In recent years, employee wellbeing has come to the forefront of employer’s priorities, as research demonstrates an undeniable link between employee wellbeing, employee productivity and business performance across all industries and regions. A study by Westfield Health showed that organisations with wellbeing programmes had higher rates of employee productivity, with 43% of HR managers rating productivity as ‘very good’. In comparison, this figure fell to 18% in in organisations with no wellbeing programme.
Covid has been a driving force for wellbeing initiatives, with over 80% of businesses increasing their wellbeing focus as a result of the pandemic and the increase in remote working. With the prospect of a post-lockdown workplace in the near future, employers must continue to cultivate positive company culture to maximise employee wellbeing and encourage a motivated and productive workforce. So how can HR leaders make a compelling case for wellbeing investment, and how can employers ensure positive change in company culture?
Driving Culture Change
Research shows that company culture can often be a barrier to wellbeing investment: 59% of HR leaders said they would like to be able to do more in terms of wellbeing, but company culture prevents it.
Evidently, changes in company culture must come from the top. Change requires endorsement from senior management, as well as strong vocal advocacy which helps to make employees feel valued. When leaders drive positive culture change, employee behaviour will follow.
Managers can drive culture change through their workplace habits. Managers should lead by example by working reasonable hours, taking frequent breaks and staying active. Managers can also take advantage of flexible working policies where possible so that their employees will feel confutable to do the same. This promotes a focus on outcomes rather than time spent on tasks.
Like any workplace initiative, well-being requires investment from employers. Therefore, leaders require compelling, data-driven evidence to show that initiatives are worth the cost. HR managers can do this by collecting data that demonstrates how these initiatives will impact employee wellbeing and how this benefits the wider organisation.
In any organisation, wellbeing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Wellbeing targets should be tailored to the specific needs of your employees and the company. There are many different ways in which the impact of wellbeing initiatives can measured, for example:
- Attendance of wellbeing initiatives such as fitness classes
- Employee satisfaction via surveys
- Mental health absences
Whatever method you choose, measuring the impact of these initiatives helps to communicate the success to employers and demonstrates positive company culture change.
Surveys and Employee Feedback
Surveys are a great way to effectively capture the thoughts and feelings of your employees and measure the progress of your wellbeing strategies. Questions based on a scale, for example strongly agree to strongly disagree, will help you to quantify the impact of any changes you make. Statements to use on your survey could include:
- I feel that my manager cares about me as a person.
- I am aware of optional workplace activities and know how to access them.
- I feel like my voice is heard in the workplace.
- I feel that I could ask for help if I needed it.
- I receive regular feedback and recognition.
- I am proud to work for this organisation.
Choose a schedule for your survey, for example, every month or two, and repeat the same questions to gain insight into the changes employees are experiencing. Using these methods, employee support can be tailored to individuals in order to produce the maximum benefit for your workforce.