Employee Wellbeing, Stress Management, and Work-Life-Balance
ROI 5:1 (Deloitte, 2020) - If employers spend £1 on workplace wellbeing, they can expect to see £1 in return (reduced absence, presenteeism, staff turnover)
Why Workplace Wellbeing Initiatives Aren't Working By Carlene Smith
"One Size Fits All"
Challenge: Wellbeing is subjective and individual. This means what works for me may not work for you and everyone else. One mistake organisations make is to implement some generic solutions and essentially hope for the best. While these solutions may work for some people, it may not work for others, and if the people it doesn’t work for are the ones struggling the most, workplace wellbeing will continue to deteriorate.
Solution: Organisations need to talk to their people, find out what is happening and what people actually need. This can done through a survey or other assessment method – ask people “what can we do for you”.
How Business Psychologists Can Help: Business psychologists can help organisations identify which questions to ask and how to ask them (by designing surveys and interviewing procedures). Additionally, business psychologists can assist with analysing the data resulting from these surveys and interviews. Through this, they can identify trends which can then be organised into a hierarchy of urgency that helps to clarify which issues need to be addressed when.
Addressing Symptoms, Not The Cause
Challenge: Symptoms are what people can see so it’s easy to
address these. The cause may not be as obvious. Another mistake
organisations make is to address what they can see is happening
(the symptoms) without exploring the reason behind the
symptoms. To fully improve workplace wellbeing, organisations
need to understand the causes behind symptoms and behaviours,
that way we aren’t using “sticking pasters”,
we are solving the problem in order to eliminate it completely.
Solution: Again, talk to your people, dig deeper than surface level “what are you feeling”. Ask “why”. This again can be done through assessment methods such as a survey.
How Business Psychologists Can Help: As business psychologists come into an organisation with a more neutral stance than in-house Human Resource staff and managers, they might be more likely to identify the "why" behind challenges. These might be harder to identify by employees that are immersed in the company culture.
Wellbeing and Strategy/Objectives
Challenge: Often organisations address wellbeing separately from other business functions – it’s a side job. This can result in solutions becoming fads and fading out overtime. If organisations integrate their approach to workplace wellbeing with business objectives and strategies, it can become as much as part of the organisation as production or performance is. Although this takes time and effort, it’s worth it in the long run.
Solution: Consider the bigger picture. Ask yourself, what role does workplace wellbeing play in this organisation? Consider KPI’s – what workplace wellbeing KPI’s do we have or could have? Is workplace wellbeing something we value, if so, how do we show this?
How Business Psychologists Can Help: Business psychologsists can help identify possible KPI's and help organisations make plans on how to achieve them.
Deloitte (2020, January 22). Poor Mental Health Costs UK Employers Up to £45 Billion a Year [Press Release]. Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/press-releases/articles/poor-mental-health-costs-uk-employers-up-to-pound-45-billion-a-year.html.