Many organisations offer a long list of well-being products to their employees from discounted gym memberships, free fruit to counseling services and think that they are doing their bit for the health of their employees. They also wonder why employee sickness levels remain high and why hearts and minds are not won when it comes to employee opinion on this topic.Many employees feel ‘checked up on’ when they have a sick day. They don’t feel able to take time away just rest their brains. 
It’s no longer enough just to push out a list of interventions and hope that employees feel empowered to use them or more importantly know how and where to access them. Those who’ve had decent onboarding may know where to go and what to do to use the services but many don’t feel able. 
Having a health and well-being strategy alongside leadership and employee role modeling, ensures that people feel able to talk about their health issues in a culture that is supportive. 
Steps to writing a strategy 
1. Establish the purpose 
Why are you investing in employee well-being? What is the reason/purpose? Is it solving a problem? What are the gaps in current provision? 
E.g retention or absence rates. 
Leadership buy-in? 
Leadership buy in is about leaders role modeling not just being the figure head or so called sponsor of well-being in 
Leadership isn’t about sponsoring initiatives. So many leaders think if they put their picture on a newsletter or do a video that they are role modeling. 
It’s about visibility of using the provision and telling the story of how it has helped them, disclosing their own vulnerabilities. 
It’s role modeling behaviors that encourage people to be serious about their health. Lip service and a picture on a corporate brochure just won’t cut it. People need to know their leaders are human too and have experienced similar issues themselves. 
2. Developing the strategy 
What’s the vision? 
What are the responsibilities of key people? 
Is there a budget?, 
Key metrics? 
Don’t just measure attendance at events. Bums on seats at well-being events aren’t always a good measure. Take data from employee surveys to determine what people are saying or carry out employee temperature checks in the subject. Check sickness levels, productivity levels. 
3. Test the strategy 
Set up groups of people to talk seriously about the strategy Incorporate into all development activities including leadership development and on-boarding, Ensure there’s a behavioural measure around well-being of self and others on any competency frameworks, ensure these are measured against a well-being mindset, set up forums and groups for people to talk about the different provisions, classrooms and education platforms. Are people extending the mindset back into their personal lives? Is it having a positive impact on family life? 
4. Launch the strategy 
Communicate , 
Tell stories from the test phase, tie into a calendar of external campaigns and events, have a regular podcast or vodcast, have a community education forum where people can learn from each other. 
5. Review and evaluate 
Hold quarterly pulse reviews, deep dive sessions with random groups, review mechanism for feedback on services, refresh services and listen to employees, measure against any KPIs. If you are an organisation who wants to take employee well-being seriously contact me for a consultation and see how I can help. 
Consider how you can use CSR time and budget to give employees an altrustic offering beyond some of the remedial measures as often prevention is better than a cure. 
If you are affected by burn out then contact your GP to advise on the relevant therapy for your condistion. 
Lise Kaye-Bell is CEO of Soundproofbox, an organisation offering training to workplaces and schools on the topic of domestic abuse, mental health and here to combat toxic workplace cultures. 
Tagged as: Workplace
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