Wellbeing’s not a ground swell solution; it starts at the top and filters down.

Friday, 12th January 2024


The benefits of a successful employee wellbeing strategy have been well documented however with no silver bullet solutions we can easily get it wrong. A quick web search will identify hundreds of wellbeing apps, portals, consultants, and counsellors, all immediately available to support your employees’ wellbeing needs. But where do you start? How do you ensure you invest in the right solutions and avoid wellbeing washing? How do you develop a wellbeing strategy if you haven’t developed one before? And how do you actually empower employees to engage in their wellbeing? Here are four tips that we use to help leaders make smarter wellbeing decisions.

TIP 1. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SEEK EXPERT SUPPORT – developing a wellbeing strategy isn’t generally a core skill. Using external expertise to develop and perhaps even execute your wellbeing strategy is often critical for success. Many businesses outsource essential but non-core functions such as IT or legal services, so outsourcing Wellbeing shouldn’t be a concern; it’s often a wise choice.

TIP 2. MEASURE & REPORT REGULARLY – wellbeing is notoriously difficult to measure however periodically asking employees how happy they are with the level of support you provide demonstrates what you need to keep doing and what you need to do differently. At KAYA we suggest that you focus on measuring and reporting three things:
Employee Wellbeing Experiences – do employees feel supported, are you delivering on your wellbeing promise and are your investments hitting the mark?
Employee Wellbeing Challenges – what are the root causes of employee wellbeing issues and what impact are they having on their lives and your organisation’s performance?
Employee Wellbeing Support Needs – what wellbeing support do employees actually need and when might they need it?

TIP 3. MAKE WELLBEING PERSONAL – when it comes to wellbeing one size certainly doesn’t fit all. Simply providing a set of support materials, resources or apps isn’t enough to engage employees. You need to recognise that wellbeing needs change and develop over time and employees don’t always want to talk to you about them. Investments need to support all aspects of wellbeing, they need to be accessible anonymously and through channels and systems that are accessible for all employees e.g. a mobile app or mobile web platform.

TIP 4. LEAD BY EXAMPLE – whether you are an owner-leader or part of a leadership team you have to believe in the benefits of wellbeing and adopt the right behaviours yourself if you expect employees to embrace their wellbeing. Simply saying ‘Wellbeing is important’ isn’t enough. Employees trust what their employers tell them and often mimic leadership behaviours, so practice what you preach and start your wellbeing journey first.

Wellbeing is fast becoming a key factor on whether a business succeeds or fails, whether employees join or leave and whether employees maintain high performance in new hybrid working environments. If wellbeing really is important to you and your business, set the example, get the right support, measure, and identify needs and ensure wellbeing is personalised. If you want to baseline your wellbeing levels and check to see if you are wellbeing washing, try our KAYA Wellbeing Insight survey for free here.