Rebecca Lundin, co-founder of Celpax, shares an easy way to verify the impact of your employee well-being programs with data.
Not only is a healthy employee more likely to be a productive employee, focus on the whole person at work is also the right thing to do. And both numbers and research are there to support it.
So let’s say that you did all your homework.
You sat down and designed this excellent wellness program together with your well-being committee based on feedback from your employees. The strategy is there, the plan is clear. You’re ready to launch your Employee Well-Being Month!
But hang on.
How Will You Know if Your Employee Well-Being Month Is a Success?
Well, you need to measure progress.
How can you see if employee morale is being positively affected during your Employee Well-Being Month?
And how can you get an indication of which actions have the most significant impact without organizing a survey after each event?
For example, is a surprise Waffle Friday where the CEO prepares the breakfast more popular or effective than organizing a weight loss seminar?
Baseline measurements can be done with a simple pen and paper where you ask employees to answer the same question at the end of every workday.
Any standardized work question will do. For example, at the end of the shift, they get the question: How was your day? Or instead of a pen, you can use a big bowl where you ask employees to put either a green ball or a red ball to let the company know how your workday went. Or why not make it extra visible and fun with red and green balloons? You then count how many green vs. red you got. There are also free vendor options where you hang a device with smiley buttons.
How did employees feel BEFORE the Employee Well-being Initiative?
The beauty of repeating the same question every day â€“ i.e., â€œHow was your day?â€ â€“ is that you always measure the same variable. When you count the feedback, do you get an average of 70% green balloons and 30% red when people evaluate how they feel on a â€œnormalâ€ workday?
You will need at least 14 days of employee mood data to establish a baseline.
Once you have established a baseline of how people feel, it easy to see patterns and trends. You can visualize it either by using a simple Excel sheet to show the percentage of green balls you get per day or on the dashboard if you measure with a provider.
The day you start with your well-being program, your baseline is 70% green.
How will your people react on a day when you organize an event within your Employee Well-Being Program?
Will you get more (or less!) green, compared to a typical workday?
Since you have established a daily baseline by always asking them the same question as they leave work, you can now see the difference and rate how significant the impact of your kick-off meeting for your
Employee Well-Being Program has been. That is, how big is the difference?
Some systems, like the Celpax platform, will automatically identify how big the difference is and rate the workday for you based on your data.
How Do Employees Feel DURING the Employee Well-Being Initiatives?
Let’s have a look at the chart below. The same can be done with a simple Excel sheet using the daily data collected It shows the employee morale evolution over time.
Grey background color: This is the daily employee morale, the â€œbackgroundâ€ data. This KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is calculated using an average of the last 30 rolling days.
Green line: This line shows the employee morale KPI for the days where an event or communication has taken place within the well-being initiatives program.
See how the employee mood spikes during some days? And underperforms for other events? We will soon see which they are.
Which brings us to the next point. What events can you organize?
10 Practical Ideas for Your Employee Well-Being Month
There are tons of fun and exciting events you can organize to promote healthy habits and behaviors among your employees.
Here are 10 quick ideas!
1. Free fruit in the kitchen
How about leaving fresh fruit in the break room when your call center people are on their break? With personalized post-it notes? Shop locally for seasonal fruit.
2. CEO to serve healthy pancakes
Get the CEO to make whole-wheat pancakes for your factory workers when the morning shift starts. Sends a great message.
3. Pilates class High stress levels?
Bring a Pilates instructor to help employees get the basics and then do Pilates on their own. Or organize outdoor walks where you mix people from different departments?
4. Financial well-being seminar
A lot of teammates find it stressful to deal with personal finances and plan ahead. Bring an advisor on-site (uh, rebrand it to sound more fun!).
5. Vegan food day
More and more employees are switching to a plant-based diet. Save the planet! Surprise your people with a lovely meal.
6. Green, green, green environment
Who says only office environments should have fancy green plants to improve employee mood and air quality? Surprise your manufacturing workers with 20 big green plants or hanging gardens.
7. Mental health focus
Yes, mental health in the workplace is finally getting the spotlight it deserves. How about a workplace mental health day?
8. Well-being focus groups
What is in your workplace that makes people thrive and want to come to work to do their shift? How do people feel they can get more control over their work life? Create small mixed groups and get people to converse about how to boost employee engagement. Together.
9. Recognition day
Getting appreciation from your manager, or your manager’s manager, is a cheap, simple, and effective way to create a better work culture. How about a hand-written note? Or organize peer-to-peer recognition, a wall of gratitude, etc.
10. Health & safety training
Health & safety training is not only crucial in manufacturing or blue-collar environments â€“ in the office too! Make the fire and emergency drill fun. Use positive consequences to reinforce good behavior. How about a Jeopardy format for the motor vehicle collisions course? Or funny videos?
What Events Were (Most) Effective During Your Employee Well-Being Month?
Below is the same chart as before.
The grey background shows the average of employees choosing green.
The green line shows the effect of the employee well-being events.
The results will, of course, depend on many things.
Some are a big success! Others, not so much.
Did you make sure your leaders â€“ at ALL levels, especially team leaders, were on board with the idea and understood the WHY? You need their support to get the maximum amount of employees on board and participating.
When results aren’t as positive as you expected, perhaps you didn’t have all the buy-in you thought you did?
Did you have the right people from different areas on your well-being team? Or were some activities canceled, or de-prioritized due to fires popping up?
For instance, did the meditation class clash with end of month production stress? Or did the finance manager storm in to interrupt the dance-off and scolded his people for not being at their desks, working?
You can also cross-check the data with absenteeism, long-term sickness, retention, store sales figures, production efficiency, ROI, etc.
Incrementally Improve Your Employee Well-Being Month Initiative
Remember to share and celebrate the findings with your employees. They will be curious!
Back up your stories with data when you share them. Analyzing the data together with your employees is also essential for your employee well-being initiatives to evolve.
As data research shows, regularly talking with employees about improvement is the best way to improve employee engagement.
Ask your staff to think about the group, their co-workers, when they answer. Some conversations starters could be:
- What worked well? And less well? Why?
- Who participated? Those who didn’t, why not?
- How can we make it better the next time? What do you think others would improve?
- Were team supervisors onboard? How did that impact the participation and outcome for the rest of the team members?
This way, you can adapt your employee health and well-being policy, so it works best for your company culture.
The results? Your people will feel better about their lives and jobs and their relationships with the people around them.
And that my friend, will benefit your company’s bottom line.
Live and work well!