3 Questions to Ask Before Launching a Wellbeing Program

September 6, 2016

You can see the future, and it’s looking bright. Everyone at your company is feeling energized and enthusiastic about their work, connected to the people around them, and full of vitality.

Sounds great, right? It’s easy to imagine that a wellbeing program will solve all of your company’s problems and transform your employee experience. But it’s important to take some time to clearly define exactly what your goals are for your wellbeing program.

Here are three big questions to ask yourself before you launch any wellbeing program.

1. What are the wellbeing patterns/problems you’ve identified? If none yet, how will you keep tabs on this over time?

Whether it’s through anecdotal observation, data collected via engagement surveys, or HR statistics like sick days and attrition rates, take time to understand how your people are feeling. Are they stressed and tired? Energetic and motivated?

If your company is relatively young or small, these patterns may not have emerged yet. If that’s the case, it’s still important to create a game plan. What are some potential problems you anticipate? What sort of data do you think will be useful in helping you to keep tabs on employee morale and wellbeing?

2. Are there aspects of your culture/organization that are making burnout/illness more common among employees?

Using the information you’ve gathered in order to answer the previous question, you may have already identified some general problems such as stress and burnout. Now can you zero in a bit more to see what aspects of your company culture are creating or exacerbating the situation.

For example, do you see salespeople getting stressed and burnt out at the end of every quarter as they hustle to meet their quota? Are your engineers quitting once they get promoted from individual contributor to manager positions because they hate overseeing others? Or is your entire company working around the clock because that’s what people believe they need to do in order to be successful?

If you do see a connection between your company culture or structure and employee experience, think about what you can do to address this. The answer may be in manager training, communication with employees, or in adopting new programs to help you move away from unhealthy patterns.

3. What types of results are you looking for?

If you’re considering launching any sort of program, it’s a good idea to think about what types of results you’d like to get. Are you hoping to achieve a certain percentage of participation? Looking to lower the cost of your health care spending? Or do you want better ratings on your employee engagement survey, fewer sick days, or lower attrition rates?

You may find it helpful to think about which metrics will matter most to your stakeholders as well as your employees. This may mean measuring results across a few different dimensions. One quick point to note here: according to the Willis Health And Productivity Report, companies that take a Value on Investment (VOI) approach (measuring things like engagement and retention rather than health care expenses) tend to be more satisfied with the impact of their programs. So even though VOI is tougher to measure, it may be worth the added difficulty!

It’s exciting to launch a new program, and there’s nothing wrong with anticipating the positive outcomes that your employees will enjoy once it’s up and running. But at the same time, it’s important to take some time to clearly define your problem areas and how exactly you expect your wellbeing program to address them. By spending some time to go through these questions before you launch, you’ll be giving yourself a much better chance of experiencing that ideal work scenario we described at the beginning of this post!

Want to learn more about the employee wellbeing landscape and how other companies are supporting their employees? Download a copy of “Your Definitive Guide to the Employee Wellbeing Landscape” by clicking on the button below!

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