The 7 Key Ways That Organisations Get Their Health and Wellness Programmes Wrong

Many organisations have a very superficial view on health and believe it is about implementing health and safety legislation, fruit in the office, maybe desk yoga, cycle to work to work schemes, mental Health talks or well-being days.

We’ve identified 7 areas where we believe organisations are getting Health and Well-being wrong.

1. The Wrong Definition

Many organisations are using a very outdated version of health focusing only on the physical side with some aspects of mental health included. The best are using a more holistic model which measure purpose and alignment, demands and resources, stress and control, learning and adaptability, financial, emotional and social well-being, relationships and support, optimism and self-efficacy, recovery, fitness and workplace safety (both physical and psychological).

2. Not Data Driven

The leading organisations use data to have an evidence base with associated benchmarks to give themselves a baseline starting point, targeting their investments to areas of greatest need. There is a constant cycle of data collection and targeted execution.

3. No Clearly Articulated Plan

The best organisations have a clear data-based plan, with a vision, goals, measures and plans to promote action areas. Everybody is committed to the successful implementation of that plan.

4. No Impact or Success Measures

Return on Wellness is as important a metric as return on investment, in fact, they could be seen as one and the same. It is crucial to set several factors that you will measure to determine whether your investment has been worthwhile.

Those measures may include a Healthy Place to Work survey scores, absence rates related to health, litigation related to stress, workplace accidents, healthcare insurance costs, staff retention or attrition, underperformance, employer brand and general engagement levels.

5. Leaders not Role Models

Change needs to be led from the top. Top Management need to be committed and act as role models.

Health numbers need to be as important as financial numbers. Management need to lead on this issue not just follow.

6. Awareness rather than Action

Most know what they should be doing to be healthy, but they are not doing it. Organisations who focus efforts on driving behavioural change using the latest techniques to move the dial are the ones that see significant and sustainable improvement.

Just talking about healthy eating is very different from ensuring that healthy options are available and subsidised in your workplace canteen. Posters promoting healthy relationships are very different to firing people who consistently bully or make racist comments. Encouraging people not to overwork versus having conversation about spreading workload by investing in more resources or smarter ways of working.

The ones who are achieving success drive real changes in behaviour.

7. No Culture of Health

Organisations who are serious about this topic will have a route and branch review to ensure that their culture is consistent with their stated aspirations about the health of their workforce – They will create a healthy culture throughout the organisation.

Please don’t make these mistakes – learn from the best so you can accelerate your journey to becoming a Healthy Place to Work.