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How to map an employee wellbeing strategy that works


featuring Rob Nankervis with Tom Bosna

As we begin Season Two of the Propelling Performance Podcast, Tom Bosna shares timely insights into the need for leaders to focus on wellbeing in the workplace. He talks us through some of the common mistakes and misunderstandings around wellbeing programs, the questions leaders should be asking of themselves and their teams and how to take the first steps to develop your own effective wellbeing strategy. Tom says there’s no better time to ‘show up and show leadership in this space’ and offers examples of two successful wellbeing programs in action.

“Wellbeing isn’t something you can just buy and do. It needs to be ingrained into your organisation and your culture.” – Tom Bosna

Listen to discover:

Tom’s overarching definition of wellbeing – being comfortable, happy and healthy

The five segments of wellbeing – career, social, financial, physical and community. In a global survey of all demographic segments across 150 countries, while 66% of people are doing well in at least one segment, only 7% are thriving in all five segments.

The two pieces of the wellbeing puzzle in the workplace; legislative and compliance, and attracting and retaining top talent

Two common mistakes Tom sees:

  • Companies that think they can buy well-being or ‘tick a box’ to get outcomes
  • ‘Fruit bowls, flu jabs and fitness’ – companies expecting one-off initiatives to highly engage employees and get outcomes.

First, read the meter on what your staff team actually want – then take action. Then, ask questions, run surveys (these can be incentivised), get the data you need and develop solutions.

Leaders need to find the missing link in the connection between what they think and what employees think

If you’re a leader getting into wellbeing for the first time, look beyond COVID towards the larger mental health concerns in your workplace community. If you’re not providing solutions, support or even listening, you’re behind the play.

Questions for leaders:

  • Do you know how your workplace is feeling right now?
  • How can you improve the performance of your team by providing extra support?
  • Do you want your team to thrive, or do you want them to languish, and be a business with average performance?

Look at your leave policies. Pinnacle has introduced wellbeing leave, with one day  for staff to use per quarter. How can you be innovative with your leave policies?

Two wellbeing program case studies – skin cancer checks and a marathon challenge

Consider this process to be about health promotion and behavioural change. Sometimes the first step is ‘nudging’ people in the right direction for healthy behavioural change. Start by asking employees about their areas of need and their interests.

“As a leader right now, it’s really about showing empathy, understanding, but then also connecting, to provide solutions and options for your employees.” – Tom Bosna

Take action!

Here’s how to get started on workplace wellbeing:

  • Think about your core values. What do you believe in, what are you trying to achieve?
  • If you were to amplify your team’s performance or amplify support for your employees, what else could you achieve?
  • What support systems do you have in place right now?
  • What are you measuring right now?
  • Have you ever measured the health profile of your team?
  • If you could improve the health profile of your team by 10%, would you be interested? Would you embrace the strategies needed to make it happen?