Why is employee wellbeing important?
Simply put, when employees have high levels of wellbeing a business will thrive. The American Psychological Society found that organisations that promoted health and wellbeing reduced turnover, their people had higher job satisfaction and were more likely to say they are motivated to do their best.1 When employee wellbeing is poor, businesses falter. In 2020, 17.9 million working days were lost because of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in the UK alone.2
How to create a successful employee wellbeing programme
Creating a successful employee wellbeing initiative is not as straightforward as it might seem. So, it is crucial to lay the foundations that will help them succeed in the long-term.
There are three key ingredients to a successful employee wellbeing initiative:
1. Align it with your organisational mission
Your employee wellbeing programme will struggle from the start if you do not help senior leaders understand its value. They are more likely to be supportive when they understand how the initiative will contribute to the organisation’s vision and mission.
An employee wellbeing programme will have more return on investment if your employees and leaders understand how it benefits them and the organisation.
2. Take time to understand people’s needs
Before designing an employee wellbeing programme, it’s important to find out what your people need and want from it. Letting people know that you have incorporated their feedback will increase their engagement with the programme.
Your employees will be more engaged by a wellbeing initiative that appeals to their basic human needs. Psychologists suggest these may include:
- Competence: a need to be good at what we do
- Autonomy: a need to feel free to make our own choices and follow our own goals
- Relatedness: a need to connect with others
3. Measure the impact of the programme
Measuring the impact of wellbeing initiatives is critical for making sure they improve over time. Before starting the programme, work with key stakeholders to identify what a positive impact would mean for your organisation. For example, if the aim of an initiative is to help people make healthier choices, what specifically would qualify as a healthy choice? How would this be quantified? How would it be tracked? If you can’t answer these questions, your programme will be less effective, and you will struggle to demonstrate return on investment (ROI).