You’ve heard all about workplace wellbeing right?
It’s a significant business issue which is becoming more prominent in successful organisations. Here, Joe Gaunt, Founder and CEO of hero (www.herowellbeing.com) answers some frequently asked questions which we hope will give you some more insight and information into launching and running your own wellbeing programme.
Why invest in Corporate Wellness?
Great people are at the heart of any world class business. We are seeing more companies with the right intent, (which is great) but we need to see a sustained movement to recognise this as part of the overall business strategy and measure it. A good friend of mine recently wrote in his book release ‘it's not about more free bananas’ (The Rebel Playbook by Glenn Elliott and DC). It's not about a ‘wellness week’ once a year where companies get some fruit and push forced participation or about having a weekly fruit box delivered that only gets shared among senior directors. Companies that don’t invest in this area will soon pay the price as more young people enter the workforce. Millennials and generate Z workers demand more than ever before and they have many non-negotiable expectations of an employer. And those companies who don’t offer what they need will be left behind and ultimately fail.
What is the Value of Wellness in the Workforce?
The average person will spend approximately 90,000 hours of their life working and with added pressures, stresses and strains, poor health and well-being is costing the UK economy up to £57 billion a year in lost productivity.
A direct correlation is now seen between strong employee engagement and wellbeing and a company’s bottom line. Historically the success of any employee programme has been typically measured in ROI but as the sector and indeed businesses shift into an era of wellbeing, aspirations turn beyond monetary values and forward-thinking businesses look at introducing a whole new set of KPIs, also known as value on investment (VOI). VOI helps a business to understand how employee health and wellbeing can interact and affect business outcomes. In time I believe we will see a mix of both these indicators within company reports.
What’s the best wellness solution or programme?
It’s all about individualisation. Each human and therefore business is unique and health is a personal thing. So it’s important that companies allow for this. My top tip is to use technology as an enabler and use it to enhance something you know you already enjoy, which is health related and compliments and encourages healthy behaviour. If a person enjoys exercising at the gym - try adding an on demand virtual training session, such as Les Mills On Demand for the times you can’t get there on time or are travelling with work. If mindfulness and time out to reflect and decompress one’s thoughts is important there are several great apps for this such as Headspace or Calm. But one clear takeaway is that wellness and health must be personal.
Wellness programmes must stem from a well thought out and measured strategy. We would always recommend you take the time to survey and question your teams before embarking on a new strategy and programme. Hero offers Discovery Reports to companies and organisations. They cover off key areas of employee wellbeing and enable companies to see what’s working and what needs improvement. From here a strategy can be formed. The programme must allow for personalisation both in and out of work and cover a broad spectrum of factors such as sleep, financial health and mental resilience. Gone are the days of simply offering a free gym membership to staff. A successful organisation will go on a journey with their teams, which will see education, information sharing, recognition and reward as part of the strategy. Encouraging the shareability of results and activity will really help aid a programme.
How can you measure employee wellness programmes?
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ output for an employee programme. All businesses are different and as such have different challenges they need support with. Whilst one business will want to improve staff retention another will want to attract the best talent, and another will want to reduce absenteeism. The key thing you must do is be clear on your objectives at the start of this process. Survey and listen to the feedback from the employees and then deploy a programme that will appeal to their needs, wants, worries and aspirations. We recommend you audit quarterly and benchmark every 12 months.