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How to implement an Employee Wellbeing Strategy – Your 10 steps

Many employers are aware of the benefit of promoting health and employee wellbeing, as this kind of strategy not only demonstrates care for employees, but it can also result in a healthier, more engaged and more productive workforce.

Whilst many businesses are catching on to the importance of having an actual wellbeing strategy, it is often done on an ad-hoc basis. Read on to find out your ten steps and book a meeting with our team for your Free Health Check. It also requires the buy-in from those in control of the company budgets as well as the leadership skills to develop a supportive organisational culture. It has been reported that every pound spent on employee wellness results in a saving of £2.50, thanks to reduced sickness absence and improved staff retention.

The latest Employee Wellbeing Research by REBA found that Mental Health in the workplace is the top priority for almost three in five (60%) CEOs in the UK and is the area of employee wellbeing with which their board is most concerned, according to their 2018 report.

The HSE has previously reported that work-related stress alone accounted for 45% of all working days lost to ill health costing UK employers an estimated £34.9 billion per year and £3.1 billion in cost of replacing staff who leave their jobs due to mental ill health each year1.

So how do you implement a Wellbeing Strategy? Here are 10 steps to help you get started:

  1. Get initial Management Buy-in to doing something – if the CEO and your Senior Management Team aren’t on board with implementing a structured strategy then it will be very difficult to get your employees to engage too;
  2. Engaging with staff – remember empower don’t preach! The last thing your employees want to feel is preached at. An Employee Assistance Program could help with this.
  3. Find the right Partners – find a company who can help you work through the steps and support you throughout the process, from employee surveys, formulating and implementing the strategy and helping to make changes following feedback. SYLO Associates have extensive experience in formulating and helping companies implement Employee Wellbeing strategies;
  4. Create your Strategy – This will be happening and constantly evolving throughout this process. The financial benefits initially, to gain the management’s involvement, an employee survey to see what the employees would like to see in their workplace and from work groups and the employee champions you will receive ideas and tweaks to keep the strategy up to date;
  5. Campaigns to help “buy-in” – campaigns to highlight areas that employees are working on, both encourages participation and helps to show that the company is taking your employees well-being seriously. “5 ways to well-being” and “Could taking the stairs give you a lift?”
  6. Empowering staff – find your champions. While your strategy will likely be managed by HR and assisted with outside resources, you can also get some of your workforce on-board to help promote the health and wellbeing strategy amongst the workforce, raising awareness and encouraging usage;
  7. Addressing Challenges – there will always challenges when it comes to implementing a new or formalising an existing strategy. These may include cultural / geographical / reactive v’s proactive attitudes. Being aware that rolling out a strategy may not be plain sailing will help prepare you for any hurdles that may be put in your way;
  8. Successes – shout about them!! – Following your health assessments, have your employees set personal goals. When employees reach their goals celebrate them, with either a special mention or an additional perk i.e. have a wall of fame. You could take this one step further and set team goals too, when the whole team achieves their goal it should be a bigger celebration – speak to your employees and see what would motivate them to achieve their goals;
  9. Training – Your Wellbeing Champions should be given training to make sure that they are aware of the signs of fellow employees facing challenges. This could be as simple as one of our Training Hub workshops on “Communication Skills” or knowledge based sessions such as the Mental Health First Aid run by our friends at Working Minds Matter.  The Champions need to know when they need to ask for help and flag an issue that needs dealing with;
  10. Tips & Learning – feedback & focus groups – Throughout the year make sure you track the key issues around employee health that will reinforce your business case for the strategy. It’s incredibly important that you can evaluate the impact of your overall strategy and decide what works and what doesn’t. You can then tweak your strategy accordingly and see it improve year on year.

Developing an effective health and wellbeing strategy is a clear way to make sure you demonstrate how much you value you workforce and, if you provide employee benefits it will help you spend your employee benefits budget effectively. As well as helping your staff adopt healthier habits and lifestyles, it could also result in reducing employee absence, lowering staff turnover rates and a boost in productivity for your company.

For more information on Employee Wellbeing and How to improve productivity by introducing incentives please read the following articles on the SYLO Associates website.

Employee well-being – are you doing enough?

Do Summer perks improve Productivity?

For more information on this or any other issue please book your free health check with one of our experienced team or phone SYLO Associates on 01844 216290.

Source – 1.“Centre for Mental Health 2017. Mental Health at Work : The business costs ten years on”