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Three steps to planning your employee health & wellbeing strategy

Nutritionist & Exercise Scientist Declan Doyle from Health@Work discusses the three key steps for planning and implementing your health & wellbeing strategy. by Clare Deane | Thursday 28th November 2019

We know that having a strong workplace wellbeing culture can have a massive impact on your business but where do you start and what should you focus on to get it off the ground?

STEP 1: GET LEADERSHIP BUY-IN

No wellbeing strategy is going to get off the ground without the support of your top line. Building a case for wellness will support your claim. Creating a business case that demonstrates how wellbeing fits into your company values is a strong first move.

Highlight how it’s a valuable tool for supporting and retaining employees and keeping turnover and recruitment costs down. You could also gather external data on what similar organisations have done who have had growth and how your organisation could benefit from taking action.

Additionally, conducting your own internal research (such as surveys and focus groups) will also be supporting evidence to feedback on where the gaps and opportunities lie.

All in all, you need to speak their language showing how people investment leads to long term growth.

STEP 2: DETERMINE WHAT YOUR BASELINE IS

One of the best ways to set up an effective wellbeing strategy is to carefully orchestrate an employee survey. Yes, there are some basic templates out there but if you truly want to capture how employees feel about the wellbeing culture, you're going to have to design a survey that paints that picture clearly.

For example, does your survey include questions that capture, nutritional, physical, social, mental, emotional and financial wellness? If not, you might not get to the root of core issues and miss a great opportunity to develop a key wellness intervention. Also, consider how you are going to measure any interventions you would like to explore if you're not measuring you're guessing!

"I think we're doing well" doesn't make the cut I'm afraid. You wouldn't say to your bank manager "I think I can afford a new house” would you?. One of the first things I do when working on a company wellbeing design is set to clear performance metrics.

Not only is this key in evaluating your programme’s success, but can also be used to validate why you may need to adapt it.

STEP 3: BUILD A TEAM AROUND YOU

I've yet to see a successful wellbeing program implemented from the efforts of just one person. Building a team of employees from multiple levels of the organisation will help streamline any interventions and make it easier to get the message out to various departments.

The best organisations I've worked with allocate time for employees within their core hours to champion these interventions as opposed to asking them to do it alongside their current role. This shows real commitment from the organisational level while allowing wellbeing champions to focus solely on the wellbeing tasks without juggling two jobs.

Wrapping it up

Tackling workplace wellbeing from the right angle is key to developing a wellbeing program that lasts. That's why Health at Work’s 15 years of experience working with organisations and their "Building an Effective Wellbeing Programme" one day course is perfect for those who have been tasked with the job in their own organisation.

 

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