How you can measure Wellbeing at Work

With wellbeing one of the top five boardroom issues, it’s now important to measure the effectiveness and impact of your wellbeing programme, not just implement initiatives….

Previously these initiatives have been regarded as ‘perks’ but the health and wellbeing of an organisation’s employees is of paramount importance for future success and growth.

Employee health is fast becoming a ‘factor of production’ with the government and economists arguing that Health & Wellbeing needs to be taken as seriously as research & development, marketing & advertising and technology. The business benefits of a healthy workforce mean reduced sickness and higher productivity. Wellbeing initiatives are now a fundamental part of any organisation looking to take a proactive approach to health and wellbeing and are now commonplace within Employers of Choice.

There are lots of opportunities to measure wellbeing including overall (and individual) health levels, organisational performance, programme cost or return on investment. However without measuring a programme it’s difficult to gauge how effective initiatives are and with budgets being squeezed every year, it’s important to consider this. The good news is that some of the data will be easily accessible (and free!) from within your organisation. By using sickness absence records, staff turnover and/or health insurance claims data you can establish potential cost, days lost per year and other issues affecting your organisation. This provides very useful information to gauge improvements and set key performance indicators in the future.

An accurate method of measuring improvements is to use employee health screening data that can be segmented by location/department but also in year one, sets baseline data to compare future health levels. This information (particularly combined with sickness absence data) is an effective way of gauging improvements and identifying hotspots and trends so that you can target specific issues. The same can be done with an organisational stress/wellbeing audit as the combined health screening and stress audit data allows you to assess the business from a physiological and psychological perspective.

Remember what you can measure you can improve – and if employees are more healthy, it’s very likely that you will simultaneously enhance the performance of your organisation.