A good wellbeing strategy shouldn’t be a one and done package but an ever-evolving strategy that is dependent on your employees needs says Damian Stancombe,  Partner, Barnett Waddingham

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Damian Stancombe,  Partner, Barnett Waddingham

A wellbeing strategy is not something that can happen by simply plucking a product from a hat or following fluff and trends. Your wellbeing strategy needs time and attention and it will need to be constantly reviewed. I have been working in workplace benefits for 25 years and little in terms of design has changed. The consequence of this to the modern workplace has been decreasing productivity, causing stress and mental illness issues.

Issues appear not one at a time but like London buses – all at once. When I separated, I felt like I was almost broke. Debted to my eyeballs, running a large employee benefits team, extremely stressed, not eating well, drinking too much - I was sadly trying to suppress the darkest of thoughts. Wellbeing should be like ‘whack-a-mole’, where we beat down issues as they pop up. My workplace at the time didn’t know about these issues and I felt too ashamed to ask for help, having said this - I doubt that they could have helped. However, I was lucky as two people were there for me that play a part in me being here today. Sadly, many are less lucky.

The events above have helped shape my drive to look at how we as employers can do more to help employees and at Barnett Waddingham we call it Eudaimonia. Instilling a happiness culture with a desire to create an environment to flourish seems a good place to start.

But, back to my first point - bluntly throwing half-hearted ideas at the wall and hoping something sticks, is not the greatest design strategy for wellbeing. So we have instilled an ACDC philosophy.

Analytics - what are the problems you and your employees face?

Consultancy - what will work and how it knits together. Being product free means it is about the right solutions for you and not what is most profitable for us.

Delivery - implementation of the above through engagement and education of benefit design and choice.

Checking – does it work? Your strategy should evolve when based on new analytics. This also should look at return on investment - not just on the direct cost, but the ethereal, as doing good should reap rewards for all.

Our view is strategy is that it should be holistic. We look at 6 pillars that all need to be strong to support the weight above it: https://www.barnett-waddingham.co.uk/wellbeing

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