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:
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:
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.
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.
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.