Skills for Growth - SME Support is a fully funded, tailored service to help upskill your employees and improve business productivity.
Exploring the link between nature, wellbeing, and productivity
Our surroundings effect all of us in different ways, but there are proven, scientific links between the natural environment and our personal wellness. In this article, we’ve invited Health and Wellbeing Specialist Felicity Brown to curate a guide to the importance of nature and environmental action in the workplace, demonstrating the benefits for your team and your business.
How environmental action benefits your team
Improving employee engagement can help to attract and retain top talent and develop a connected company culture.
Things to consider:
- Involving staff in company green initiatives boosts morale and engagement levels
- Reduces turnover by establishing a healthier work community that gives back and cares, and which employees want to be a part of.
- Giving back is one of the 5 ways to wellbeing! Giving is great for your health, and benefits include increased self-esteem, increased happiness (releases feel-good endorphins to the brain, often known as the ‘helpers high’), increased life expectancy, and lower rates of depression and stress levels.
- Mobilising employees to come together over a company-wide goal helps to develop stronger interpersonal relationships.
Health and Welfare
Healthy employees take fewer sick days and are more likely to be productive in the workplace.
Things to consider:
- Putting individuals’ health and investment into future generations at the forefront of the business agenda demonstrates a business’ responsibility to employee wellness.
- Reducing air pollutants has a positive impact on individuals’ health – healthy employees are productive employees!
- Sunlight gives us vitamin D, which helps keeps bones, muscles, and teeth healthy, and supports the immune systems. It also alleviates the symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Let the light in by removing obstructions to windows and entry ways.
- UVB Rays (also from sun) cause our skin to produce beta endorphins; hormones that reduce pain, boost immunity, and improve mood.
- Natural light helps reduce eye strain and headaches, improve mood, decrease drowsiness, and lowers energy costs since you don’t have to have so many lights on.
- Plant life improves air quality, reduces noise pollution, protects, and hides exterior walls. Look around your workplace and check if you could fill it with more greenery or invite employees to bring a plant to work.
- 1 hour in nature can lead to a 20% increase in memory and attention span, but nature deprivation can lead to symptoms of depression, amotivation and irritability. It goes without saying that you and your team should get out and about to stretch your legs at the park or other green space during breaks.
Environmental action gives employees an opportunity to develop new skills, meet like-minded colleagues and engage in activities that benefit the entire team.
Things to consider:
- Employees can develop new skills in sustainable practices, communication, and environmental caregiving. This encourages personal growth through contribution and finding purpose through giving back to society and the planet.
- Environmental action encourages connectivity and building relationships often involved in community work or volunteering. This gives your team the chance to get to know one another better, develop new ways of supporting and interacting with one another, and brings your business closer to the community around you.
- Developing your employees’ ‘green’ skills ensures that you have team members with current knowledge of the latest climate-friendly technology, innovations, and practices. This means that you’ll have sustainability experts within your organisation and won’t always need to look to an external consultant to help your business reduce waste and emissions.
Skills for sustainability champions
If you’re thinking of developing your employees’ skills to help your business become more sustainable, we’re here to help. Skills for Growth – SME Support have created GM Skills Map, an online, easy-to-use course directory and learning management system built specifically with the needs of Greater Manchester’s small and medium businesses in mind! Through GM Skills Map you’ll be able to search through an array of fully funded, part funded and commercial courses such as:
- Environmental Science and Management (Environmental Practitioner) Degree Apprenticeship
- NEBOSH Environmental Awareness at Work
- Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Climate Change and Environmental Awareness
As well as many sector-specific courses for the construction industry such as:
- Level 2 Award in Understanding Domestic Retrofit
- BPEC Solar Thermal Systems
- Insulation, Fenestration and Building Treatments
Talk to our team today on 0161 237 4444 to find out more, or apply for the Skills for Growth – SME Support programme by leaving your details here and we’ll be in touch soon.
Whether you’re already registered on the Skills for Growth – SME Support programme or you’re new here, you can explore the following links to help drive your employees and your business towards a more environmentally conscientious and active state of mind.
- GM Skills Map | Course Directory
- Health and Wellbeing Specialist | Skills for Growth (skillsforgrowthsme.co.uk)
- Journey to Net Zero | The Growth Company
The Growth Company is an award-winning, not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to enable growth, create jobs and improve lives. We provide individuals and businesses with a wide range of services that improve employment, skills, investment and enterprise for the benefit of all, and have been working in the Greater Manchester city region for more than 30 years.
This project receives funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.
The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme.
Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.