I’m impressed

I am not easily impressed, but I have been by Bridget Juniper and her proposition for measuring work related wellbeing – go to www.workandwellbeing.com.  The whole approach is based on the maxim ‘if you want to manage something, you first have to measure it’. It’s a beacon of light in the fog of muddled thinking around wellbeing strategy and purchasing decisions. 

In my experience, a great deal of employers’ investment in wellbeing is not based on a valid assessment of their employees’ needs. Instead, it is based on historic purchase, peer group pressure, product trend and even impulse. 

I’ll never forget an HR director telling me that the reason he bought a provider’s product was because the salesman at a conference was so convincing it seemed a good idea at the time. I’m sure he’s not alone.  No needs analysis, no strategic thought, no concept of a return on investment. A product bought in isolation and forced upon unsuspecting employees. A definite cart before the horse.

Here are just a few features of Bridget’s approach that really resonate with me:

  • A proven methodology used for over 20 years to evaluate the wellbeing of patient populations in clinical research – it has a pedigree. It is not a gimmicky software programme.
  • It allows employers to measure what they can control and influence in the work setting. So many propositions go out of workplace scope resulting in employers spending money on a range of interventions over which they have no control.
  • It helps employers to clearly define their responsibility for the wellbeing of their people. The issue of the balance of responsibility between employers and state agencies is only going to get bigger.
  • The results allow employers to make decisions based on facts pertinent to their organisation and their employees, rather than on a sales pitch and generic market information.           

Bridget herself has an award winning MSc in clinical research, is currently undertaking a PhD in employee wellbeing and has already carried out work for NHS Direct.

She is really talking my language when she says on her website, ‘our experience suggests that many initiatives and programmes are a waste of time and resource as they do not address the fundamental problems that impair employee wellbeing’ 

I would add that employers can sometimes spend more time and energy managing ill conceived wellbeing services than measuring and then effectively managing their real issues.

Is this the first official Shandwell endorsement of a proposition? You know what, I think it is.

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