Carl Chapman, associate & head of workplace health, Barnett Waddingham writes a blog series explaining what wellbeing really means
Barnett Waddingham's Carl Chapman is writing a blog series on Eudaimonia using the Greek alphabet as a reference point to give insight into how this old concept can significantly improve your business performance by maximising output from your greatest asset.
Α α – alpha
Alpha is often used as a synonym for ‘the first’ or ‘the beginning’, so what better place to start than right at the very beginning.
How do we help our employees achieve Eudaimonia or flourish? As mentioned in my previous blog I think that this is the wrong question to ask, what we should be asking is, “What is preventing our employees from achieving Eudaimonia or flourishing?”
The notion of actually asking employees their opinion is an interesting one and one that is still lost on some. Most will still describe paternalism as the Holy Grail but paternalism is really hand holding, it is the parent child relationship. To us paternalism is a relationship whereby the parent (employer) assumes to know what is best for their child (employee) and often pre selects a series of benefits on their behalf.
This is an ironically archaic approach and in reality if you want an engaged workforce you need to first engage with them. If you want to know what is preventing them from being a better version of them personally and professionally you need to ask them.
Therefore the starting point for Eudaimonia is to build up a picture of what risks exist within the business. Using the framework of the six pillars described in the first blog we look to understand which are weak and need reinforcing through surveying (pun intended) while also looking at trends that exist in absence data and also specific claims data.
Once we have finished surveying Eudaimonia and understanding where the structure is weak we can ensure that any reinforcing that we do is targeted and much more likely to provide a return on investment.
Β β – beta
The vast majority of us (unless we are rock climbers or work in investment) would associate beta with a final test phase of a new computer system or game.
You might think that I would suggest testing a new strategy on a selection of employees first to gauge perception before rolling out to the entire population. In truth I think this approach is unnecessary providing a thorough analysis has been conducted in the first place (see alpha).
What it is important to remember is that Eudaimonia is unique to all of us and what is even more important to remember is that what prevents us from being a better version of ourselves or achieving Eudaimonia is equally unique to all of us.
When analysing data it is possible to pick out common themes or trends but we must not fall into the trap of believing that building a strategy with a blanket approach will yield the desired outcomes. Instead we must not be afraid to target specific parts of the strategy to those that need it the most as identified at the data analysis stage.
It is for this reason I believe targeting specific parts of a business for testing is folly. Targeting one particular part of the business is unlikely to provide a wide enough range and as mentioned before, if the analysis is done correctly then there really is no need.
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CLICK HERE to learn more about the Eudaimonia blog series.