Ideas & Observations
Ideas: Marie Ranson + Melissa Armstrong, Key Wellbeing
July 7, 2022
Marie Ranson and Melissa Armstrong founded Key Wellbeing from seeing the need for improved mental health and wellbeing support in the workplace. They share more about the the journey so far, the mission of Key Wellbeing, short and long-term aims, how businesses can support the wellbeing of their teams, and the Wellbeing Weeks initiative
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?
As co-founder and commercial director of Key Wellbeing, Marie has 14+ years of commercial experience spanning corporate finance, FMCG, media and the pharmaceutical industry. Having experienced workplace burnout herself, Marie identified the absolute necessity for wellbeing support for busy people in the corporate world. Utilising her qualifications in personal development, behavioural psychology, NLP and more, Marie has since made it her mission to create a tidal wave of positivity and self-care in all workplaces.
Our co-founder and creative director Melissa has a lot of skills under her belt! Prior to co-founding Key Wellbeing, Melissa had worked in holistic and beauty therapies, multimedia makeup artistry, and has travelled the world a as a company trainer for an established US cosmetic brand. Melissa’s interest in the wellbeing world started from as early as 14 years old, when she intuitively started meditating to calm her mind when a lot was going on in her life. After witnessing her the struggles of her family with their mental health, Melissa is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of individuals to ultimately improve their quality of life and work-life balance.
Tell us about Key Wellbeing and who you’re for?
Our focus is to help employers and HR leaders to encourage the best outcomes from their workforce and ultimately make their people healthier, happier and more productive.
We achieve this by delivering bespoke wellbeing programmes, initiatives, events and consultancy support, along with our on-demand, e-learning platform ‘The Key Wellbeing Hub’ – all of which enable employers to support their staff on an individual level and create thriving workplace cultures!
Although wellbeing and mental health are super important and serious topics, we focus on bringing forward our values of fun, connection and happiness into our wellbeing support services to better engage employees, rather than intimidate them.
What are the short and long-term aims for the business?
In the short-term, we are hyper-focused on improving the health and wellbeing of employees across the UK and hope to encourage more organisations to rethink their approach to workplace wellbeing, and how they can better recognise, reward and support individual team members with an inclusive strategy. Because after all, wellbeing means different things to everyone!
Thinking more long-term, we’re excited to continue to grow our headcount and are set on breaking the typical ‘workplace wellbeing’ mould by delivering fun, engaging wellbeing initiatives that create a tidal wave of positivity and self care in workplaces across the world.
Tell us about something that has inspired you recently?
Fearne Cotton’s The Happiness Project has some brilliant messages around meditation, yoga and shaman, bringing important messages to the mainstream
We have been supporting an incredible campaign, the Power of Women, created by a group of business leaders in the North East to improve the lives of young women in the region by inspiring, motivating and supporting them on their journey.
Attending the Entrepreneur’s Forum Conference was fascinating and insightful, and it was refreshing to hear from Chrissie Rucker keeping it real about work-life balance and what it takes to be successful as a woman in today’s business environment.
We are long-time listeners of Steven Bartlett’s ‘The Diary of a CEO‘ podcast and love how it keeps it real about the founder’s journey.
How can businesses support the wellbeing of their teams?
It all comes down to listening to what their people really need and providing tailored and inclusive support that enables each and every employee to be happy, healthy and productive at work.
Employees now know what they want and deserve in terms of wellbeing support and work-life balance, and are seeking out companies that show an authentic concern for their individual wellbeing, leaving those that don’t behind – as we’ve seen from The Great Resignation.
We hear the phrases ‘workplace wellbeing isn’t just a tick-box exercise’ and ‘one-size doesn’t fit all’ too often, yet many businesses are still treating it that way and continue to provide ad-hoc training courses or are simply guessing what their people want without any real insight or strategy behind it.
What’s also worrying is that now pandemic pressures are easing and the cost of living and doing business is rising, employee wellbeing appears to be slipping down the priority list, when it must remain a priority.
Employers should see wellbeing support as a savvy investment.
Research suggests that for every £1 spend on employee wellbeing, organisations can expect a £5 return with savings realised through reduced absenteeism, improved retention and better engagement across the board – pretty worth it if you ask us!
Tell us about the Wellbeing Weeks initiative?
Wellbeing Weeks are designed to make it easier for organisations to stay on top of their workplace wellbeing game and retain key talent by creating a consistent wellbeing buzz throughout the year and improving connection amongst fragmented teams.
From October, people managers across the UK will be able to treat their teams to regular Wellbeing Weeks consisting of five sessions covering the research-backed “5 Ways to Wellbeing” for employees to learn, move, chill, connect and give.
Workforces can expect to take part in remote and hybrid friendly sessions with a range of interactive activities from calming meditations to mood-boosting raves led by professionals in the wellbeing space.
They will also receive helpful tools, tips and resources to take away to support their daily wellbeing management, plus the option to add on fresh fruit deliveries to the office, thanks to our awesome partners, Eatfruit.
We’re encouraging those that are interested in finding out more to sign up to a free info session at www.keywellbeing.co.uk/wellbeing-weeks