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Employee wellbeing is no trend – even though it’s fairly ‘new’, with companies like Google, Facebook, Huffington Post etc, implementing wellbeing strategies in the last decade or less, it is absolutely here to stay.
Heightened importance has been placed on employee wellbeing since:
- the understanding and transparency of mental health struggles have become more apparent (1 in 4 people struggle with poor mental health)
- employers have wisened up to the fact that poor employee wellbeing greatly affects productivity, performance, presenteeism, customer satisfaction, employee turnover and much more.
- Employers have seen how by improving employee wellbeing, a multitude of otherwise costly problems can be avoided.
Other factors that negatively impact employee wellbeing:
– Being overworked / fatigued
– Unfairness, inequality or discrimination in the workplace
– Poor job design (physical and technical)
– Office politics
– Poor workplace culture
– Feeling unappreciated, underpaid etc
– Negative change (layoffs, change in structure etc)
– Poor health (e.g severely over or underweight)
– Poor work/life balance
– Bad lifestyle habits
If employers seek to improve the above factors (at least those within their control), they’ll automatically improve employee wellbeing; given they’re taking the right approach, which involves listening to what their people need and want, and having them drive decision-making.
But many companies approach employee wellbeing amateurly. We say this because it’s not wrong, it’s just not smart – it’s costly, time-consuming and non-sustainable.
Instead of employers listening to their people and understanding their pain points so as to properly solve them (which is the CORRECT way to improve employee wellbeing), they instead ADD a bunch of (usually trendy) things like a discounted gym membership and then hope for the best.
We at Inpulse have 20 years worth of experience in employee engagement and wellbeing, and what we can tell you for sure, is that this approach does not work – because it’s not based on data, or research, or strategy, or anything valuable. It’s based on trends that don’t last.
If your wellbeing strategy sounds something like this, you may want to reconsider it completely:
You’re implementing trendy initiatives to retain and attract talent
There’s nothing wrong with implementing initiatives like free yoga classes, a discounted gym membership, or free lunch etc. These are all great things that I’m sure your people enjoy, but the problem is that they aren’t sustainable. They’re aren’t strategies that improve and maintain employee wellbeing for years to come. They’re fads that gain momentum quick, and then die off very quickly. The worst part is that employers believe that by adding these extra’s they’ll solve their problems, like retention and recruitment of talent. These aren’t solutions, they’re just ‘nice-to-haves. Real solutions that yield rewarding results are one’s that actually solve your people’s problems: like feeling overworked and underappreciated etc. Save your time and money, and understand what it is your people really need and want from you – not what you think they want.
You’re more concerned about people showing up for work, than what they feel about their work
So many employers are concerned with presenteeism (they want their people showing up for work). Nothing wrong with that. But what are you doing to reduce absenteeism? Employers need to be more concerned about what their people feel about their work, and how they feel about being at work, because this is what’ll get them not just showing up, but stepping up. Did you know we specialise in emotional analytics?
You’re following what other companies are doing, and not listening to what your people really want
Don’t fall into the trend trap. If you’re reading PR articles about your competitors implementing this and that trendy wellbeing strategy, and you’re inspired to do the same – rather think again. Think about what your people actually want and need. The case for X is not going to be the case for Y. What their people want, will be different to what your people want. So before investing huge amounts of money and time, find out what your people really want.
You’re throwing benefits at your people to get them to work hard for you
So you want to improve productivity and performance and boost revenue? Nothing wrong with that! But you believe that to achieve this, you need to shower your people with benefits? Well given how expensive this is, you’ll probably be happy to know that this doesn’t work. Again, providing benefits that aren’t solving your people’s problems is going to change absolutely nothing. You may think, well how do I find out what my people’s problems are, and what they feel? Our surveys. Asking them what they feel and why gives you direct access into what’s causing them pain, and what they need and want from you.
You have no data to prove what you’re doing is working for your people – you’re just hoping for the best
Whatever you do to improve wellbeing, should be easily monitored and tracked. You need to know that you’re getting a return on your investments. There’s no way to do this if you’re implementing strategies that you think will work for your people. With our people success platform, you’ll be able to track your survey results – meaning you can track your people’s feelings and emotions about various work-related topics, and find out whether your wellbeing implementations are working for you, your business and your people.
If you’d like a demo of our industry-leading platform, pop some time in the diary and we’ll give you a quick call when you’re ready: https://calendly.com/lucieinpulse/15-minute-intro-call