Wellbeing Part 3

Dealing with the challenges of a workplace well-being strategy

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Dealing with the challenges of a workplace well-being strategy

​With a growing emphasis on employee well-being in the workplace, HR  departments are expected to design and deliver a workplace well-being strategy. Continuing with the list put together by the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC), below are a few more mistakes organisations are making with regard to well-being strategy.

Read part 2 of Workplace well-being – 11 guaranteed ways to fail.

Mistake No.6: Forgetting that what gets measured gets managed

Decision makers often say, “We’re rolling out a well-being program because it’s the right thing to do.” If that’s what gets an organisation started, then fine. The important thing is to ensure that, as early as possible, there is a set of numbers to clearly demonstrate the program has credible metrics. Business does not have much room or time for ‘nice-to-have’ expenses. The only way to position well-being as an investment (rather than an expense) is to show numbers that demonstrate you are making quantifiable improvements across factors that are tied to the overall business strategy.

Mistake No.7: Forgetting your core audience – high-risk employees

Anyone with a clipboard can sign up a healthy, engaged and active employee to a well-being initiative then, at the end, shout about how healthy they are. One of the reasons the chief financial officer red flags well-being initiatives is because many of the numbers published by well-being industry vendors only seem to include the ‘already healthy’ and the ‘worried well’, leaving out the high-risk employees with poor health scores. To overcome this, it is critical that your program is designed to attract and engage everybody, and that it is particularly concerned with the high-risk employees, who, at the end of the day, will provide the most spectacular return.

Mistake No.8: Making the healthy option difficult

Healthy choices need to be easy choices, and this means getting your ‘house in order’ by paying attention to the nuances of your space and culture. If you want employees to change how they look at well-being and your role in delivering it, you will need to view your environment through the eyes of your most cynical employee. The only way to create a true culture of health is to be authentic about it in every way. If health is truly a priority, you have to exemplify that throughout your entire workplace. You don’t need to make a big song and dance about it – that may give people the impression it is a novelty or a gimmick. Just firmly and subtly make the changes. Your employees will soon notice and they will understand. This might mean moving the vending machines so they are not so prominent, opening up the stairways and giving them a coat of paint and better lighting, making fruit the regular office snack instead of doughnuts, changing food choices at meetings and staff functions, and scheduling walking meetings yourself to show others how productive getting outside to walk and solve problems can be.

In this five part series, we’ll take you through the 11 mistakes organisation make in their well-being programs as outlined by GCC. Stay tuned for part four.