Why do wellbeing frameworks matter?

As wellbeing creeps steadily up the workplace agenda, employees should be getting happier. But are they?

Does fresh fruit on Fridays and mindfulness on Mondays really make a difference? Only if they’re part of a sensible framework that fits your business.

There are different wellbeing frameworks for various organisations in the public sector including the NHS, the police and some local authorities. The World Health Organisation has its own Healthy Workplace model which covers the business ethics for having a framework, as well as the impact of employee health on the organisation.

Businesses appear to lag behind in adopting similar frameworks for their employees. But employers need to be able to take the best aspects of these approaches and adapt them quickly and easily to their own workforces.

What advantages does a wellbeing framework offer?

Why? Because having a clear workplace wellbeing framework provides a robust backdrop for the many wellbeing initiatives that exist. Before employee enthusiasm carries you away and you bring in the stilt-walker and magician to liven up lunchtimes, use a framework to ask some serious, work-related questions.

A sensible framework needn’t preclude enjoyable activities and having fun, but it will provide a clear rationale.

Here’s what a workplace wellbeing framework can offer.

  • Alignment with business strategy, so that wellbeing isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ but a contributor to business outcomes.
  • At-a-glance views of which aspects of wellbeing activity are most important to the business (for example, healthcare employee benefits to reduce absenteeism).
  • The basis for a measurable plan of wellbeing activity. You won’t necessarily to be able to do everything, but a framework will help you prioritise.
  • A robust approach that will help to convince the board that wellbeing is good for business and impacts every part of the organisation.

What should a workplace wellbeing framework look like?

What are the typical aspects of a workplace wellbeing framework? There’s no one-size-fits-all, but some clear principles are helpful. For example:

  • clearly identifiable sections of activity that highlight where wellbeing initiatives could sit
  • sections based on measurable outcomes that can be compared to national or other benchmarks
  • a comprehensive rather than piecemeal structure, covering every aspect of the employee experience including:
    • mental, physical and financial health
    • working environment and equipment
    • culture, leadership and values
    • internal communication
    • reward and employee benefits.
  • clarity and accessibility, providing an instant baseline for any wellbeing initiative introduced into the business.

Join our webinar to find out more

If you’d like to know more about this important subject, please join our free webinar on:

Thursday 3rd October at 11am.  Click here for more information. 

Debbie Kleiner, Head of Workplace Happiness at PES, will briefly introduce a number of different frameworks for workplace wellbeing before considering:

  1. Individual framework sections which can be used to form a seven-step wellbeing plan (but can be adapted to work with other models such as the Five Ways to Wellbeing).
  1. A way of measuring the framework that you choose.

If you’d like to know more about our wellbeing expertise, employee benefits platform or any of the other services we offer to make people happy, contact us or give us a call on 01454 808658.