Our conversations highlighted how not all organisations have the same level of maturity when it comes to how they approach the wellbeing of their staff. This was certainly seen as having a bearing on whether or not wellbeing analytics would become a priority for them in the near future.
In order for wellbeing analytics to make inroads into SMEs, there was a feeling that work would have to be done to develop language that is more accessible and relatable. For example, a lot of smaller organisations are not thinking about impact in terms of Environmental and Social Governance (ESG), but still working on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
The question of maturity seemed closely linked with where the wellbeing support is coming from. Wellbeing solutions are many and varied, and the question of whether wellbeing support is provided inhouse or outsourced to third party providers, will often depend on an organisation's level of wellbeing maturity. This will also often dictate the kinds of interventions on offer, for example an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or a benefits system, which will generally be bought off the shelf.
One organisation we spoke to mentioned they were in the process of acquiring another business; in which case they would be looking to outsource more of their wellbeing provision because they were outgrowing their internal capacity to support their growing employee base. They felt that organic growth could be better supported in house, whereas a faster growth trajectory would require outsourced services.
Respondents drew parallels with more mature areas of the business world, such as health and safety or IT infrastructure, for which expertise were often initially outsourced, but as awareness and expertise grew, so they have all been brought in-house.
Wellbeing service providers were themselves considered in terms of their maturity, as indeed was the whole wellbeing ecosystem. With so many new entrants offering services in the market, some expressed a view that there would need to be an element of consolidation between startups to make the industry stronger and less fragmented.
For multinational organisations, or those working overseas, there needs to be considerations of country specific wellbeing approaches, to allow for differing maturity levels between countries. One example given was that of Australia, where wellbeing legislation is currently being passed, presenting a far stronger legal precedent to which organisations have to quickly adapt.