` Why the wellbeing experience is key to a thriving organisation | Reward and Employee Benefits Association (REBA)
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21 Apr 2022
by Melis Abacıoğlu

Why the wellbeing experience is key to a thriving organisation

According to Gallup research, just 32% of employees globally describe themselves as “thriving”

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The employee global wellbeing market today is worth $61bn, according to data from the Global Wellness Institute. Despite this, according to Gallup research, just 32% of global employees describe themselves as “thriving”, the rest are either struggling or just downright not well. This raises the question of where is all that investment going? 

According to the 2021 Bersin the Healthy Organization report, organisations that employ wellbeing as a strategy, not as a tool or benefit, are 2.2 times more likely to hit their annual financial targets. Moreover, these organisations’ wellbeing strategy also shows a triple-fold increase in engagement of all employees.

At the Wellbees team, we call that journey the wellbeing experience (WX). If employee experience is the granddaughter of customer experience, the WX is the unborn child. As with all E-xperiences, ‘listening’ and continuous improvement lies at the core of the WX approach. Within this family tree, the missing piece is wellbeing analytics, ie listening to the wellbeing metrics to reach the peak levels of a healthy organisation.

The first steps in the journey are consent and transparency. Simply put, disclose and make available what exactly you will be listening to and how you would be putting that to use. What we listen to rather than how many people we listen to is a crucial difference in achieving the ultimate wellbeing experience.

Choosing what you will be listening to when it comes to wellbeing analytics might prove to be a challenge because it is an uncharted water, making it difficult to know where to begin. There might be data that may not be appropriate to measure or easy to capture. This is why embracing multiple theories addressing wellbeing are a good a starting point, such as Martin Seligman’s PERMA-V model, the Wellbeing Wheel, and Josh Bersin’s Healthy Organisation, measuring using a variety of tools. If you are unsure where to start, below are some of the wellbeing metrics we suggest measuring in an aggregate way to get a holistic wellbeing analytics approach – always keeping in mind that each organisation will find its own path on the WX journey:  

Positive feelings: Sentiment analysis through artificial intelligence.
Emotional health: Questionnaires, emotion measurements, and focus groups.
Physical health: (such as step count, sleep, water, and nutrition): Indicated through surveys, focus groups, and  apps.
Social health: Analysis of healthy communication between different employees at different locations or departments, common interests of employees, and analysis of comments shared in public channels. 
Workload Management: Indicated through calendar integration.

A real life example
Let us put these theories to the test and discuss a real-life example. This one case study focuses on 300 people working for a technology company. When we measured the overall wellbeing of the company, although it had a young and dynamic workforce, we discovered that they were moving very little and were unhappy with their quality of life.

Focusing on the lack of physical activity in this workforce, we initiated a step challenge comparing the number of steps employees took. This resulted in a net increase in the average number of steps company-wide by 73%. However, that was only the first step in bringing about the change. 

While the workforce was increasing its daily steps, we were analysing the secondary effects of increased physical activity on their emotional health. We discovered that for employees who increased their average number of steps, there was a 16% improvement in emotional state. 

Due to the nature of the analysis, we cannot conclusively determine whether the employees took more steps because they felt good, or whether they felt better because they took more steps. However, positive changes in these two areas at the same time were the result wanted. Other research here also shows (eg Kelly, P. et al., British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2018) that those who do take more steps do indeed feel better. 

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. This message is more applicable than ever because wellbeing is a human phenomenon that you can’t manage by measuring different metrics alone. Numbers are only part of the story that starts and ends with employee wellbeing. 

Author: 
Melis Abacıoğlu,
Founder and CEO, Wellbees
 

In partnership with Wellbees

A Corporate Wellbeing Platform

Contact us today

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