Recent data revealed that 35% of employees looking to leave their current role want better mental health support at work. So, how can companies make sure their wellbeing strategy is not a waste of time? In this article, Vicky Walker, Director of People at Westfield Health will look at:
- What a strong wellbeing programme is and what it will do for a company
- How a company can structure one
- Ways in which to measure its success and employee engagement
Wellbeing in the workplace is becoming more prominent within the corporate agenda, after 35% of employees told us that they are looking to leave their current role as they want better support for their mental health.
There’s a spotlight on employers to ensure they look after their workers’ wellbeing, but sometimes, businesses aren’t too sure where to begin or what will work for their employees.
The pandemic has significantly impacted how people view wellbeing at work, especially mental wellbeing. In fact, research conducted by Westfield Health found that one in 10 are just one day away from burnout, highlighting the impact the pandemic has had on workers across the UK. People who have been working from home for the last 18 months are also more likely to feel at risk of burnout (50%) than those going to the workplace (41%).
Add to this the fact that increased remote working has brought with it the challenge of ensuring the wellbeing of employees is still treated as a priority, despite there being less daily contact between employees.
A strong wellbeing programme is structured in a way to cater to all employees; a one-size-fits-all approach won’t necessarily work here, as everyone has different needs when it comes to wellbeing. Businesses need to find out what their employees need support with to inform their wellbeing programmes.
As more businesses are beginning to invest in wellbeing programmes, it’s important to know how to efficiently measure any changes and understand the impact it has on your employees. However, finding the right way to do this can be difficult to navigate.
Why measure employee wellbeing?
Measuring employee wellbeing helps your organisation to understand the impact of these initiatives. Wellbeing is an investment, so you want to appropriately measure the impact it has on your employees by:
- Identifying any issues that need to be addressed
- Understanding who is affected by them and how wellbeing strategies could improve this
- Establishing baselines to measure progress as you focus more on wellbeing
- Targeting key areas for improvement
- Tracking any improvements in business performance and absenteeism
Ways to measure your wellbeing
Measuring how engaged your employees are can give an insight into the wellbeing of your staff. According to the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance, employee engagement and profitability influence each other over time.
The most efficient way to measure the engagement of your employees is to regularly check in with them to get an understanding of their engagement levels. Undertaking a pulse survey with around 5-10 questions on a regular basis is a great way to capture how your employees are feeling and measure progress over time.
It would help if you asked questions based on a scale to help quantify your wellbeing initiatives’ impact. This will also help you see the effects of new initiatives and if there are any specific areas for improvement.
Employees that feel happier in their jobs are proven to be more productive, which is why measuring productivity is a great way to understand how effective your wellbeing is. Our Future of Work report revealed that on average 29% of employees feel more productive due to the wellbeing support they’ve received from work.
You can measure how productive employees are by regularly tracking their performance against the goals and targets set for their role. You’ll likely spot a trend between an increase in overall business performance and the introduction of wellbeing initiatives.
People who are happier in their job are more likely to stay longer. Good wellbeing plays a significant role in retention, with a 2017 study revealing that 33% of businesses who invested in workplace wellbeing initiatives saw a reduction in staff turnover.
To measure the effectiveness of your wellbeing strategy through staff retention, compare your staff turnover before and after you begin focusing on employee wellbeing. When employees do leave, include a question in their exit interview about how happy they felt at work and if their wellbeing had anything to do with their choice to leave the role.
A thorough wellbeing strategy can significantly impact your business performance, but it’s important to quantify this over time.
By Vicky Walker, Director of People at Westfield Health.