Annurca | Designing an Effective Wellbeing Initiative
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Designing an Effective Wellbeing Initiative

Are you in the process of structuring your future or current Wellbeing Initiative?


Designing an Effective Wellbeing Initiative | Step 1 | Goal Setting


The first step in designing an effective Wellbeing Initiative is to define your goals. When working with organisations we encourage them to use the S.M.A.R.T goal setting theory. SMART goal setting gives structure and measurability to your organisations goals and objectives. When setting out what you want to achieve from your wellness initiative, we believe that it is important to ensure that your goals are as follows:

Specific – A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. For example, “we want to increase employee satisfaction by 20%” instead of “we want to increase employee satisfaction” or “we want to reduce absenteeism by 20%” instead of “we want to reduce absenteeism”.

Tip:  To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions: Who, What, Why, Where, When, and Why (again).

Measureable – Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. For example, a questionnaire to measure employee satisfaction or recording absenteeism figures.

Achievable – When you have identifed the goals that are most important to you, you can then consider the steps required to achieve them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

Realistic – To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which a particpant is both willing and able to work.  For example, is setting the goal of achieving 0% absenteeism realistic? Be sure that every goal represents progress, no matter how great or small.

Timely – A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency.  For example, we want to reduce absenteeism by 10% within a year from starting the programme, rather than we want to reduce absenteeism by 10%.


Designing an Effective Wellbeing Initiative | Step 2 | Levels of involvement


The next step is to decide the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. This is something that varies between organisations depending on their type. Your organisation can have complete control of every aspect of the initiative, or you can leave it completely to Annurca.  Level of involvement in a Wellbeing Initiative can be influenced by a number of variables. Such as:

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LOW | A low level of involvement usually consists of a single wellbeing champion being selected from your organisation. This individual is responsible for overseeing the Wellbeing Initiative.

Medium | A medium level of involvement is a more hands on approach from your organisation. This could include the appointment of a number of Wellbeing Champions. Your Wellbeing Champions may want to take more responsibility in the creation and running of the Wellbeing Initiative. The company may also want to consider incorporating external wellbeing activities.

High | A high level of involvement consists of a variety of additional in-house support avenues:

‘Top Down Support’ – A highest level of involvement could include encouragement from top tier management.

External Efforts – Your organisation could reward employees for additional efforts outside the wellbeing initiative.


Designing an Effective Wellbeing Initiative | Step 3   |   Establish the Budget and Expected return on investment (ROI)


A Wellbeing Initiative budget should be created with the consideration of the ROI. However, it is vital to realise that the ROI will only come to fruition in the future. It often takes organisations 6-12 months to realise the true benefits of an employee Wellbeing Initiative.

When establishing your return on investment, it is important to first establish your key measurables.  These could include:

Wellbeing initiative

Regardless of approach, common sense dictates that a healthier employee is a more productive employee. Quantifying measureable, such as morale, is an essential component of monitoring ROI and getting the most out of your Wellbeing Initiative.

Designing an Effective Wellbeing Initiative | Step 4   |   establish employee rewards

Rewarding employees for continued participation is a great way to ensure the success of your Wellbeing Initiative.

There are many ways in which you can do this and it is very important to try keep an unbiased system. For example:

The Issue

We worked with a client who decided to offer a ‘Champion’s Friday’. After every 6 months the individual with the largest overall health improvements was given the opportunity to have the following Friday afternoon off work. The issue that was raised here by certain employees, was that those who had begun the process healthy were at an unfair disadvantage as their efforts were less visible.

The Resolution –

This issue was resolved by offering a reward for the most improved individual and the healthiest individual. The winners of both awards were given opportunity to have the afternoon of the following Friday off work.

The importance of offering rewards lies in incentivising behavioural change. A common trend that we notice is how an employee’s perception of rewards changes.

In the early days of the initiative the employees push themselves physically to gain the associated reward. As their health improves they begin to become accustomed to the benefits of improved health and therefore the focus of the incentive switches from an afternoon off, to the rewarding feeling of improved health. This is when both the employee and employer really start to reap the rewards of an effective wellbeing initiative.

We often encourage organisations that are rolling out a more comprehensive wellbeing initiative to develop a points system. For example if your wellbeing initiative comprises of 5 wellbeing events, your strategy could be to introduce a participation card. As all participation is not mandatory,  all employees will not attend every event, this is where a participation strategy is useful.


Designing an Effective Wellbeing Initiative | Step 5   |   Write and Communicate Your Programme

It is crucially important to communicate with your employees about the programme and what it involves.

The programme itself should outline all of the points mentioned within this guide, as well as communicating to the employees that the organisation is investing in their health and wellbeing and providing them with an added benefit of employment.

By communicating the programme details, all employees will then be aware of the plans of the organisation before the initiatives begins.

It is also important to ensure that the programme clearly states the rewards (if applicable) for participation and how they can be achieved as this incentivises participation.

We advise a section within the Wellbeing Initiative stating that participation is not mandatory. Our experience tells us that the most impressive results are gained from those who have a desire to participate.


Join us for a coffee? We are offering HR managers across the UK a free, no obligation consultation to talk anything wellbeing initiative, resilience, or Occupational Health. We are also offering a free Health Assessment for all HR managers so that you can experience our measurable approach first hand. Click here to learn more…

If you have any questions give us a call on 0333 207 9663 or contact us via our online form here

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