The Wellbeing Strategies of Game-Changing Companies


Any company that starts to think about the wellbeing of its teams should be applauded, but there is the right and wrong way to do this in my opinion. It’s all too easy for companies to talk the talk, but if you want your wellbeing strategy to be effective, here are the things you need to consider.

Don’t invest blindly

Perform an audit (interviews and a carefully-considered survey) to understand the effectiveness of your existing wellbeing spend and where the gaps are. Very often there are issues, but they aren’t necessarily where the HR team thought they would be. An effective wellbeing strategy is based on data not guesswork.

Get to the root of the problem

Don’t fall into the trap of mistaking perks as wellbeing initiatives; putting fruit bowls in offices won’t change how people feel. Addressing issues ranging from sleep and mental health education; having standing desks and walking meetings; providing access to natural light; considerate email policies and non-judgemental agile working policies are what we’re talking about.

Involve your leadership team

The health of your people is the health of your business, so by involving your leadership team in a health coaching program is a smart way to start (providing your strategy doesn’t ignore the rest of the workforce). Healthy leaders make better decisions, are more productive and will set the cultural tone for the rest of the business.

Have a c-suite level leader announce the strategy

When a senior leader explains why wellbeing is so personal to them and what impact prioritising health and wellbeing has had on them and their career, it becomes 10x more powerful. If one of your leadership team becomes the ‘face’ of your wellbeing strategy, it will send a strong message throughout the company that this is real, it’s taken seriously and isn’t just a PR exercise.

Avoid short-term thinking

There are quick wins to be had, but a meaningful wellbeing strategy will take a while to have effect. Very often you’re trying to make cultural changes, and this takes time. A phased approach means you can measure results to see how effective your actions are as you go, but still make incremental progress. Don’t start too small though – commit to a plan of action!

Make it inclusive

Aside from your office-based teams, consider your remote workers as well. The challenges they face might be quite different – if they work on client site for example, they will be potentially operating in a very different culture to yours. What impact does that have on their wellbeing? Does your strategy cover everyone, from top to bottom?

Don’t do nothing!

All too often I see or hear about companies doing too little or ignoring the need for a robust wellbeing strategy. This is a mistake in my opinion. Wellbeing is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also going to be the way companies compete for talent. It will no longer be about company cars, corner offices or salary and bonuses – how you look after your people will be a significant competitive advantage.

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