Designing the right employee wellbeing strategy
12 February 2021
Employee wellbeing has risen rapidly to the top of the corporate agenda. But looking after their people in a world of work shaped by COVID-19 and lockdowns creates challenges for every organisation.
As the first wave of lockdowns hit, the focus was on reacting quickly, ensuring employees were safe and responding by providing reassurance and support. Many companies are now evaluating their position and reimagining what their wellbeing strategy needs to look like long term.
There are many challenges when it comes to implementing a successful wellbeing strategy: employees are increasingly dispersed and physically disconnected; the borders between home and work life are more blurred than ever; and the physical, mental and emotional impacts of long-term working from home are becoming evident.
A robust wellbeing strategy however, can ensure a resilient, happy and healthy workforce which in turn leads to increased productivity and cost reductions linked to lower absenteeism and attrition. In addition, the enhanced company reputation which results can help attract and retain the best talent, a goal shared by 100% of attendees at our recent client employee wellbeing seminar.
Nearly a quarter (22%) of attendees at this seminar said they either had no employee wellbeing strategy before COVID-19, or had only an informal policy which was not revised. More than half (56%) had a known policy and responded reactively to COVID-19 in line with this. Only 22% had a known policy and were able to proactively respond.
As organisations look to the future with a view to designing and implementing a relevant wellbeing strategy, it is crucial to remember there can be no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Organisations will have different priorities and abilities. Within an organisation, different personas will have varying needs (for example, a new graduate intern will face different challenges compared to a working parent). Territories and cultures will respond to corporate interventions in differing ways.
Our top tips to assist in designing the right strategy for your organisation would be:
- Use a data-led approach to identify employee and business specific needs, to enable evidence based decision-making.
- Identify what is working and what can be improved.
- Use data to undertake maturity modelling: where are you now versus where you want to be? Articulate your wellbeing vision and success factors and create a business case for change.
- Engage wider stakeholders to agree your objectives and use a data-driven methodology to develop your strategy.
- Continually measure return on investment by using data-driven metrics in order to both demonstrate success and identify areas for further improvement.
Read more about how employee wellbeing plays a crucial part in shifting to hybrid working and the virtual organisation or get in touch.