Thrust into the spotlight by the pandemic, employee wellbeing has shot up the corporate agenda for many businesses. In fact, the recent CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work Report found that 51% of organisations now take a strategic approach to employee wellbeing.1
In the same vein, employees are now more aware of the importance of their personal health and wellbeing challenges and are looking to their employers for support. The question now facing businesses is, how do they implement an effective wellbeing programme that will enable them to retain and attract staff, or if they have one already in place, how do they tweak their existing programme to respond to current workplace challenges.
Wellbeing is no longer just a ‘buzz word’
For a wellbeing programme to be successful, it has to become part of the culture of the business and be endorsed from the top. But how?
Get your approach right
Employers need to think holistically about their wellbeing strategy, providing a programme that centres around all pillars of wellbeing: mental, financial, physical, and social, and which supports employees, both inside and outside of the workplace.
Research has shown than 53% of businesses report mental health has remained the most common focus of health and wellbeing activity. In stark contrast, just 12% of businesses focus on financial wellbeing.2 Yet, financial stress, particularly against the backdrop of the current cost of living crisis, is intrinsically linked to overall wellbeing. Money worries often cause stress and anxiety, leading to poor physical health through lack of sleep and unhealthy eating habits. It can also affect social interactions and the ability to function as one normally would.
Read more on how to help employees during the cost of living crisis here.
Understand the makeup of your workforce
Your people are the lifeblood of your business, therefore it makes good business sense to take the time to understand their challenges and what’s important to them. Is it mortgage advice, pension information, social collaboration, support with their physical health or perhaps greater flexibility to allow time to spend with their children?
For a wellbeing programme to be a success, it has to be relevant and present meaningful solutions that satisfy the needs of your people.
Research the right solutions and measure the impact
Once you have a clear understanding of what your wellbeing offering needs to include, take the time to find the right providers to help you deliver a successful programme.
In our experience, benefits such as employee assistance programmes (EAPs), virtual GP services and private medical insurance through to group risk protection (life insurance, critical illness cover, income protection), health cash plans and discounted voucher schemes, are all highly valued by employees. They provide convenience, savings and peace of mind – and will demonstrate to your employees that you value their contribution.
Intermediaries such as Partners& will work collaboratively with you and advise on the right solutions for your business based on an in depth understanding of your team, your challenges and what you want to achieve. Read more on the benefits of partnering with intermediary.
As with all wellbeing programmes, you will want to ensure it delivers for both your employees and your business. Whether it is retention, productivity, employee morale or a combination, be sure to define your KPIs and report against them regularly to monitor your return on investment. Ensure you have visibility on what your employees are engaging with, allowing you to evaluate and make changes if required.
Have a clear communication strategy
A good wellbeing programme is only successful if people know it exists. Communicating what it includes, how people engage with it, and what the benefits are to them will help them to appreciate the value of the programme.
Referring back to the section around understanding your workforce, think about where your employees are based, are they remote, on the road, do they have regular access to a computer? This will help shape the method of delivering your communication strategy. Don’t rely solely on emails to get the word out, think about all the channels you have available to maximise its reach.
Communicate regularly, produce a wellbeing calendar where you can engage with your employees monthly on key awareness days or events and initiatives that you may be running. Make your communications interactive, giving your employees the chance to provide feedback. Sharing ideas will increase their engagement with the programme
A business with a strong wellbeing culture at its heart will demonstrate its commitment to the health and wellbeing of its employees and, importantly, set themselves apart as an employer of choice, one who places true value on their people. Those that do will benefit from engaged, motivated and loyal employees, will be successful at attracting top talent and see reduced levels of absenteeism and increased productivity.
If you would like to know more about how we can help, some advice on your existing programme or implementing a new one, our expert Employee Benefits Director, Dan Cockram, would be delighted to hear from you.
You can also view our brochure here for more information