How to effectively measure employee wellbeing

The concept of employee wellbeing has shifted dramatically in recent years, especially with the changes in the way we work post-pandemic. 

While wellbeing has definitely moved up the corporate agenda, 70% of employers don’t have a specific budget for health and wellness and only 9% are actively measuring the impact of their wellbeing programmes. 

With the huge increase in remote working likely to remain for the foreseeable future, measuring employee wellbeing among a workforce that is spread across the country – or even the globe – requires an agile approach. Leadership teams need to think outside the box when it comes to effectively measuring wellbeing at work.

After all, how can we understand our ability to support employee wellbeing effectively if we aren’t consistently collecting data and measuring the impact of our actions?

Why measure employee wellbeing?

Employee wellbeing can sometimes be overlooked, yet it’s been shown in study after study that workplace wellbeing and performance go hand in hand. Happy, healthy teams tend to lead to successful businesses, with higher productivity and job satisfaction positively impacting both the individual and the wider organisation. 

Before we look at the specific metrics to measure, it’s worth considering why it’s helpful for employers to have a set of clear data points to continually chart progress over time. Establishing employee wellbeing metrics – both within each team and across your entire organisation – allows you to effectively track the impact of your employee wellbeing initiatives. 

Only through tracking your initiatives over an extended period can you start to set KPIs on employee wellbeing, as well as see patterns emerge that allow you to make changes where needed.  

What are the key metrics to measure?

There are a number of metrics companies can use to track and measure employee wellbeing, each offering different insights into the mental, physical and social wellbeing of a team. Let’s take a look at how you can effectively monitor employee wellbeing at work.

Employee surveys

One of the most effective ways to measure employee wellbeing is gathering direct feedback on overall employee satisfaction from your team. Obvious as it might sound, regularly asking for feedback can be an overlooked method of measuring the wellbeing of employees. Wellbeing is subjective, so effectively tracking employee wellbeing relies on regular self reports, using the same method of providing feedback each time. 

Consistency is key to producing actionable data, so set regular intervals to gather feedback. Make feedback surveys anonymous, as this will encourage employees to tell the truth about any dissatisfaction or challenges. Make sure your surveys are short and easy to fill out too, otherwise employees won’t take part. 

The key here is getting the majority of employees to participate in an authentic and open way. It’s vital to foster a culture of trust and psychological safety, where employees feel they can give open feedback and that importantly, their voices are heard and action is taken as a result.

Lots of companies use an employee satisfaction score, allowing you to chart responses against company KPIs on employee wellbeing over time. 

Engagement and retention rates

Employee engagement and retention rates can be a worthwhile employee wellbeing metric to track within an organisation. Although data alone doesn’t always provide a full picture, using metrics including staff turnover, number of absences and individual performance feedback alongside self-reported data can provide a wide angle insight into team wellbeing. That being said, it can often raise questions that need to be explored further in one to one discussions.

Employee forums

Creating an open culture of feedback within the workplace can play an important role in measuring employee wellbeing. Facilitating a forum where employees of all levels can voice how they feel and discuss whether the company is supporting their wellbeing isn’t always an easy aim to achieve, yet it’s vital for capturing the true feeling amongst team members. 

Try hosting drop in sessions – either in person or virtually, or arrange regular round tables to show employees that their voice matters. Several organisations have created ‘wellbeing committees’ with employee representatives making sure diverse voices are heard. 

Keep reading

These are just some of the insights from our workplace wellbeing report, bringing together the voices of thousands of employees to discover the true state of wellbeing at work. Make yourself a cuppa and have a read!

We hope you find our report interesting and helpful. Questions, thoughts or reflections on what we’ve found and what it might mean for your business? Do reach out for a chat with our CEO, Katy

Katy Brown

Katy Brown

Katy is passionate about wellness, loves making things happen and believes that we can all achieve more together. She’s usually found munro bagging with her dog Lucky in the highlands of Scotland.

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