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Wellbeing by numbers how to measure the success of an employee wellbeing programme

Wellbeing by numbers: how to measure the success of an employee wellbeing programme

As COVID-19 continues to push wellbeing up the corporate agenda, how can you prove a wellbeing strategy is effective? A data-led approach will improve the health and wellbeing of your people, but how can you measure your programme’s impact to secure buy-in from business leaders?

On 28th October 2020 we partnered with SHP to present the Wellbeing by Numbers webinar. In the hour-long session, three industry leaders shared their experiences and expertise around developing and implementing an evidence-based approach to wellbeing.

On the panel were:

Dave Capper, CEO of Westfield Health

Professor Jeff Breckon, from the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University

Alistair Hugo, Wellbeing & Fitness Manager at Sky

The session explored three key stages of programme development: insight, implementation and impact. Each phase requires careful planning, informed by accurate insight. So how can we shape our workplace wellbeing programmes to ensure success? Here are the top tips from our experts.

"Your biggest resource is your employees, so co-design your strategy with them"

- Professor Jeff Breckon, AWRC

A well-designed wellbeing strategy asks the people that matter most what the problems are. Every organisation is different, so it’s important to build engagement in from the outset to help you truly understand your people. Once you’ve established a baseline, you can curate a targeted strategy that caters directly to your individuals’ needs.

"Be aware of your shadow as a leader"

- Dave Capper, CEO of Westfield Health

During the webinar, an audience poll found lack of buy-in from senior leaders to be the biggest barrier to implementation. Over a third of the audience anticipated this to be their most significant challenge. As COVID-19 brings employee wellbeing to the forefront of business priorities, our panel were hopefully that an attitudinal change could be on the horizon.

Westfield CEO Dave Capper implored leaders to be authentic and genuine in their approach to workplace wellbeing. With clear goals and buy-in from leadership teams, your wellbeing programme will grow from a tick-box into a business strategy.

"We can’t just look at single metrics anymore"

- Alistair Hugo, Wellbeing & Fitness Manager at Sky

For many organisations, wellbeing data has not been captured in the same way as other corporate objectives. To demonstrate its value, an effective wellbeing programme needs clear metrics and goals. Blend qualitative and quantitative measures to understand what is happening and why it is happening.

Collect data on health metrics, employee sickness absence trends, presenteeism, leaveism and engagement to develop a baseline. Then make use of surveys and insights to unpick the complexities and potential barriers to engagement.

"The hard to reach must be represented – this is where you have the biggest impact"

- Professor Jeff Breckon, AWRC

A successful wellbeing programme reaches those who need it most. Consider how your approach encourages participation from unengaged staff, not just those who shout the loudest. Metrics such as employee self-worth, autonomy and perception of control can demonstrate marked changes in workforce morale. Quality of life measures are the basis of an effective strategy. Get these right, and organisational change will follow.

"A wellbeing programme isn’t a transaction, it’s a journey"

- Dave Capper, CEO of Westfield Health

Your employee needs will change as your business develops, and so should your wellbeing strategy. An effective programme has no defined end date – it simply changes course as it develops. Its objective shouldn’t be an intervention, but a change in culture.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many HR and leadership teams to fast-forward their ways of working and take an action-based approach to wellbeing. Six months on, programme leaders must take the time to reflect and refine their strategy. Be willing to continually explore and adapt to ensure your wellbeing programme grows with your business. With the data behind you, you’ll create a powerful platform for delivering wellness and driving organisational change.

For more tips from the panel, you can now watch the Wellbeing by Numbers webinar on-demand, or download our free Health and Wellbeing Toolkit to help you build an effective strategy which engages employees and business leaders alike.

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