How our people used their £500 Wellbeing Fund last year

How our people used their £500 Wellbeing Fund last year

At ARV Solutions, making every team member feel supported and valued is our no.1 priority, so we take employee wellbeing very seriously.  And I do mean very seriously (in a fun way, as you’ll see in a minute).

We tried all the typical employee wellbeing perks, like giving everyone gym memberships, but it didn’t feel inclusive enough. Everyone’s needs are so different, we couldn’t come up with any benefit that would genuinely benefit every team member equally.

Then it occurred to us: why should we be the ones to pick? The no.1 expert on your body and mind is you. So we decided to just give our team £500 each, every year, to spend on anything remotely wellbeing-related. Their choice.

Because “literally anything” is a bit of a dauntingly vast playing-field, we did establish some guidelines, based on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing – a science-backed list of five human needs you can meet to give yourself a boost.

Connect

Feeling close to and valued by other people is vital for mental health – so spending time with friends and family is a totally valid use of our Wellbeing Fund.

Be active

Regular exercise – even if it’s as gentle as walking – fights depression and anxiety for all age groups. So the people who actually want gym memberships – or sports equipment, or a skiing holiday – can spend their Wellbeing Fund on them.

Take notice

Studies show that mindful moments boost your wellbeing and help you understand yourself, reaffirm your priorities, and make positive choices based on your values. Our people can spend their £500 on anything that helps them savour the present moment.

Learn

Lifelong learning, setting goals and achieving them, can enhance your self-esteem and wellbeing and even help to lift you out of depression. We don’t mind what our people want to learn – it doesn’t have to be work-related.

Give

The science is in – good really does feel good. One act of kindness a week is associated with increased wellbeing. Every year, some of our team members spend money from their Wellbeing Fund on giving or sharing a treat with others.

Reading through the details of how the team spent their £500 last year brings a smile to my face:

“Accommodation for a skiing holiday with my mates”

“A ticket to Boardmasters festival”

“Nails for mum and I”

“Lunch with my mum and dad”

“An Airbnb for my sister’s wedding night”

“My daughter’s birthday day meal out”

“Knee physio treatment”

“Days out with the family”

“Rifleman Firearms Club Membership”

“Meal with J. on way to Agility Competition”

“Noom subscription – weight loss and general health improvements”

“A holiday to Devon with C. & the Dog for a break”

“New pair of glasses, and sunglasses”

“Weekend away accommodation for September 2023 – babymoon!!”

“A flight and accommodation for a holiday with my friends”

“Garden Furniture, we have recently spent a bit of time tackling our garden and would be good to have a nice bit of outdoor furniture!”

“Hotel in France for trip to Nice to celebrate us all turning 40”

“Apple Watch”

“6 Tai Chi classes”

“Encanto the Musical”

“Trainers for exercising”

“Flights and accommodation to Paris”

“Rifleman Club Membership and range fees / ammunition”

“Gym membership”

Here are some pictures of our team enjoying their Wellbeing Fund!

We asked our people to tick which of the Five Ways to Wellbeing these fell under. Here’s how that stacked up:

Be Active 30%

Connect 28%

Take Notice 20%

Learn 11%

Give 8%

We want everyone who joins our team to have 100% choice in managing their own health and wellbeing.  The £500 employee wellbeing fund is our way of saying you matter to us, and we trust you to know what’s best for you.

It’s more than worth it to us – we love seeing the difference it makes to our people, and we think more leaders would try it if they could see the results. It’s the closest we’ve ever come to buying happiness!

This is just one of the reasons we were shortlisted in the Investors in People Awards last year. We had to firstly get accredited at Platinum level – which only a very small proportion of accredited organisations get to attain and then we were nominated for The Award for UK Employer of the Year (2-49 people): Platinum! You can’t have an Investors in People award without the people and here at ARV Solutions, we invest in our people!

If you are interested in joining our team, we would love to hear from you.