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27 Jan 2023

The personal touch: the way to an inclusive wellbeing strategy

The most effective way to create an inclusive and personalised wellbeing strategy that will boost the employee experience is never to lose sight of who you’re doing it for

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An inclusive wellbeing strategy should cover mental, physical, financial and social wellbeing benefits made accessible to all employees. But investigation is needed to find out what employees will appreciate and benefit from the most.

There are two common reasons why businesses implement a wellbeing strategy:

1. The employer understands their role in supporting the physical, mental and financial wellbeing of their employees.

2. The employer understands that the business benefits when it invests in employee wellbeing.

Whatever the driver is, people are at the heart. Employees can make or break the success of an employee wellbeing strategy because their engagement and uptake are essential for making it cost-effective and sustainable.

A people-driven approach

When you’re striving to create a wellbeing strategy that will be inclusive and benefit all your employees, that’s where you start: with your workforce. Some employees will be more aware of what wellbeing benefits are available in the market than others. It’s also fair to say that knowledge and opinions on health and wellbeing will differ from one person to the next.

Biscuits or fruit?

You can assess your employees’ perception of health and wellbeing in several ways, such as noticing those that sit at their desk during lunch, head out for a walk, or take themselves away from their work space for a break.

If you provide drinks and snacks in the office, which are most appreciated? The fresh fruit or the biscuits? It’s a simple but effective way to learn about employee behaviour. However, the aim is personalisation, so further information gathering is needed by organising anonymous surveys about your employees’ lifestyle and wellbeing priorities.

Physical wellbeing 

Physical wellbeing benefits are a great example to use when exploring the concept of personalisation. Your strategy can look quite different from another business’s, especially if you’ve listened to your people. Physical wellbeing benefits include cycle-to-work schemes, discounted gym memberships, health screening, virtual GP and more.

It’s a wellbeing pillar that encompasses helping employees to get active or supporting their health and medical needs.

The age range of your employees may also affect their preferences. 

Research undertaken in 2019 into private medical insurance (PMI) use suggested that the highest rate of people dropping PMI was among those in the 25 to 34 age range.

This doesn’t mean that health isn’t important to that group because statistics show that Millennials, ranging from age 25 to 40, are most likely to have a gym membership, with Generation X, ranging from age 42 to 57, not too far behind.

You could take from this the belief that the age range least interested in being offered PMI is most interested in receiving a discounted gym membership.

This is an assumption based on the research available. Your business, however, has the means to gather information that’s specific to your people and make data-led decisions.

Planning your approach

Every business approaches wellbeing strategy differently. Some will incorporate multiple packages in one go, selecting complementary employee benefits. For example, if employee health is the priority, you could incorporate a physical wellbeing product alongside an employee assistance programme to support them mentally and physically.

However, other employers may initially integrate the most popular or cost-effective packages before adding other benefits and building the package.

The most effective way to create an inclusive and personalised wellbeing strategy that will boost the employee experience is never to lose sight of who you’re doing it for.

Speak with your people from the start, then keep that communication going. Don’t just find out what they want, but discuss your decisions and plans with them so they can understand how the overall strategy will evolve to benefit their wellbeing and employee experience.

In partnership with Sodexo Engage

Our belief is strong and simple: to transform the ways in which people work.

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