How to get started with your wellbeing programme

Many companies find it hard to get started with wellbeing. More and more organisations are becoming aware of the benefits of having an in-house wellbeing programme but aren’t quite sure how to go about implementing one. After listening in on some interesting talks at the Health and Wellbeing @ Work 2016 exhibition this year, combined with working with wellbeing for some of our clients for years, here are our thoughts.

3 important things to consider that will help you succeed

To get started with a successful wellbeing campaign, keep in mind that the bill-payer needs to stay engaged with the programme and will want to see evidence on results.

  1. The programme needs to be embedded within the business objectives. If you don’t have senior management buy-in your programme will not have good chances of surviving.
  2. Make sure that you give regular updates to the board or other key stakeholders.
  3. Integrate the programme with continuous improvement plans by for example making an individual wellbeing improvement plan per employee.

Most importantly when you start out, make sure to get some quick success stories and share them. This provides motivation, ensuring both management commitment as well as employee engagement in the programme.


How to get ideas for wellbeing initiatives

One issue that many seem to worry about and which stops some organisations from getting started with their own programme is the worry that there will not be enough ideas to work with and to keep working on. Here are some suggestions to help get started:

  1. Use the individual wellbeing improvement plans per employee to get ideas. Also, make sure the programme is aimed at the employees’ needs.
  2. Check out organisations that have done research on Wellbeing for inspiration.
  3. Contact charities and other organisations for free materials, or link in with national or local charities – fundraising is a great way of getting some physical activity and it provides a purpose to be involved.
  4. Empower a local champion – an employee passionate about wellbeing, who can make sure this remains a programme focused on the employees, and who will also ensure that ideas are regularly being generated.

Keep a clear focus

But in the end, don’t forget that you should select one key issue as a priority. As too many will not be bought into, and it will be harder to have clear and focused communication. Make sure your programme has structure, with ideas and action plans.

And finally, as with everything new, accept that not all ideas will work out. Accept this, learn from the mistakes, and move on. Developing a solid programme takes time and will require some trial and error.

One great way to track the success of wellbeing initiatives is using absence metrics. If you track your day-to-day absence levels and reasons for absence, it will be really easy to see if the project had the desired effect on employee health and wellbeing. Not to mention that absence management statistics can give invaluable insight into what areas to focus your wellbeing efforts in. Check out Engage for more detail on absence management software.