The wellbeing support plans (WSPs) are a personalised, practical tool we can all use, whether we have health challenges 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 from our manager to boost our wellbeing or support us through recovery.
As a manager, encouraging your team to draw up a wellbeing support plan (WSP) gives them ownership of the practical steps needed to help them stay well at work or manage a health challenge. It also opens up a dialogue between you and your team member, to help you better understand their needs and experiences and therefore better support their wellbeing. This in turn can lead to greater productivity, better performance and increased job satisfaction.
How it works
Given the high levels of stress and poor mental health we are seeing in the workplace, there is a growing demand for innovative and proactive ways of managing our mental health at work. The WSP is inspired by Mary Ellen Copeland’s wellness recovery action plan® (WRAP®): an evidence-based system used worldwide to manage mental health. If your team member does experience a health challenge, you will then both have an idea of the tailored support that could help, or at the least a tool to use in starting that conversation. By regularly reviewing the agreed, practical steps in the WSP, you can support your team member to adapt it to reflect their experiences or new approaches they find helpful. By allowing the individual to take ownership of the process and of the WSP itself, you will be empowering them to feel more in control.
The WSP will benefit your team members by identifying:
- approaches the individual can adopt to support their wellbeing;
- early warning signs of poor health to look out for;
- any workplace triggers for poor health or stress;
- potential impact of poor health on performance, if any;
- what support they need from you as their manager;
- actions and positive steps you will both take if they are experiencing stress or poor health;
- an agreed time to review the WSP and any support measures which are in place;
- anything else they feel would be useful in supporting their mental health.
The WSP is not legally binding, but is intended as an agreement between you and your team member in order to promote their wellbeing or address any existing health needs, including any adjustments they may wish to discuss.