Supporting the health and wellbeing of a global workforce
3 min read

Supporting the health and wellbeing of a global workforce

Empowering employees to take control of their own wellbeing - providing access to the right tools and resources across the whole organisation.

Many organisations are planning for the future and considering what that will look like for their people. There is much talk about building a resilient workforce for the long term, maintaining a work culture to attract and retain the best talent, as well as continuously ensuring high levels of engagement across remote/hybrid workforces. Organisations are striving to keep their competitive edge in today’s new working world.

Increasingly conversations appear to be shifting from considering ‘wellbeing’ as one-off initiatives, to recognising that the health and wellbeing of a workforce is a strategic business priority for the longer term. Some organisations have already introduced a health professional on their board or leadership team. There is also a recognition that workforce wellbeing is something to be considered from a holistic perspective – covering many pillars including mental, physical, and financial wellbeing. 

There are many statistics, reports and data points signalling an increasing need for organisations to focus on the health and wellbeing of their people:

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that by 2030 the cost of mental disorders alone to the global economy could reach up to $16 trillion – more than diabetes, respiratory disorders and cancer combined.

  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that 38.8 million work days were lost due to work-related ill health and non fatal work related injuries in 2019/2020 in Great Britain – depression, anxiety, stress and musculoskeletal disorders accounting for the majority of days lost. 

Through years of working with global organisations we have identified several factors that play heavily into the successful introduction and ongoing adoption of holistic wellbeing programs – both from a company and individual employee perspective. The main factors we see include the team, workforce demographics, clear objectives and outcomes, organisational culture and workforce engagement. We dive a little deeper into each of these factors below: 


1. The team

The most successful rollout and adoption of wellbeing solutions we see bring together a range of teams including business leaders, HR, those responsible for employee experience, health and safety and occupational health. There is collaboration from the design of the program right through the ongoing rollout and adoption – all having full visibility including access to the emerging data and insights. 


2. Workforce Demographics

Ensure thorough consideration of the demographic makeup of the workforce – we find that it is not a one size fits all approach. This includes careful consideration to factors such as cultural needs, translation needs, unique organisational and people challenges as well as any scenarios that your workforce are likely to require support with. This will help to ensure that the wellbeing program being designed is inclusive, relevant and valuable to your workforce.


3. Objectives and Expected Outcomes

This is simple and common sense, however so important to ensure longer term success of the wellbeing program. It also makes sure that there is clear agreement and understanding between the organisation making the investment and the wellbeing provider. Using the objectives and expected outcomes as an ongoing reference as the program is introduced across the organisation helps to measure and gauge effectiveness. 


4. Culture of Organisation

Really understanding the culture of the organisation is so important as this will likely play a significant role in the success or failure of your wellbeing program. This goes deeper than the values of your organisation. Each organisation has its own needs to be factored into the plans – including cultural norms and nuances, challenges and potential opportunities. The wellbeing program alone will not drive a cultural change or culture of wellbeing. 


5. Ongoing Workforce Engagement

To ensure success with any new wellbeing program there are several interconnected factors including people, process, technology and data. People will absolutely bring your wellbeing programs to life and help them thrive across your organisation – look for champions and give them the right tools to make the program a success. Stay close to the data and insights as the weeks and months unfold – these will give some early indications on what is happening across your organisation. The above outlined factors play out in varying ways across organisations. The one thing all organisations we work with have in common is a strong desire to support the health and wellbeing of their workforces.

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