MORE THAN JUST INITIATIVES: THE IMPORTANCE OF A WORKPLACE WELLBEING STRATEGY
Workplace wellbeing has become more than just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. However, many organisations look at wellbeing as a box-ticking exercise and have limited or fragmented wellbeing initiatives with no way of measuring their impact on employees.
These initiatives are often selected at random and don’t address the many different components that make up an individual’s wellbeing. The company will pay for yoga classes, compensate gym memberships, or have a once-off company-wide “wellness day” and the box is ticked, the program is considered complete.
However, to really make a difference in the wellbeing of employees, it takes more than just wellbeing initiatives! Yes, these initiatives can be beneficial, but they need to be tied together with an informed strategy. A strategy takes an integrated approach that supports the wellbeing of employees day-to-day, year-round, and is embedded in all business decisions.
Why is a workplace wellbeing strategy important?
A workplace wellbeing strategy is an informed plan of action put in place to help your employees become happier and healthier. Your teams are more likely to adopt a wellbeing initiative that has a meaningful strategic approach, instead of a collection of benefits that don’t align with their needs.
There are many initiatives that you can implement to improve the wellbeing of your staff. These can include physical health programs or challenges, mental wellbeing resources, mindfulness practices, personal development opportunities, and more. What ties all of these initiatives together is a strategy.
Initiatives without strategy can fall flat because they might not align with the needs of your workforce, and don’t have a clear goal. A strategy ensures that wellbeing initiatives are linked to measurable outcomes for your business and your people.
An informed wellbeing strategy that aligns well with your health and safety practises will help you address risk factors within your work environment and enable employees to thrive. It will also articulate your organisation’s commitment to employee wellbeing and help embed the strategy in your company’s overall vision and culture.
What should a workplace wellbeing strategy consider?
Many organisations put initiatives in place that address the mental or physical health of employees, but fail to address the other pillars that make up a person’s wellbeing. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to developing a robust health and wellbeing strategy, the fundamental elements should support every aspect of your teams’ health.
At Springday, we take a holistic approach to wellbeing. We’ve identified five core pillars which affect overall wellbeing. These pillars are physical, emotional, social, career, and financial.
The reason a holistic strategy is so important is that these pillars of wellbeing do not exist separately, they are interconnected and directly impact one another. For example, if someone eats nutritious foods, exercises regularly and practises meditation, they’re covering all the bases in terms of their physical and mental health. But if they’re struggling financially, the stress from this can have a domino effect on their mental and physical health.
So, establishing a strategic, integrated and holistic approach to wellbeing is more likely to be successful in terms of impact on employees and efficient use of resources.
Three tips for creating a wellbeing strategy
1. Measure the wellbeing of your organisation
Without being able to measure the core issues of wellbeing within your organisation, initiatives can be futile. It’s important that you assess the levels of wellbeing within your organisation, so you can act on improvements that matter.
Just as any project needs tools and a framework to measure its success and impact, wellbeing needs to be measured to ensure activities are targeted and impactful (plus, this helps with ROI!). You need to know what your employee’s needs are and identify areas of risk to make the improvements necessary to make a real difference.
Measuring wellbeing is necessary for informing an appropriate wellbeing strategy. Data and information about wellbeing are useful for identifying risks and issues, analysing options, monitoring progress and performance, and evaluating outcomes. Indicators can also help to identify areas of need when creating a wellbeing strategy that is integrated into overall organisational culture.
Want to know more about measuring wellbeing? Download our Measuring Wellbeing whitepaper here.
2. Embed your wellbeing strategy into your culture
The issue with a lot of workplace wellbeing strategies is that they’re often treated as an add-on. Once you’ve developed a strategy, make sure that it is prioritised when you roll it out and integrate it into your overall business plan.
Put wellbeing initiatives on meeting agendas and refer to wellbeing regularly in team meetings. If you’re offering additional time off and flexible work, make sure people take it and don’t make them feel bad about asking. On top of this, make sure they aren’t going to have more work on their plate when they come back.
Have senior management and team leaders champion the wellbeing strategy. The success of your strategy rests on how well you and your managers practice what they preach. Every business decision should consider employee wellbeing outcomes, not just profit. When everybody prioritises wellbeing, it creates a more inclusive culture and a better employee experience.
3. Invest in a wellbeing partner
Creating and implementing an informed, holistic wellbeing strategy on your own can be challenging and time consuming. Investing in a third-party wellbeing partner can help you take the guesswork out of your strategy and ensure that all of your offerings are centralised, while giving you expert support from people that have done it many times before.
Ideally, when investing in employee wellbeing, you want a good return on investment. Keeping that in mind, one-stop shop solutions like Springday are an excellent option for producing the best wellbeing outcomes for your budget. When all of your wellbeing offerings are in one place, it’s much easier to align them with your goals and keep track of what features people value most.
We can help you assess your organisational needs and evaluate your employees’ wellbeing and engagement to develop a tailored, holistic wellbeing strategy for your workforce. Aggregate data from our Wellbeing Check Tool provides a basis for creating this strategy, while also providing the insights needed to monitor progress and performance over time and evaluate the outcomes of the strategy.
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