Wellness Wednesday Skyrise

Business Area

Communication, Culture, Education, Employment, External campaign, Hiring, Wellness, Work life

Key focus

Age, Class, Gender, Neurodiversity, Race & ethnicity, Religion, Sexuality, Socio-economic status


Quick & easy, Medium term, Longer term


This February we’re celebrating 5 years of our health and wellbeing initiative ‘Wellness Wednesday’. Initially introduced by our Culture Lead Sam Sharwin to create a midweek pick me up where we could all get away from our desks for a rest, reset and interact with members of our team who we wouldn’t normally work with on a daily basis.

5 years on and Wellness Wednesday has continued to grow, with many activities included under the Wellness Wednesday umbrella, such as ‘Book Clubbers’, ‘School Trips’, ‘Coffee and Conversations', ‘Mindful Pottery', ‘Desert Island Favourites’ not to mention various quizzes and games. We know that one size does not fit all, we’ve made it so there is something for everyone and it’s always optional to join in.

At Skyrise we view health as whole with mental and physical as equal parts. The initiative has really encouraged us to start those sometimes difficult conversations around mental health in the workplace and help us open up about our own mental health. It's amazing to think how it all started with a weekly email containing interesting health tips and some fruit infused water for the office.

What did we set out to achieve

We wanted to create a moment each week that sparked a connection. Where people who don’t normally work together on day to day come together to chat, discuss, engage and think about different things that aren't necessarily work related. We’ve always been a fun and friendly place to work with a good culture so we wanted to build upon that with an initiative that could get our team thinking about their health and wellbeing. If being honest, Wellness Wednesday wasn’t started as a planned initiative, it was just an idea that worked. The tone throughout the last 5 years has stayed the same, it’s organic, honest, homegrown and interesting.

Group of people sitting

Practical steps we took

The initiative started on no budget and has now evolved to a very small budget. The activities offered don’t really cost a great deal. A few coffees and healthy snacks are provided for activities like ‘Book Clubbers’ and ‘Coffee and Conversations’, materials such as clay are provided for ‘Mindful Pottery’. We try to gauge numbers for activities to ensure there is also no waste or over purchasing. All activities are led by us.

‘School Trips’ and ‘Coffee and Conversations’ are our two firm favourite activities. Very similar to the usual guise of a school trip, a Skyrise ‘School Trip’ is a planned outing where we visit places of interest a short walk away from our Manchester city centre based office, such as art galleries and museums. These are a fantastic opportunity for us to get our step count up, stretch our legs, maybe learn something new and have some fun too.

'Coffee & Conversations' is an informal open and honest chat around a featured topic. They usually take place in a local indie coffee shop and the subject may be around an awareness day / month or a topic we haven't spoken about before.

You do not have to speak or contribute to the conversation if you don't want to, you can take part by listening.

Has this had a positive impact?

Wellness Wednesday has been a positive addition to our business. It’s helped foster collaboration across teams, brought us together and created a safe space where our team feels a sense of belonging. We’ve also thrown a spotlight on health where our team knows they can expect a weekly email (on a Wednesday) with practical tips on mental and physical health. We have held awareness sessions around health issues such as perimenopause and menopause, blood pressure, stress and anxiety, men's mental health and suicide prevention. Wellness Wednesday has inspired and encouraged our team to discuss subjects at work and beyond more confidently. No subject is ever off the table or taboo. We have pledged to support various charities such as Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust #timetotest champaign which encourages our team to go for smear tests within work time as we all know it can be hard to find appointments.

What did you learn that could help others?

We’ve learned to have a great initiative, you don’t need a big budget, it’s got to be honest and from the heart. Wellness Wednesday is very team focused and relaxed, this is why our people feel so comfortable with it, it feels sincere, there's no hidden agenda. Pre covid times our Wellness Wednesday activities were very much in person. Navigating working from home and hybrid working has really helped shape how we interact together online. We always want all team members to feel as involved as they want to be, there’s no pressure. Inclusion and communication is key. Slides are always shared and can be accessed at any time. We also encourage our team to share health and wellness information to friends, family and other businesses. 

How will you make the benefit of this initiative or campaign endure?

We're very proud of Wellness Wednesday. We can wholeheartedly say all of the team at Skyrise loves it. It has helped retain our people and attract new talent to the business. We’ve also won two UK Company Culture Awards for (in-house) best health and wellbeing initiative. Last year we completed a merger of two companies, it’s not an exaggeration to say Wellness Wednesday helped us weave our values into the new business as Skyrise. At the end of the day, everything we do is with the aim of having a motivated team who enjoy coming to work and feel a real sense of belonging.

Wellness Wednesday is its own barometer, if people stop attending activities or aren’t engaged anymore we change it up and keep evolving it to fit the needs of our team. We also regularly send out anonymous surveys to get the team's thoughts and input on the activities. Wellness Wednesday is now synonymous with our culture and encompasses all our core values to be ‘Real’, ‘Connected’ and ‘Creators’. We’re looking forward to seeing what the next 5 years brings.

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