Wellbeing has become a buzzword during Covid-19, but how do you actually measure Employee Wellbeing? Moreover, how do you even begin to understand the bottom line impact of your initiatives to improve Employee Wellbeing?
The answer begins by considering the consequences of what happens when organisations don’t address the wellbeing of their employees.
What is the big deal about Employee Wellbeing?
The economic impact of poor wellbeing – manifested as stress-related illness – is straightforward to measure as most organisations hold data on employee absences. Researchers can then interrogate this data and extrapolate the impact on lost productivity.
For example, the Labour Force Survey conducted by the UK Health & Safety Executive reported that stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 54% of all working days lost due to ill health in 2018/19.
This equates to a staggering 12.8 million work days (35,000 work years!) lost to mental ill health during this period.
It is estimated that these absences cost UK businesses over £100 billion annually in lost productivity.
To put that figure into perspective, this is approximately the amount that the UK Government is expected to spend on the HS2 rail project – the largest UK infrastructure project in over a century – being wasted every single year.
For the millions of individual people behind these statistics, work-related stress can be a contributing factor to mental health issues, asthma, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even premature death.
It is for these reasons that progressive organisations are recognising Employee Wellbeing as an enabler of financial performance, a necessary pre-requisite for retaining their best people and creating circumstances in which they can perform at their best.
What makes a good Employee Wellbeing initiative?
Most employers already have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and a Mental Health First Aid initiative in place. These measures have rightly become accepted as a basic requirement to identify and assist those who may be actively struggling with work-related stress.
However, the latest evidence shows that the most effective wellbeing programs are those that proactively build the resilience of all employees, irrespective of whether they are currently identified as struggling with stress.
Research conducted by Deloitte in January 2020 measured the financial return achieved by employers who made investments in employee wellbeing programs.
Their findings were that:
Employers obtain an average return of £5 for every £1 invested in employee wellbeing programs
The best returns come from interventions that are focused on prevention of stress-related illness or that are designed to build employee resilience
Programs specifically dedicated to developing resilience were able to demonstrate a return on investment of up to £11 for every £1 spent
What is the best way to build Employee Resilience?
The resilience level of any individual is governed by diverse range of thoughts, feelings, beliefs and external factors.
So, whilst setting up online Resilience Training for your team during Covid-19 might have been a great first step, the best interventions augment this type of session with psychometric assessments and individual coaching.
To that end, the most comprehensive measure of human resilience is the RQi™, a psychometric test that measures participant’s resilience across six different elements: Purpose & Fulfilment, Positive Mindset, Managing Emotions, Managing Problems, Supportive Relationships and Managing Physiology.
Research shows that when RQi™ respondents are ranked according to their scores on specific sub-scales, people in the top quartile (i.e. most resilient) vs. bottom quartile have:
110% Higher Subjective Wellbeing
58% Lower Stress Scores
42% Fewer Sick Days
This means that organisations who invest in developing the RQi™ of their people can expect to reduce the risk of stress-related illness, reduce absence and boost the subjective wellbeing of their employees.
During the unique challenges of Covid-19, some of the world’s best-known companies are doing exactly that; partnering with Brass Tacks Resilience to understand, coach and develop the resilience of their employees.
RQi™ is a trademark of Thrive Training Limited.