A lesson from the UK in effective health and wellbeing strategy – Understanding, Governance, Data and Integration.
I came across an interesting article published this week by the Employee Benefits Group in the UK. The article explores how health and wellbeing within organisations is often split up between a number of teams including Human Resources, Reward and Benefits and Occupational Health and Safety. The HR team may deliver wellbeing initiatives like health checks and influenza vaccinations while OHS are responsible for ergonomics, injury prevention and claim management.
Because different departments have responsibility for various elements of the health and wellbeing offering, typically operating in silos, many employee health strategies are ineffective.
The good news is this ineffective approach appears to be changing. As progressive organisations become more aware of the link between employee wellbeing and organisational performance and sustainability, they are working to ensure the teams responsible for health and wellbeing are working in a more integrated fashion.
Start by understanding the entire offering
Moving to a more integrated model employers need to start by understanding the entire health and wellbeing offering and the teams responsible for each element. One of the first things Elevate does when working with a new client is to do an audit on the current offering including providers, cost, measurability and who is responsible for each element, which I explain how to do in an earlier posthttp://elevate.com.au/Blogs/Dan-Carlins-Blog/March-2014/Auditing-your-health-and-wellbeing-offering-%E2%80%93-to-e
Build a governance framework
The article goes on to outline that once the organisation has a clear understanding of the entire offering they need to create a governance framework to bring it all together. Within the governance framework should be an employee’s health journey, outlining all the options the employer has to support an employee with a health issue or prevent a health issue in the first place.
Have a central shared depository for health data
The author wraps the article up by outlining how different parts of the business own different data sets. For example the HR team holds the absence data while the OHS team has the injury and incidence data set. Organisations should be looking to make this data available to all health and wellbeing stakeholders in a central depository to assist in bringing teams together to deliver an effective strategy.
It is really great to see the UK approaching health and wellbeing this way and I hope more Australian companies see the value in creating an integrated health and wellbeing strategy to ensure their organisations are productive and sustainable.