Before you bring in ‘solutions’, ask yourself, ‘where are you going to make the difference?’
Targeting where you want to make the difference makes assessing the efficacy of programmes far more effective. “What is it that we are actually trying to change or achieve?” This was highlighted as a vital first question that is all too often overlooked, and a key first step before ‘solutions’ are brought in. This will also help to develop KPIs and success metrics, from both a colleague and organisation perspective.
The various layers of stakeholders were seen as an important consideration, as each has their own set of priorities when it comes to a wellbeing initiative, with KPIs that are not always overlapping. Examples provided were:
- C-suite, who care more about live outcomes affecting attrition, absence, presenteeism, engagement and financials.
- Shareholders, who want a good return on investment
- Line managers, who want people to be well and to do their job well
For one of our respondents, the need to reduce sick leave was the major issue they were looking to address from a business point of view, but whilst this was a shared perspective across senior leadership, it was not widely acknowledged openly.
Respondents indicated that they are currently measuring wellbeing impact through: Attendance or engagement data for training, events or programmes
- The prevalence of people attending EAPs
- Questions in a survey, often employee engagement or satisfaction
- Hitting regulations, like ISO45003, or the London Healthy Workplace award
It was clear however that a more consistent and longer term view on impact is needed to really enable a thorough understanding.
Respondents indicated that current measures of wellbeing success include:
- Being the first in the world to do something, such ISO 45003
- How many gongs or industry awards you’ve have
- The amount of visibility you have on Linkedin
But that was the extent of it. Organisations are currently able to look at changes in absence statistics, but are unable to pinpoint a specific reason, and currently this can’t be linked to performance or productivity.
Enabling benchmarking was something that was seen to be incredibly useful, showing what other organisations or sectors are returning. This was seen as particularly important to non-specialists.
The financial returns of wellbeing are currently not widely talked about, and getting people to start talking about the ROI in the first instance was seen as a very positive step forward. However, indicative assessment of outcomes and return are currently only presented in terms of cost savings (absence, turnover, presenteeism), as outlined in the Deloitte reports, and as such a major step forward would be to talk about wellbeing in terms of revenue generating and Value of Investment (VOI).