and financial wellbeing, but support from those around you can help keep the momentum going. At SAOL, we’re really excited about our January JumpStart Challenge and programmes like this can be really useful for everyone.”

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