An effective wellbeing strategy helps you identify and deliver the support your people need to perform at their best. But it’s also important that your strategy can be refined and adjusted in line with new wellbeing challenges and changing business priorities.
Creating a wellbeing strategy is an iterative process. A cyclical plan will help you embed wellbeing as a core business priority and demonstrate its return on investment. The cycle of a wellbeing strategy looks something like this:
- Collect data
Continuous collection of data and feedback will help you focus your health and wellbeing activities where they’re needed most.
- Identify themes and objectives
Themes might include common issues or requests, for example if you have a number of employees struggling with back pain or requests for mental health support.
- Review against business priorities
Here you involve your leadership team to identify which wellbeing initiatives will have the most impact. This will help you win buy-in from senior partners and link your wellbeing activity to your business plan.
- Create or update your wellbeing strategy document
Having your strategy as a working document will help guide your upcoming activity and plan around potential roadblocks.
- Implement and monitor
Put your plans into practice and keep gathering data to measure success more accurately. Make note of any key learnings, then the cycle begins again.
How often you revisit your plan will depend on your own capacity and your business structure. One common method is to set the direction of your strategy yearly, review your priorities quarterly and monitor individual activities on a more reactive basis.
What to include in your wellbeing strategy document
Your wellbeing strategy document will be shaped by your organisational structure and the unique needs of your people. It’s helpful to think of the strategy as a working document which adapts to the feedback and data you collect, so you should revisit it on a regular schedule (we update ours quarterly).
How you present your strategy is up to you — you could create a simple one-pager, an infographic or a detailed policy document. However you choose to format it, it’s useful to include the following key information.
- Current position
Start with an overview of the on-going wellbeing initiatives in your organisation and highlight any progress or changes you’ve recently made. You could include an overview of what initiatives are currently available to employees, a review of your most recent survey results and a summary of what’s working well.
- Future focus areas
In this section you should outline a clear vision for what your strategy will achieve before its next review. You can use your learnings about company culture, habits and employee needs to identify the most relevant themes and areas for improvement. For example, you might respond to employee feedback by delivering support around specific topics, such as men’s health month or winter wellbeing. Also include any departmental or team-specific support requested.
- Planned activity
Share details of any new and on-going initiatives and their objectives. This might include activities linked to mental, physical, social or financial wellbeing. List any upcoming training, workshops, team building activities or webinars to maximise their visibility and keep your leadership team up to date.
- Measuring success
Regular evaluation of your objectives helps you to refine your strategy, maximise return on investment and demonstrate the impact of wellbeing on your wider company culture. In this section you might include information about how wellbeing is currently impacting business performance and any barriers you’ve come up against.
How to engage business leaders with wellbeing
Once you’ve created your wellbeing strategy document, you’ll want to make sure your leadership team are on board with your plans. While the impact of employee health on productivity is well-researched¹, these quick tips can help you win buy-in from business leaders and make the case for investment in new wellbeing initiatives.
- Start with your vision
A bold statement about your mission for wellbeing — or vision for the future — can help grab attention and give your strategy a real focus point.
- Set SMART goals
Monitor wellbeing’s impact on business performance by setting and regularly reviewing your goals. Your goals should be linked to key business objectives, and remember to make them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
- Visualise your data
Use charts, graphs and visual cues to tell your story. Data visualisation tools such as Google Data Studio or Flourish can help you make your data more engaging and easier to understand.
More wellbeing strategy tips
For more information about how to plan, create and roll out new wellbeing initiatives in your business, download our Workplace Strategy Workbook. This free e-book contains everything you need to boost productivity through wellbeing and help your people build positive workplace habits.
From influencing company culture to engaging leaders and business partners, the workbook contains three chapters of guides, ideas and resources to help you create an effective wellbeing programme for your business.
¹ Employee Wellbeing, Productivity and Firm Performance; Centre for Economic Performance