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What is next for your wellbeing strategy in 2022?

Employee Engagement |Health and Benefits|Total Rewards|Wellbeing
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By Carrie Khan | January 6, 2022

How to continue to refine a measured approach that extends beyond the strategic initiatives and tactics deployed.

Last year proved to be one of pivotal change for many employers that embarked on plans to refresh their wellbeing strategies. However, without a solid action plan and structure to track progress, employers are likely to stumble. Reviewing your plan, partners, programs and employee feedback at the beginning of each year is an important step to maintain the positive momentum of your wellbeing strategy.

Taking a strategic approach in the first quarter is essential in identifying critical areas for the success of your plan. There are three steps to take in the continuous journey of reevaluating your plan:

  • Assess the current program against stated objectives
  • Revisit goals and success metrics with leadership
  • Refresh and refine the strategy with a detailed roadmap

What parts of the program should be assessed?

Organizations can measure their strategic alignment by conducting a comprehensive assessment to evaluate leadership adoption, employee engagement and overall vendor performance. The assessment should take place within the first six months of any initiative that was launched. The assessment should incorporate the following:

Leadership test

  • Is the wellbeing strategy meeting leadership’s expectations? Have you articulated and effectively communicated your vision to leaders? A simple survey post launch is a great way to understand if leadership and management has adopted the vision.
  • Have you kept leadership informed of the progress and success of any new programs or launches? Ensuring they have the metrics showing success or progress is a best practice to ensure their long-term engagement and support.

Employee experience test

  • Are the new initiatives meeting the needs of employees and resonating across a wide spectrum of needs? Working closely with your program administrator and communication partners to obtain continual feedback is a good way to proactively identify and address barriers to adoption and engagement.

Operational test

  • Are your partners meeting performance expectations? Take a close look at the performance guarantees or service level agreements at the beginning of the year so you have a mutual understanding of your targets. A proctored stewardship meeting right after a program launch brings all parties together to share wellbeing goals and refresh expectations from a vendor-management perspective.

How to incorporate metrics into your goals

Once you’ve assessed the current state, then you can begin the process of refining your strategy and making the necessary program changes that will achieve your expected goals.

Collaborate with all identified stakeholders to revisit and restate strategy, programs and practices.

This keeps all stakeholders aligned and incorporates diverse viewpoints, all with an eye to the future. Many employers use a high-level roadmap that does not specify actionable tactics or simply does not align with the renewed goals for the upcoming plan year. A detailed plan that is co-developed, shared and agreed to by all stakeholders will take your program to the next level.

Now is the time to add the details, gain consensus on the next plan for the next 12 to 18 months and determine steps that are achievable and support the roadmap.

A best-practices roadmap should incorporate the goals set with leadership, detail targeted tactics, employee key messages and rewards, and recap the desired metrics through a measurement plan that will support the roadmap.

How do we differentiate our program moving forward?

When the strategy is updated to reflect all changes, you then can continue refining it by focusing on the best way to differentiate your wellbeing program from other organizations. Based on our 2021 Best Practices in Health Care Survey, 74% of employers believe that in three years their wellbeing strategy will be transformed as a vehicle to compete for talent and customized to meet employee needs.

Employers are continuing to find creative ways to leverage wellbeing tactics and initiatives to support and advance a culture of wellbeing. Examples of this include aligning wellbeing to Total Rewards and career development, creating intentional linkages to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), community, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives, and offering personalized perks to support personal wellbeing.

Final thoughts

The first quarter of a program year often is the busiest, incorporating many of the activities outlined above. Staying diligent with continuous strategic monitoring and updating the action plan not only ensures current program execution and success but also creates the opportunity to focus on more innovative and differentiated support for your employees.

Author

Senior Director

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