Wellbeing strategy obstacles – three ways to become unstuck

Published: 08/03/2021
Author: Leigh McKay, Mental Health and Wellbeing Consultant, WorkWise Wellbeing Solutions

Having an effective Wellbeing Strategy in place could never be more important. As we continue to experience significant changes in adapting to new ways of working, a proactive and preventative system that works well, will be well received by your people.

If you are just starting out or you already have a strategy, regularly revisiting this is important. If you are not getting the results you hoped for let’s consider some possible obstacles.

1. Needs and measurability:

“Results” means you have worked from a baseline of needs and incorporated measurability. Post Covid needs will have changed, so revisiting and flexing goals is critical to your success factor.

“The pandemic is increasing demand for mental health services. Bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones. Many people may be facing increased levels of alcohol and drug use, insomnia, and anxiety.” WHO

Measurability can be noticed in staff morale. Keeping morale buoyant whilst we work remotely is a tall order and noticing and gauging morale even more challenging whilst online.  When not face to face a degree of measurability falls away. Whilst we all try to maintain connection online, metrics through data at this stage is invaluable.

Simple metrics for you to watch:

  • Participation rates
  • Wellbeing Initiative feedback
  • Intention to change behaviour
  • Specific health impacts
  • Employee engagement scores
  • Specific sickness and absence causes and duration

2. Accountability:

Set some time aside with the wellbeing lead originally appointed and revisit their time and resource allocation. It could be, especially post Covid, this role has developed into so much more.  Bolting the “wellbeing” role onto an existing role may not give it the time needed. Equally when the role is shared amongst a team of people, as we return to work and another new way of working, you don’t want the responsibility to fall through the cracks.  Your Wellbeing Lead/Team is instrumental to linking the wellbeing strategy to the overall business objective. This can be done through an Annual Wellbeing Report interspersed with quarterly leadership updates.

Keeping the business leadership and senior management aligned with this vision will help spur on motivation for participation. Ultimately accountability sits with everyone in your business including your employees. They have a responsibility for looking after their own health and wellbeing. Supporting them to take ownership can be achieved through clear communication of what benefits are available to them and encouragement to get involved.

3. Mental Health:

Considering Mental Health (MH) specifically, it is crucial to recognise how we perceive and experience mental health problems varies for each individual and is influenced by culture, backgrounds, physical being and life experience to name a few.

If you’ve invested resource into training staff as Mental Health First Aiders, yet no one is engaging with them it could be:

A. Your MH Support team is not diverse enough. Training team members from all parts of the business is an important consideration in honouring the “not one size fits all” principle.

  • Does everyone know where to go to access support?
  • Would everyone in the business be able to identify with someone in the Mental Health Support team? Appealing to different groups is important as this will influence participation.

B. Your MH support protocol is not marketed regularly enough including different ways of communication.

  • Does your support messaging include different languages, cultural perspectives and consider accessibility for all?
  • Are managers familiar with all protocols and do they have some kind MH training too? They are the ones in contact with your people regularly and are well positioned to notice signs and signpost.

By conducting a regular re-evaluation of your wellbeing strategy means you spend your time and budget wisely and your staff receive the help and support needed.

Read Leigh’s three important steps for a successful wellbeing strategy.


WorkWise Wellness Solutions promotes sustainable wellbeing initiatives within organisations and communities, including running Mental Health First Aid training. We are proud to be partnering with Vidatec to providing exclusive wellbeing content for Engage4, their workplace wellbeing platform.

For more information visit https://engage4.vidatec.com/

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