Evidence-based health and wellbeing
Numerous organisations are rushing to set up health and well-being programs, many of these costing thousands and sometimes millions of pounds. The question I ask is, how do we know if these programs are working?
There are two main ways to put in place a proactive health and well-being programme.
The first of these is to help staff to understand what stress is and to offer them positive coping mechanisms in order for them to self-identify and self-manage the pressure both in their working environment and home environment that contributes to their stress.
The second is for the organisation to look at what it can do in terms of the way that it selects staff, provides training, engages staff, offers a sense of control and provides excellent leadership. You may recognise this list as it is also best practice in terms of safety.
Biometric feedback and measuring stress
The field of biometric feedback or biofeedback technology has improved vastly over the last few years, with many people carrying forms of this technology with them on a daily basis. Whether this be a Fitbit, iWatch or other wearable device that provides feedback on your heart rate, sleep cycle etc. These devices have become extremely common, yet how well do we use them?
What has also happened, but has been less visible is the advances in the more complex, generally professional sports-based technology. This technology takes the applications seen in what had become everyday devices and takes biofeedback to another level.
These new devices are able to tell the difference between excitement and stress, rest and real recovery time and improves our understanding of quality sleep.
At Anker & Marsh, our clients not only require world-class health and well-being programs, they also require evidence (data) to prove that these programs are successful in reducing stress and the effects of stress, including presenteeism.
If your organisation is thinking of putting in place or renewing a health and well-being strategy, we would highly recommend that you look at how you are going to measure the success of the programme, and therefore your return on investment. This is not only to ensure that your board is happy with the investment, but also to ensure that you have effectively contributed to the health and well-being of your staff.