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14 Sep 2023
by Victoria Davidson

5 tips on how benefits data can guide wellbeing strategy

Data is everywhere, but it needs to be the right data to tell you the full story

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Collecting and analysing the data from your health and wellbeing benefits is crucial to understanding not only the health of your workforce, but also the effectiveness of your interventions.

To capture useful data and make the most of it, a strategic approach to data insight and management is needed. Here are some of the ways you can get your data to guide your health and wellbeing strategy, to influence employee culture and attitudes towards health in your business.

1. Combine insights across providers

Organisations rely on their health and wellbeing providers to share relevant data insights, which sometimes may not provide the full picture. When analysing data and what it means, ask your providers to share all the data they have captured on the health and wellbeing of your employees – not just the data they think is relevant.

Pulling data from across all your providers and analysing insights in conjunction is the best way to identify patterns and trends in employee health that may otherwise not be associated. For example, we often see musculoskeletal conditions linked to a variety of underlying causes such as weight and inactivity).

With this wider insight you can address the root cause (e.g. weight or inactivity) and prevent ill health conditions from reoccurring.

2. Use data to be proactive

Much of what we at HCML see in the data we collect relates to the correlation of causal and underlying risk factors such as nutrition, sleep, and activity with ill health conditions. Using the data and understanding these risks helps you to develop evidence-based interventions.

What works for one business may not work for another – put in place programmes, policies and guidance that directly target the wellbeing needs or cultural challenges of your business.

Giving your employees the means to help improve their health will drive engagement, instil a culture among employees of taking responsibility for their health and take you from a reactive to a proactive approach when it comes to your health and wellbeing strategy.

3. Align strategy with values and culture

Leveraging data to design a health and wellbeing programme that addresses all the challenges identified is a priority, but must take your organisational values and culture into consideration or you will find a distinct lack of employee engagement. The solutions you put in place must resonate with your employees.

If you don’t instil a culture that lends itself to health and wellbeing in the first place, it’s unlikely that your workforce will be receptive to seemingly contrasting changes in the benefits offered, however well-intentioned they may be.

Setting the tone, communicating frequently and focusing on developing a culture and values that reflect interest in your employee’s wellbeing are key to influencing attitudes and take-up.

4. Be transparent and engage key stakeholders

Share data insights with the key stakeholders within your organisation to build a case for developing a bespoke wellbeing programme or enhancing your existing one to influence culture change and employee attitudes and engagement.

When armed with key facts and insights, you can be confident about bringing others along with you and getting the buy-in you need.

Transparency with data among your workforce is also important, not only to build awareness but to demonstrate the benefits to employees and drive their engagement. Equally, this can help you build a team of advocates who can help gather direct feedback from employees.

5. Adapt and evolve

By capturing the right data regularly, you can continuously monitor your health and wellbeing programme’s effectiveness and how your employees are responding to initiatives. This includes data from the services you provide as well as employee feedback.

Consider using regular ‘pulse’ employee surveys instead of once-a-year engagement/health and wellbeing surveys, which can be time-consuming and lack employee engagement.

Pulse surveys help you to monitor the ‘temperature’ of the business at any given time, are quick for employees to respond to and allow you to be more proactive. Combining service data and employee feedback will help you refine your strategy and cultural initiatives over time.

Data is critical when it comes to understanding what your workforce needs and implementing a health and wellbeing strategy that sets a precedent for a healthy and engaged workforce.    

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HCML is a health and wellbeing provider, offering integrated and personalised healthcare solutions.

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