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How to measure workplace wellbeing

26th October 2023

Happy employees contributing to office discussion

What is workplace wellbeing?

While workplace wellbeing does include the physical and mental health of employees, it also goes far beyond this – relating to the wider aspects of working life from the working environment to how employees feel about their work and organisation. 

Workplace wellbeing is now a critical element of good business strategy and should be at the forefront of all businesses’ priorities. The CIPD Health and Wellbeing report suggests wellbeing is higher on the agenda than it has been in recent years, although just 53% of organisations surveyed were identified as already having a standalone wellbeing strategy in place. 

When it comes to looking after the health of your business, taking care of the health and wellbeing of your employees is one of the most important things to consider. After all, promoting wellbeing can ultimately help with preventing stress, creating a positive working environment where individuals and organisations can thrive. 

With as many as 86% of employees reporting that a company’s approach to wellbeing can influence their decision to stay or go, a great wellbeing strategy has never been more important. 

What does a healthy workplace environment look like?  

Creating a workplace environment and culture of both transparency and openness can empower employees to bring their authentic self to work. A healthy workplace environment is one where employees are able to thrive in their work whilst feeling supported, recognised, appreciated and valued.   

Promoting workplace wellbeing encourages a healthy workplace environment by preventing stress and facilitating better employee health overall. Another great sign of a healthy workplace environment is strong internal communication. Promoting a supportive environment encourages employees to contribute and share their ideas and feedback.

How can the Workplace Wellbeing Charter help your business develop a health and wellbeing strategy? 

The Workplace Wellbeing Charter is a benchmarking framework across 8 key pillars of health and wellbeing. The benchmarking process highlights best practice and supports organisations to identify any gaps in their wellbeing offering, to enable the continuous improvement of employee health and wellbeing, and the workplace environment and culture.  

In our current diverse society and with the growing concerns regarding climate change, the nationally recognised Workplace Wellbeing Charter has been updated using evidence-based research to meet the evolving workplace priorities and needs. 

These 8 key pillars of health and wellbeing are essential to business, as research shows that a growing number of millennial and Gen-Z employees want to work for organisations who care about both employee wellbeing and the world around them.  

Following accreditation, a detailed post-assessment report highlights best practice and provides relevant recommendations for any areas where there could be improvement. This supports the ongoing development of an overarching organisational health and wellbeing strategy.    

The benefits of a Workplace Wellbeing Charter accreditation include:

Enhanced employee wellbeing: When employees feel that their wellbeing is a priority, they are more likely to be happier, healthier and engaged in their work. Engaged employees are more committed, motivated, creative, and enthusiastic and are more likely to go above and beyond in their roles.  

Reduced absenteeism: A healthier and happier workforce is a more productive one. When employees are supported to be physically and mentally well, they tend to perform better, take fewer sick days, and are less likely to experience burnout or stress-related issues resulting in reduced costs for the business. 

Attracting and retaining talent: Workplace Wellbeing Charter accreditation can be a powerful recruitment and retention tool. Prospective employees are increasingly looking for organisations that care about their wellbeing. Moreover, employees who feel supported and valued have a greater sense of belonging and are more likely to stay with an employer that supports their health and wellness. This leads to improved job satisfaction and reduced staff turnover. 

Meeting stakeholder expectations: In a world where corporate social responsibility is increasingly important, the Workplace Wellbeing Charter accreditation can demonstrate to stakeholders – including investors, contractors, customers, and the community that your business is committed to a higher standard of care for its employees, helping to bolster company reputation. 

A Workplace Wellbeing Charter accreditation can help your business by promoting the physical and mental wellbeing of your employees. This, in turn, leads to a more engaged, productive, and satisfied workforce. This has various positive impacts on your company’s performance, reputation, and bottom line, making it a valuable investment in the overall success and sustainability of your business. 

How is workplace wellbeing measured? 

Metrics including KPIs and both qualitative and quantitative data can help measure workplace wellbeing. Measuring these areas of health and wellbeing is not always about numbers. Measuring employees’ subjective thoughts, feelings and perceptions regarding their physical, mental, social, financial wellbeing and quality of work-life may seem difficult, but it is possible. What is most important is that the metrics you choose are aligned with the objectives of your wellbeing strategy and allow for actions to be developed to help meet your organisational goals.  

Employee engagement: Provide an opportunity for employees to anonymously provide feedback on their experiences of working for an organisation. For example; relationships, training and development opportunities, line management, work-life balance, the workplace culture, organisational wellbeing offering, support mechanisms within an organisation, and job satisfaction. This helps to identify gaps in wellbeing offering and any potential issues. Drawing from this data can expose opportunities to implement appropriate targeted interventions to address any issues that may have an adverse effect on employee wellbeing and productivity. The collection of quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of these interventions on your workforce can help organisations modify any future interventions. 

Employee focus groups: Focus groups are an insightful way to measure employee motivation and wellbeing and gives employees a sense of ownership and belonging.  

Uptake of health and wellbeing interventions: Monitoring employee uptake of your wellbeing interventions over a period of time can help identify any challenges that are preventing employee access.  

Measuring performance: Incorporate presenteeism measures into employee engagement surveys. Motivation and a sense of overall wellbeing are imperative in creating a thriving workplace, yet a recent survey found 89% of organisations are experiencing presenteeism. ‘Presenteeism’ refers to employees working when they are unwell or otherwise not fully productive, often due to concerns about taking sick leave or missing deadlines. Signs of presenteeism include increased absenteeism levels, reduced performance, reduced quality of work, errors or near misses, and changes in behaviour. Conduct 1-1 wellbeing meetings to help address any issues with role, responsibilities and workload.   

Collecting and monitoring sickness absence rates and causes: By tracking and analysing absence rates and the reasons for absenteeism, employers can detect patterns and trends related to physical health, mental health and stress issues. This information allows the employer to proactively address the root causes of absenteeism and implement initiatives and strategies to promote employee wellbeing.  

Recording of accidents, injuries and near misses: The process of recording accidents, injuries and near misses fosters a safety conscious culture. By documenting incidents, employers can identify root causes and supports the development of safety measures and preventative practices. When employees see their organisation takes safety seriously, it can lead to increased trust and a sense of wellbeing.   

Staff retention levels: Retaining staff and top talent in business helps reduce the costs associated with resignations and the recruiting process. Collecting recruitment data and conducting and recording exit interviews can provide company insight and increase understanding of the reasons why staff are leaving the company. High retention rates will indicate employees are happy within the company; however, it’s important that the identification of negative reasons why an employee is leaving is addressed appropriately.  

What is the relationship between business, performance and wellbeing?  

When you consider the wellbeing of your employees, this is likely to translate into an improvement in employee engagement, productivity and performance, as well as reduced absence rates. 

To truly perform well, businesses must prioritise employee engagement as well as health and wellbeing.  

This can be done through gauging the impact of these priorities on business performance through successful measurement of both interventions and employee wellbeing.  

This data can help identify key themes that may be having an adverse effect on employee performance and declining productivity, enabling you to address any issues promptly. Utilising a variety of surveys, a collection of HR data, wellbeing meetings, and raw numbers – as well as actively listening – can help you truly understand employee needs.  

Without the insights gained from analysing your employee metrics, your efforts to support employee health and wellbeing may not yield the desired results. The lack of quantitative and qualitative data driven insights could lead to employees leaving the organisation despite your best intentions. While benchmarking your wellbeing offering with the Workplace Wellbeing Charter, and the implementation of wellbeing initiatives demands a significant investment of resources and effort; this can lead not only to higher employee satisfaction, motivation and productivity rates, but cost savings in the long run.   

Health@Work offer a range of services from wellbeing training courses – to the Workplace Wellbeing Charter accreditation, to employee benefits such as our Employee Assistance Programme – to help employers across the UK to create safe, healthy, and happy workplaces where employee wellbeing is a top priority. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help your organisation achieve its wellbeing goals by calling 0151 236 6608. 

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