How HR Can Implement Well-Being Programmes in The Construction and Manufacturing Industries

21 Nov ‘23
5 min
Work performance
Editorial Board OpenUp
Reviewed by psychologist Marina Pacini
Despite the fact that employees in construction, engineering, and manufacturing generally struggle with their well-being more often than those with office jobs, recent research shows that they are still less likely to participate in programmes aimed at improving their well-being.  


If you want to enhance well-being and sustainable employability within your company, offering employee well-being initiatives is essential. So how do you master the implementation of well-being programmes, or make participation as accessible as possible? In this article, we offer 9 tips to help you get started: 

The importance of well-being programmes in construction, engineering, and manufacturing industries


Well-being programmes or platforms have a proven positive impact. Recent scientific research shows that they contribute significantly to healthy lifestyles and better employee well-being in the construction and manufacturing sector. Moreover, investing in well-being leads to:


  • lower absenteeism due to illness;
  • less staff turnover;
  • happier, more productive employees.



9 tips for successful implementation of well-being programmes in construction, engineering and manufacturing

The biggest challenge in promoting well-being among construction workers? Low participation in wellness programs (source: Health Promotion International). So how do you lower the threshold for your employees to participate in positive change in their physical and mental well-being and lifestyle? Let’s explore practical solutions:



1. Choose the right well-being platform or programme


The most important step is offering a user-friendly and accessible platform to your employees. This online platform should be digitally accessible, even outside of working hours. In addition, these are important features to look out for 👇

An easily accessible online platform for mental well-being:


  • Is mobile friendly: it can be used from any type of device;
  • Is accessible online, so employees can use it whenever and wherever they want
  • Makes booking sessions easy: whether people want to register for an online webinar or book a 1-on-1 meeting with a psychologist or lifestyle expert 
  • Can be integrated into your existing HR system and processes
  • Is confidential: you want to ensure that employees’ personal and health data are safe, but also not shared with managers or anyone else within the organisation. Look out for certification such as ISO 27001 and NEN 7510

2. Let management and HR take the lead in implementation


A mental well-being platform can only bring about sustainable change if its importance is seen by everyone in the organisation: from top management and HR to individual managers and team leaders. 


  • Open the conversation about the importance of well-being: let managers lead by example. For example, they can mention in a company update how they personally use the mental well-being platform, or share a personal story in a meeting about when they faced mental well-being challenges. 
  • Offer managers the right guidance: Help them to lead by example: encourage mental well-being discussions with their teams. 


By doing the above, you can actively demonstrate that it is normal to seek help for your physical and mental well-being.


Want to know how to start a mental well-being conversation as a manager? Join our (free) self-paced course for managers: Navigating mental well-being talks with your team



3. Organise a kick-off with the whole company


A good start is half the battle. If you are launching a platform or programme for mental well-being, make sure you have a great kick-off. This can be with a physically, at the workplace or at your office headquarters, or online. 


  • Make sure everyone can access the well-being program, including employees who still need to understand how to work on their well-being. Encourage people to start with programmes or workshops that are entry-level, requiring no prior knowledge or preparation. 
  • Offer different topics and activities. Not everyone knows how to start improving their physical and mental well-being, and they don’t have to. Make sure every employee can start with a topic that appeals to them,  at a level that suits them.


Through OpenUp, for example, employees can first take an online webinar on stress, or an online course on breathing – in addition to booking a session with a lifestyle expert or psychologist.


4. Encourage group activities


If you want to remember one tip, it is this: organise activities around well-being as much as possible in groups. Have managers encourage their teams to attend a group session together or a course on dealing with emotions, for example.


Research shows that a group context increases participation in well-being platforms in the construction, engineering and manufacturing sectors. By participating in webinars, workshops and courses together, employees feel extra motivated, can help each other and you create a healthier culture faster. Because ultimately, that is the goal!


Read more 🚧 Mental Well-being in Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction: Building a Healthy Company Culture


5. Create ambassadors among your employees


Social influence is a powerful way to motivate employees. So following on from tip 3: we recommend appointing internal ambassadors to champion mental well-being


Besides the good example set by managers, most employees look to colleagues in similar positions. If they speak positively about well-being programmes and show that they themselves benefit from your well-being program, it motivates others to try it too.


6. Timing is everything


Make sure your well-being platform is accessible to everyone in terms of timing too. If you organise a group activity, ensure it fits smoothly employees’ schedules: plan it during working hours. This way, you make it clear that prioritising mental and physical well-being is a core part of your culture.


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7. Mix it up: combine mental and physical well-being with other topics


In construction, engineering, and manufacturing, workplace safety is also critical. Combine your well-being platform or programme with recurrent safety training. It also helps to remind employees about the well-being program at the same time as they attend safety training!


8. Engage in internal promotion


A key point for your HR department: remember the importance of internal communication and promotion of your mental well-being platform. 


To ensure visibility, combine a regular reference to your well-being platform with distributing physical promotional material, such as pens, posters or even digital screens; and offer that material in a convenient place where employees often frequent. For example, in the canteen, a changing room, near lockers, or in the lift.


Tip 💡 With a QR code for promotional materials, employees can always find the important links of your online wellness platform, even on mobile!



9. Offer incentives


Research by the Business Group on Health shows that 68% of large companies use extra incentives to encourage employees to participate in well-being programmes. An incentive can be anything from a gym membership to a gift voucher or a discount on your health insurance. 



Make mental well-being an integral part of your work culture 


All these tips boil down to this: make working on well-being part of your culture. By investing in employee well-being, you are already sending a clear signal that your organisation prioritises mental and physical well-being. The results? Healthy, happy and productive employees. Want to learn more about kickstarting your organisation’s well-being offerings? Find out what OpenUp can do for your company.

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