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Barnett Waddingham
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Employee wellbeing - is it all Greek to you?

Published by Damian Stancombe on

The concept of wellbeing has been tarnished by token gestures of free fruit in the office and half priced gym memberships - true wellbeing is so much more.
Wellbeing isn’t a new concept; in fact it’s an ideology that dates all the way back to the Ancient Greeks.

With the stigma surrounding modern wellbeing, we decided that we needed something bigger and better - something that truly represents our unique offering.

Our aim was to find a word that reflects what real wellbeing means to us - differentiating our tailored proposition from the ‘one size fits all’ approach often adopted by so many companies.

Wellbeing isn’t a new concept; in fact it’s an ideology that dates all the way back to the Ancient Greeks – but what did they know that we didn’t?

Perhaps it was time to take it back to basics…

Out with the new

We have been researching the history of wellbeing for some time now, but wasn’t until recently that we discovered the word Eudaimonia.

Eudaimonia is an ancient Greek philosophy, penned by Aristotle over 2,300 years ago. Roughly translated, Eudaimonia means ‘human flourishing’ - which really resonated with me.

To me, ‘human flourishing’ represents a person's state of true happiness and wellbeing. If all employers strive for this in their workforce, I believe it could have a real impact on both employee and company performance.

In with the old

Imagine Eudaimonia as the Acropolis in Athens – without its many pillars supporting it, it simply wouldn’t stand as the impressive citadel that it is – nor would it have stood the test of thousands of years.   

Too often ‘health’ has been seen as the only aspect of wellbeing, but we believe there are actually six supporting pillars. Combined, each of these pillars come together to form a holistic wellbeing solution; Eudaimonia:

 

Understanding which of our six pillars matter the most to your workforce, and which ones need reinforcing is the only way to ensure that the structure remains strong – and durable.

Pythagoras' Theorem

Unlike the Greek Mathematician’s theory, there’s no set formula for achieving the ultimate Eudaimonia – what works for one person, might not necessarily be right for someone else. 

Most companies in the UK still broadly offer similar benefits but, given the above, this approach just doesn’t make sense.  

Employers need to focus on getting to know their workforce as individuals, rather than a single entity – assuming they all have the same wants and needs.

Only when an employer truly understands the issues facing individuals in their workforce, can a tailored and considered wellbeing strategy be put in place.

Making history in the work place, today

We’re changing the way people view wellbeing and we want to introduce Eudaimonia as a key term for this concept.

We want to help as many companies as possible move away from an ironically archaic ‘one size fits all’ approach, to one that has analytics and engagement at its core.

It’s all about developing effective strategies to create a better wellbeing for all - one that has a real return on investment.

For further enquiries please contact Damian Stancombe, Head of Workplace Health and Wealth.


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About the author

  • Damian Stancombe

    Damian heads up the Workplace Health and Wealth team for Barnett Waddingham. Damian advises a range of UK corporate and trustee clients on their workplace health and wealth issues; from scheme design through to ongoing governance for all defined contribution arrangements.

    View Biography

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