With many organisations now operating a combination of physical and remote workspaces, the future of employee well-being strategies needs to align with this hybrid model. Well-being offerings must be agile, accessible and most importantly, social. As we enter 2023, our pandemic-altered world of work has left many organisations asking themselves one simple, yet seemingly multi-faceted question…“Is our existing Employee Well-being strategy still fit for purpose?”
The urgency for companies to correctly answer this question is exacerbated by other current trends and pressures, such as the Cost of Living Crisis, the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting and Digital Addiction.
New health challenges are on the horizon, in addition to the long-standing mental health issues that have been accelerated by Covid-19. Not only are organisations facing record levels of self-reported burnout, anxiety, stress and depression – but other issues around digital addiction, financial well-being and diversity, equality and inclusion are also on companies’ radars (more on this later!)
It’s not all doom and gloom though, as the pandemic has had a positive effect. It has heightened our focus on health and well-being, increased our willingness to talk about our well-being without fear, and reminded us of a greater requirement to be compassionate and supportive of others.
Where to Start
Now it’s time to take advantage of this. With so many urgent challenges to consider, bringing the topic of employee well-being to the forefront of our agenda for 2023 is extremely important. It can be daunting, but Employee Wellness doesn’t have to be complicated. To begin our well-being journey, or revitalise our strategy, it is incredibly important to reflect and ask some questions to ensure our solution will be targeted and address the needs of our teams.
- What are our current sickness levels? Are there any seasonal trends?
- What are the highest causes of absence?
- Do we have any ‘hotspots’ in specific teams or departments?
- What do our recent staff survey results say?
- How does where people work restrict accessibility?
- What well-being offering do we currently provide & what is the utilisation?
- Do employees really know all that is on offer and how to access this support?
- What communications channels do we use? What can be used moving forward?
- Do managers know how to support employees?
There are many more questions that can be asked, but essentially organisations need to objectively complete a SWOT “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats” analysis on their current strategies and offerings asking similar questions.
a supportive healthy work environment – Picture by Sebastian Herrmann
A New Year, A New Approach
An employee well-being strategy needs to be unique to each organisation, its people and their needs. By asking relevant questions, conducting surveys, highlighting trends and completing your Well-being SWOT analysis, organisations can focus on specific issues and areas that allow them to tailor and improve their offering.
Companies can identify areas of focus by reflecting on national trends and by seeking ideas from employees and this can be achieved using engagement surveys and/or focus groups. Including employees throughout the process can prevent you from falling into potential pitfalls and providing initiatives that your employees have no desire to take part in.
Employees can play an important role in the branding of your revitalised strategy and in the engagement of the programme moving forward. A handful of engaged, passionate colleagues can be enlisted to become ‘Well-being Champions’ who specialise in offering peer-to-peer support. Keep in mind that your strategy should be holistic and incorporate a wide variety of activities that not only offer obvious health benefits but improve and retain employee engagement.
Some core well-being pillars you wish to consider include:
- Physical Well-being
- Mental Well-being
- Digital Well-being
- Financial Well-being
- Eco Well-being
- Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
- Men’s & Women’s Health
- Sustaining High Performance (including Manager Soft Skills)
If you have a workforce working in different locations, or on different shift patterns, carefully consider how employees will access your initiatives and schedule well-being activities accordingly.
Moreover, organisations should seriously consider the role of managers in the programme and roll out manager awareness training. Training should consist of the development of soft skills and make them aware of the initiatives offered through the well-being strategy. In doing so, they can engage their team members in conversation, encourage participation and gather feedback.
Finally, Employee Well-being covers a wide remit, and in addition to the Health Promotion and Wellness activities outlined above, companies may want to consider an Occupational Health provision, Employee Assistance Programmes and a review of their safe working practices for best results.
Measuring Results and ROI
We all know that a well-designed well-being programme leads to reduced absence, increased resilience, and happier, engaged, productive employees. But it is important to decide how you will measure the success of your refreshed well-being strategy. Furthermore, they enable you to assess what is making a difference and further fine-tune your offering.
You should seek to make improvements on the following measurables:
- Reduced Absence Rate
- Staff Retention
- Employee Engagement & Feedback
- Workforce Productivity
- Talent Recruitment
- Healthcare Claims & Litigation
Next Steps on Your Well-being Journey
If you want more information on how to reinvigorate your Health and Well-being strategy, enquire about our “The Future of Work is Employee Well-being” event which takes place on January 27th 2023, in Mayfair, London. You may also request a free “The Future of Well-being” Guide which explores the key well-being issues faced by your teams, the statistics behind the trends, and investigates how you can immediately support your employees.
For more details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
By Blaine Howard