Understanding employee wellness can be a tricky thing, and that makes it complicated to measure. In today’s Kind Mind guide, we want to take you through what wellness means, the factors involved and how you can set up a system for measurement and improvement.
Let’s get started.
What is employee wellness?
Employee wellness refers to the overall well-being of employees in the workplace, including their physical, mental, social and emotional health. It involves creating a work environment that supports employees through implementing programs and policies that promote healthy behaviours and lifestyles.
Why measure employee wellness?
We’ve known for years that happy employees perform better, but we didn’t really do much about that until the Pandemic when almost every business had to learn to support staff through remote and hybrid working. Now we realise what experts have been telling us.
“… Care and kindness at work may be the most vital keys to the riddle of what makes a successful organisation.”
Gethin Nadin, multi-award-winning psychologist and HR author.
Citation from his book Work in Progress.
We believe Nadin is right. In fact, we believe this so strongly that we built an app to help you learn how and where to support your team.
So what do you gain from measuring and improving employee wellness?
- Improved productivity – Employees who are healthy and feel good are more productive and engaged. Measuring employee wellness can help employers identify areas to improve the work environment, increasing productivity and job satisfaction.
- Reduced absenteeism and presenteeism – Illness and stress can lead to absenteeism (employees missing work) and presenteeism (employees showing up to work despite being unwell or stressed). Measuring employee wellness can help employers identify health and wellness issues that may contribute to these problems and implement strategies to address them.
- Controlled healthcare costs – When employees are healthy, healthcare costs are lower. Measuring employee wellness can help employers identify health risks and implement strategies to prevent illness and injury, which can help control corporate healthcare costs.
- Enhanced company culture – Employees who feel that their employer values their well-being are more likely to feel satisfied and engaged in their work. Measuring employee wellness and implementing wellness programs can create a positive company culture and improve employee morale.
The truth is that the benefits of a happier employee culture outweigh ignoring employee wellbeing. Now is the time to act.
How to measure your employee wellness
There are several tools to help you measure employee wellness; these include
Surveys can gather information about employee wellness, including physical health, mental health, stress levels, and overall job satisfaction. The results can be used to identify areas where the company can improve its wellness initiatives.
Health risk assessments
These identify employee health risks, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol. The results can be used to develop targeted wellness programs to help employees manage these risks.
Blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose tests can be used to identify potential health issues in employees. This information can be used to develop targeted wellness programs to help employees manage these issues with ongoing risk assessments.
Absenteeism and presenteeism rates
Tracking absenteeism and presenteeism rates can provide insight into the overall health and wellness of the workforce. High rates of absenteeism and presenteeism may indicate that employees are struggling with health issues or stress and may benefit from wellness initiatives.
Employee participation rates
Tracking employee participation rates in wellness programs can provide insight into the effectiveness of these programs. Low participation rates may indicate that the programs need to be reevaluated or re-designed to meet employees’ needs better.
Measuring employee engagement can provide insight into how employees feel about their jobs, the work environment, and the company culture. High levels of employee engagement are often associated with better health outcomes and lower absenteeism and turnover rates.
Employee turnover rates
High employee turnover rates can indicate employees are unhappy with their jobs or the work environment. Wellness initiatives can help improve job satisfaction and reduce turnover rates.
Measuring employee wellness requires quantitative and qualitative data and ongoing employee evaluation and feedback. By regularly measuring and monitoring employee wellness, you can develop effective wellness programs that support the health and well-being of your staff.
How often should you measure employee wellness?
The frequency of measuring employee wellness may vary depending on your company’s size, the industry, and your wellness program’s goals.
Quarterly measurements allow you to track employee health and wellness changes over time and evaluate the effectiveness of your programs. It also allows you to gather employee feedback, especially in those early stages of implementation.
It is important to note that measuring employee wellness is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. You should regularly evaluate your wellness programs and strategies and adjust as needed to effectively support your employees’ health and well-being.
Can wellness software help?
In short, yes.
And we don’t just say that as wellness tech providers but as wellness experts.
You see, no single benchmark for employee wellness applies to all companies. Your business’s ideal level of wellness will vary depending on factors such as the industry, workforce demographics, and company goals. This makes benchmarking difficult.
That’s why we’ve turned to science to create our app, providing real-time data and HR advice so that you can create goal-based benchmarks that fit your staff and situation.
Your software should complement what you provide in-house, not replace it. The aim of your software is to enhance an open culture that prioritises employee wellness in and out of the work environment. It’s a highly adoptive format, so your staff need little prompting to follow through when you aren’t around.
We believe excellent software should include consideration and programs for
- Mental health – Measuring mental health can be done through surveys or assessments to help identify issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Physical activity – Measuring physical activity can provide insight into employees’ activity and help identify opportunities to encourage more physical activity throughout the workday or week.
- Nutrition – Measuring nutrition can provide insight into how well employees eat and whether they meet dietary guidelines.
- Work-life balance – Measuring work-life balance can help identify issues such as overwork and burnout.
How to start improving your employee wellness
This can be a complex process, but here are some steps you can take to get started:
- Conduct an assessment – The first step in improving employee wellness is to conduct an assessment to identify areas of opportunity. This can include employee surveys, health risk assessments, and analysis of absenteeism and healthcare costs.
- Develop a wellness strategy – Based on the assessment, develop a wellness strategy that includes specific goals and initiatives. This can include healthy eating and physical activity initiatives, stress management programs, and mental health support.
- Involve employees – In developing wellness initiatives, you must consider their needs and preferences. This avoids negative sentiment and the notion of “feeling forced” to participate.
- Provide resources and tech – Provide employees with the resources and wellness tech they need to support their health. Consider which programs and software suit your business and provide you with an employee-first solution.
- Create a supportive work environment – Create a work environment that supports employee wellness. Encourage taking breaks, prioritising work-life balance, and support flexible work arrangements and mental health programs. Create openness and inclusion around the discussion.
- Evaluate and adjust – Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your wellness initiatives and make adjustments as needed to ensure that they meet employees’ needs and support their health and well-being.
Improving employee wellness is an ongoing process that requires commitment and effort from employees and employers. By taking these steps, companies can create a work environment that supports the health and well-being of their employees, leading to a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce.
Are you looking for employee-first wellness software? Book a Kind Mind demo today.