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Wellbeing is set to be high on corporate agendas for 2023. And yet, less than half of businesses have a formal wellbeing strategy in place – just 44% according to Aon’s employee benefits survey. With companies busy managing the transition to hybrid work, it’s easy to see why this task might relegated to the ‘someday’ pile. However, giving some thought to your priorities and areas of focus is well worth your time. By having one you will be equipped with a clear direction for your team and a framework you can reference for decision-making. When it comes time to securing budget for your wellbeing initiatives, communicating the return on investment to your stakeholders will be significantly easier with a well-defined strategy. It will also make the task of comparing the market for providers of corporate wellbeing services much less complicated, as you will have a vivid idea of what it is you’re looking for and why. Drafting a wellbeing strategy need not be a mammoth task. An effective wellbeing strategy should be tailored to the specific needs and goals of the organisation. Below we outline some key steps to consider when putting one together for your company.

Identify the specific areas of wellbeing that you want to focus on. It may be helpful to ask yourself the question, “what do our staff need to flourish and do their best work?” Starting in broad terms, you may think of physical health, mental health, financial stability, or social bonds. From there, you can drill deeper to more specific outcomes, for example: a reduced incidence of back pain, improved resilience to stress, or fostering a stronger sense of community among those in your office and working from home.

Conduct a thorough assessment of the current state of wellbeing in your organisation, including surveying employees and collecting data on relevant metrics such as absenteeism, turnover, and productivity. It may be helpful to consider qualitative data from exit interviews – they are very often a valuable source of honest feedback!

Develop clear, measurable goals for improving wellbeing, and create a plan for achieving those goals that includes specific actions and timelines. Going back to the items you highlighted in the first step – how can you objectively and quantifiably measure progress in these areas? When do you want to accomplish this improvement by? For each item, find a way to calculate where your business is currently, if you haven’t already in the previous step. Then, monitor progress regularly (perhaps once a quarter), to make sure you’re on track to achieve each goal. This data can now be used to course-correct as needed. For example, if you’re still losing too many days to staff who need to take leave for back pain, try offering a Desk Yoga session or a workshop on posture.

Engage employees in the process of designing and implementing the wellbeing strategy, and provide them with the support and resources they need to make positive changes. Many organisations establish wellbeing committees, comprised of individuals from all around the business (not just HR!) to ensure decisions are democratic and inclusive.

Now that your strategy is in place, monitor and evaluate its effectiveness over time, making adjustments as needed to ensure that it continues to meet the objectives you identified. To summarise, an effective wellbeing strategy should be comprehensive, evidence-based, measurable, and focused on the specific needs of your organisation and its employees.

For six years The Office Yoga Company has been working with organisations of all stripes, from Fortune 500 companies, to ambitious start-ups, to governments and world-class universities. To find out more about how we can support the wellbeing of your colleagues, get in touch.