Making your wellbeing strategy work harder18.01.22
Chief Innovation Officer
According to a recent Gallup survey, two major factors influence employee performance: employee engagement and employee wellbeing. Gallup found that when employees exhibit high engagement and high wellbeing, the results skyrocket, particularly on metrics like a reduction in absenteeism – an employee who feels engaged and well in themselves will miss 70% fewer workdays than their colleagues.
Every organisation is at a different place in their wellbeing journey; from organisations just starting to build out health benefits, to those innovating mental health support and companies at the forefront of the wellbeing revolution.
For those employers looking to embed wellbeing in their culture and develop a holistic, fully-realised wellbeing provision – aligning your ongoing wellbeing strategy with wider business goals is key in demonstrating the positive impact of wellbeing success. Let’s consider a few ways to do this…
Link up your wellbeing strategy with ISO Guidance
The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies. In 2021, ISO produced new guidance on the management of psychosocial risks and promoting wellbeing at work. Aimed at preventing work-related stress or injury and to provide safer workplaces, the guidance encourages employers to take preventative measures for better employee mental health and wellbeing.
As well as physical risks like musculoskeletal disorders, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the document covers more modem thinking on other factors that impact employee wellbeing such as job satisfaction, financial security, social interaction, inclusion, recognition, and personal growth.
Take your wellbeing strategy out of the box
Another way to level up your wellbeing is by consider perks, policies and provisions outside the typical. Take time with your stakeholders and also with employee-led groups to review these factors through the lens of wellbeing:
- Roles and expectations
- Job control and autonomy
- Job demands
- Organisational change management
- Remote and isolated work
- Workload and work pace
- Working hours and schedule
- Job security
- Interpersonal relationships
- Recognition and reward
- Work-life balance
Using sustainability gains to make the business case
One of the most overlooked areas of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues is poor wellbeing, and how we, as employers, can take better care of our people to benefit them, our workplace, and our communities. The pandemic prompted many to cry out for more equality, a fairer society, and better care for each other and the planet – as a result, we can see that social issues are influencing employer decisions more than ever.
But it appears that the ‘Social’ side of ESG is proving difficult for many organisations to grasp – especially at a time when societal and consumer demand is saying they must act more quickly to support their people. The ‘S’ refers to several ways an organisation creates more people centred strategies, including:
- How we build more motivated, productive, and skilled cultures
- How we manage relationships with our people
- How we look after the health and happiness of our people
- How we ensure we include, not exclude, people from our organisation
- How we support the lives of the people we employ
While 82% of reward directors told us they were planning on increasing their investment in employee wellbeing, Benefex discovered that a third were having trouble securing budget and support from the wider business (The New Reward Director). As ESG now ranks as one of the most important strategic priorities in most businesses, being able to demonstrate how your wellbeing strategy helps your organisation to achieve this will be important to getting the attention and budget that it needs.
Focus on people, focus on the future
The pandemic taught us that the adaptability and empathy of the people working in our organisations is an incredibly valuable force. For the first time ever, employees are officially more vital to the success of an organisation than any other stakeholder. In late 2020, Edelman surveyed 17,000 organisations across 14 countries, with 40% of those surveyed now ranking employees as the group most important to the success of a company, while just 12% said the same about shareholders.
Whichever area of wellbeing you focus on next, and wherever you are in your wellbeing journey – your people are key to its success, just as they are to your business success.
Taking your employee wellbeing to the next level
A practical guide for reward and benefit leaders
Gethin is an award-winning psychologist who has been helping some of the world’s largest organisations to improve their employee experience and wellbeing for more than two decades. The last 11 years have been spent working as part of the senior leadership team at Benefex where Gethin leads thought leadership as Chief Innovation Officer.
As a frequent writer and speaker on employee experience and employee wellbeing, Gethin has been featured in Forbes, The Guardian, The Sun, The Huffington Post and The Financial Times as well as all major HR, Reward and Pensions publications. Gethin has been listed as one of the world’s top 101 Global Employee Experience Influencers for the last two years running, is listed on the Employee Engagement Powerlist, is one of LinkedIn’s top global contributors and an Inspiring Leader 2021. Gethin is also a regular keynote speaker, ex-Chair of Wellbeing at the UK Government-backed Engage for Success and a Fellow at the RSA.
In 2018, Gethin published his first book - the HR bestseller ‘A World of Good: Lessons From Around the World in Improving the Employee Experience’, which has gone on to inspire HR and Reward teams at some of the world’s best known brands. In early 2022, Gethin co-authored his second book ‘Das Menschliche Büro - The Human(e) Office’ a collaboration between leading academics and workplace professionals from across Europe. In October 2022, Gethin published his “third” book ‘A Work In Progress: Unlocking Wellbeing to Create More Sustainable and Resilient Organisations’ which also became an immediate bestseller.