Organisations must remove any inauthenticity from their wellbeing strategies in order for them to succeed.
Jonathan Gawthrop, director of wellbeing, safety and assurance at EMCOR UK, told online attendees of the IWFM conference last week that a better understanding of why wellbeing measures are introduced in the first place and their connection to the success of the business.
“There is nothing as see-through and transparent as an inauthentic wellbeing approach; it will be spotted at 50 paces and shut down.”
Gawthrop explained that a business will not be operating at their highest level if its constituent parts, including staff, aren’t cared for through a detailed wellbeing strategy. Dylan Wickenden, EMCOR UK people director, echoed Gawthrop’s sentiments: “It shouldn’t just be ticking a box. It needs to be something that the organisation wants to do to make their employees feel that they are being looked after. “There is an intrinsic link between a happy, healthy workforce and a successful business." Wickenden highlighted the TUPE process as a problem area for wellbeing.
He said: “We often feel we start from scratch again. “We must ensure that companies are working closer together during the exit and engagement of new employees. “It doesn’t have to become a minefield.” Wickenden said that organisations utilising data that they already collect will help firms hone wellbeing strategies. “We used HR dashboards for our senior managers which will promote a whole host of activity… that they can measure against.
“Things like overtime - an employee working more hours than they should - there are simple things within these dashboards that you can utilise.” Wickenden said that data gathered in this way, or through more qualitative methods such as staff engagement surveys, will help organisations make more informed decisions. “Equally it will make you stop [wellbeing measures] if they’re not right.”
Gawthrop however remained cautious of being over-reliant on data. “To create a set of circumstances in a fairly sanitised situation, and then to use that information to build a strategy in a workplace environment full of operational challenges may not transfer that well.”
Asked about which single wellbeing initiative would be most likely to result in a strong return on investment, EMCOR UK operations director Jeremy Campbell identified employee engagement.
"Since launching our engagement programme we've modified our business model to delivering better performance to clients across every measure. The FM industry needs to get that wellbeing is about continual human improvement on every level."
Wickenden added that, in his view, no one initiative or programme can guarantee ROI. Instead, "there has to be a blend of activities to help achieve this, such as facilitation of financial wellbeing for employees, or a strong programme of D&I activity to make employees feel secure at work and able to thrive. Good work and a sense of achievement, working with clients as well as their own employers, often leads to that overall feeling of wellness."
The IWFM conference content is available to view on demand throughout the remainder of 2020. For full programme details, click here.