At the heart of employee wellbeing for organisations and workers alike is boosting health and happiness through effective interventions. To measure just how effective your wellbeing efforts are, you must firstly understand which areas to evaluate. Only then can you identify the areas that demand attention and have a clear vision of the changes that are required.
There are four key areas to focus on when determining whether your wellbeing programme is effective:
Resources: Are people and financial resources being used appropriately?
Interventions: Which activities are working and which are not?
Outcomes: Has wellbeing improved as a result of these interventions?
Organisational Goals: Are the objectives set by the board and senior management being met?
For each of these four areas, you should have clearly defined measures of success, comprising qualitative and qualitative measures. For some interventions, feedback and evaluation can take place after the fact. Whereas for others, measuring success should take place alongside the activities being performed.
When it comes to evaluation, start with your people and don’t underestimate the value of qualitative feedback. Numbers help to paint the picture, but the sentiments of your people provide much needed texture. When gathering feedback you should be inclusive and expansive so that everyone's voice is heard. Common feedback channels are activity-level evaluation forms, surveys, focus groups, interviews and even an open door to receive ad hoc feedback.
Credible data is critical to measurements. Identify the data you require, the source of the data, and the means to collect the data throughout the delivery of your wellbeing programme. Once you have organised that data you can interpret it. Strive for clarity on where you are excelling, where you have improved and what you haven’t yet addressed.
When measuring your activities, it’s important to validate the technologies being used in your wellbeing programme. Welbot has worked with customers to identify the four measures that best evaluate our wellbeing platform. Customers measure the increase in their benefits and EAP usage, product engagement stats and regular qualitative feedback from users.
Welbot provides a means of delivering custom notifications that have been shown to increase interest in employee benefits by more than 400%. The same functionality has led to increased registration in existing employee benefits such as the company EAP and attendance at mental health webinars. Connecting employees to the suite of benefits available to them is a key step to delivering good return on investment in wellbeing.
Research from the NHS found that the return on investment of workplace mental health interventions is overwhelmingly positive, with an average return on investment of 4:1. Remember: prevention is better than cure. It’s clear that organisational wellbeing programmes can deliver meaningful impact — with considered planning and focus there is no reason that ROI be limited to 4:1.
Finally, accurate measurements require objectivity and honesty in your approach. Evaluate your efforts to see what difference your current programmes are making and what you have to change to make it better.