What is Employee Wellbeing?

Due to changes in the work landscape, understanding and monitoring employee wellbeing is more important than ever. But what exactly is employee wellbeing, and how can you measure it successfully? 

Keep reading below to learn more about employee wellbeing, and why you should invest the time and energy into improving it within your organisation.

What is employee wellbeing in the workplace?

Employee wellbeing is usually broken down into four main subgroups, which are:

  • Psychological health
  • Physical health
  • Emotional health
  • Financial health

However, employee wellbeing is not solely affected by events at work. For example, personal problems like bereavements, familial struggles, and relationship issues are not something you can predict. But these can still affect how your employee behaves at work.

So, as an employer, your focus should be on improving the elements you can control whilst being mindful of those you can’t. For more personal cases, it’s important that you provide a supportive atmosphere and encourage employees to speak up if their home life is adversely affecting their work. This will go a long way to showing your team members that you care about them as a person as well as an employee.

On the other hand, situations like a heavy workload, inefficient management style or friction within the team are certainly within your control. For example, you could choose to outsource certain business processes to reduce the pressure of a high workload. This will help improve team morale as deadlines and targets become more achievable. You can also offer additional training or create a more cooperative office culture to reduce conflicts within the team.
But why should you bother with measuring employee wellbeing? Well, it isn’t just a corporate buzzword. In fact, research shows improving employee wellbeing is positively linked to increased employee engagement, better staff retention, and improved performance. Simply put, happy people make better employees.

How to measure employee wellbeing

There are several ways you can measure employee wellbeing within your company. However, each of them comes with their own challenges, and you’ll probably need to explore a variety of methods to get the best results for your organisation.

Company-wide survey

Surveys are a tried and tested method of collecting and analysing data, and are one of the best ways you can use to measure employee wellbeing. Through a simple survey you can collect information about everything from staff attitudes of the business, to how to improve your available wellbeing services.

Company-wide surveys can also be made completely anonymous. This encourages everyone to give their honest opinions by taking away any internal pressure to look ‘strong’ or ‘capable’ to senior staff members.

On the other hand, surveys require voluntary participation and can take time to see results. Therefore, you’ll need to be prepared to wait for any responses before you can use them.

Performance reviews

Another way to monitor employee wellbeing is through professional performance reviews. This is your chance to check in with each employee personally and see how they’re performing on the job.

For example, imagine someone has started struggling to meet their targets or deadlines recently. This could be a sign that their workload is too high. Since monitoring the workload of your employees is an important part of your role as a manager, you could discuss this during a performance review and decide that you need to make changes, such as outsourcing calls or more routine tasks to lighten the demand on your team.

One thing to keep in mind is that employees may be worried about speaking up in case they’re perceived as incompetent or less productive. To avoid this, you need to ensure that you create an open and honest business culture, and reassure your employees that they won’t be penalised for their honesty.

1-1 meetings

1-1 meetings are one of the best ways to touch base with your employees. These are private meetings where team members should feel comfortable discussing any issues they’re experiencing, at home or at work. 

Whilst you’ll obviously discuss how they’re finding the job, these meetings are the perfect time to discuss more personal issues they may not have felt comfortable raising in a professional performance review. There are dozens of external factors that may be affecting how your employees are feeling, from difficult personal relationships to stressful events like moving house. Thus, a 1-1 meeting becomes a safe space for them to share their thoughts.

Having regular private and informal check-ins with your team members also helps them feel seen and shows that you’re keen to look after their overall wellbeing. This can then make them feel more secure and confident opening up in the future and allowing you both to resolve the situation before it escalates further.