Research conducted by Kings College London in collaboration with Softer Success recommends that businesses set wellbeing goals to benefit their employee workforces.
There are several key reasons why wellbeing goals are being suggested for employers now. Wellbeing was propelled into the spotlight during COVID-19. We now find ourselves embracing new working patterns in the post-pandemic environment, including hybrid working.
Additionally, the pandemic has facilitated openness and increased transparency around mental health, with many now feeling more comfortable discussing how they feel and what support they may need.
Thirdly, individuals and companies face the reality that they must proactively integrate and prioritize wellbeing into daily schedules and business goals to retain talent, remain efficient, and succeed in the long term.
What is organizational wellbeing?
Wellbeing in the organization is not new, and many companies have a wellbeing program. Initially, supporting employees evolved from Human Resources policies such as absenteeism and Health and Safety policies. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) states that wellbeing in an organization is –
Creating an environment to promote a state of contentment which allows an employee to flourish and achieve their full potential for the benefit of themselves and their organization.
Benefits of wellbeing
A company can promote wellbeing by creating a culture woven into its policies and procedures and offering a comprehensive wellbeing program. These programs can support employees by providing various services, including (but not limited to) mental health support, financial wellbeing, learning and development, gym memberships and classes, and nutritional health.
There are many benefits to having a wellbeing program for both the employee and the organization. These include creating a culture where employees are encouraged and motivated to improve their physical and emotional health, increased job satisfaction, employee retention and enhanced productivity and performance levels, and reduced absenteeism and employee turnover.
A recent survey entitled ‘Health and Wellbeing at Work 2022’ produced by the Chartered Institute for Profesional Development (CIPD) in partnership with Simply Health interviewed 804 UK organizations covering more than four million employees.
The findings are surprising. Only over half of the organizations who responded take a strategic approach to employee wellbeing, with 19% currently not doing anything to improve employee health and wellbeing.
With such an inconsistent approach to employee wellbeing, there is a pressing need to formally incorporate wellbeing into business goals, strategic priorities, and key performance indicators.
Aligning wellbeing and business performance
The research conducted by Kings College highlighted five key recommendations that would help align wellbeing and business performance. These are as follows:
- Define success metrics ensuring a connection between business success and wellbeing;
- Develop a set of simple short, medium, and long-term wellbeing goals that everyone can turn into a habit. These could include a walking meeting or turning the work phone off outside work hours;
- Understanding the personal risks of burnout. While everyone is different, the practice of self-awareness and reflection is essential. Encourage employees to know, understand and disclose their risks of burnout;
- Use tools and external companies to measure employee burnout risk; and.
- Develop a support network that openly shares wellbeing issues and learnings.
No longer an option
Wellbeing goals are no longer an option for any organization. Without specific and tailored wellbeing goals and practices, the business will not be sustainable in the long term. Companies must take urgent responsibility and build a long-term and robust bond between wellbeing and performance.