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09 Jan 2024

3 ways to use data to improve employee wellbeing

Data has become even more vital in shaping inclusive wellbeing initiatives as more companies recognise the importance of investing in employee happiness, satisfaction and wellbeing

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Enhancing employee wellbeing has become increasingly crucial for companies aiming to both attract and maintain top talent.

Executive Networks’  The Future Workplace 2021 HR Sentiment Survey found that 68% of senior HR leaders rated employee wellbeing and mental health as top priorities. And the perceived importance of these kinds of inclusive wellness initiatives has only increased since the survey.

Many employees want employers who will support their mental and physical health. Deloitte’s 2023 Well Being at Work survey found that less than two-thirds of employees are satisfied with their current levels of physical and mental wellbeing. This presents a prime opportunity for organisations to stay ahead of the competition by using data to analyse, promote and adapt benefits that are key to employee happiness.

1. Analyse whether your benefits promote wellbeing

More and more companies are realising the importance of benefits that support employee wellbeing. For example, Gartner reported that 45% of wellness budget increases were distributed among “mental and emotional wellbeing programmes.” By using data to analyse their benefits offering, organisations can identify which wellness programmes are being used vs those that have had little or no take-up.

By understanding whether mental health resources, wellness programmes, or fitness classes for example are most popular among workers, leaders can offer more of the specific wellness initiatives employees are drawn to.

It’s not hard to obtain this kind of data — you probably already have access to it, but need tools to monitor and analyse how benefits are used. To effectively analyse your benefits offering, consider surveying your employees about which they would value the most. Additionally, you could use a digital platform to track the up-take of your offerings.

This data-oriented approach can revolutionise benefit analysis, evolving it into a continuous conversation centred on inclusive wellbeing. By doing so, it showcases a commitment to fostering overall satisfaction and happiness across the entire company.

2. Promote less-used benefits

Even the best-intentioned wellbeing programmes can fail if employees are unaware of the full range of benefits available. Identifying which benefits are underused can help organisations create targeted communication that share the full range of benefits available and how to access them.

A 2021 study by BCG found that “almost 15% of employees globally do not feel included in their workplaces”. Targeted communication campaigns that raise awareness about overlooked perks can be a great way to spark employee engagement and inform them about all you’re doing behind the scenes to support their wellbeing.

These communications can be emails, seminars, or a dedicated platform designed to organise and present your benefits. If certain benefits are rarely used, employees either aren’t aware of them due to a lack of communication, or simply aren’t interested in them. Ultimately, this knowledge will allow you to improve your communication strategy or allocate funds to more desired benefits.

3. Adapt benefit offerings to fit employee needs

Employee wellbeing is not a one-size-fits-all concept, and employees tend to seek out more customised benefits. For instance, MetLife found in its Re:Me Research that 50% of employees would accept a pay cut in exchange for more tailored benefits.

Recognising the diverse needs of a workforce requires an inclusive, data-driven approach to wellbeing initiatives. Analysing which benefits are used most by particular teams or individuals based in certain regions lets leaders adjust their offerings to the specific needs of their employees rather than assuming what will work best for everyone.

Using data to make continuous adjustments to wellness programmes ensures that you can maintain high satisfaction levels company-wide.

Building a culture of wellbeing with data

There is a definitive link between performance and inclusion, meaning that to encourage productivity and success from employees, leaders need to focus on creating a workplace that promotes inclusive wellbeing.

When you analyse your benefits, promote lesser-known offerings and adapt to diversity, your employees will recognise your dedication to their wellbeing.

Whether reviewed among teams or on an individual level, data helps leaders create a benefits strategy that aligns with on-going specific needs rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach.

While promoting a culture of wellbeing within your organisation, bear in mind the pivotal role of data in fostering an inclusive workplace environment that prioritises employee satisfaction and happiness.

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