For years health and wellbeing has been perceived as a fluffy nice to have rather than a must have element to a successful business. More recently, companies both small and large have realised and tapped into the strategic and tangible benefits that can be delivered through an integrated health and wellbeing strategy. But who is ultimately responsible for delivering it?
When speaking to many of our customers it would seem that this differs from one organisation to the next and can be owned by varying departments such as HSE, HR, OD, L & D and rewards to name just a few. These departments are quite often working to a siloed agenda with almost no budget to speak of and no real hope of engaging the organisation as a whole.
In reality no individual or department should solely be accountable for health and wellbeing, as it should be a company wide agenda delivered and supported by a cross functional team across the business. Building the right team or ‘wellbeing committee’ within your organisation can be a great first step to engaging your organisation as whole on the benefits of health and wellbeing and will also give you immediate access to resources, data to build the business case and most importantly, buy in.
So who should form part of your wellbeing committee? See our suggested dream team recommendation below:
Project Manager: The lynch pin and driving force behind the whole operation, can be from any discipline within the organisation. The project manager is responsible for scheduling meetings, requesting data and working with third party providers such as Occupational Health, EAP, health and wellbeing companies etc.
Human Resources: Visibility of HR policies and procedures is often overlooked when looking at absence management, which is often a key driver or KPI for many health and wellbeing programmes. Tightening up on the enforcement of procedures or changing absence policy can often help support the health and wellbeing programme deliver against its objectives. HR are a great resource and member of the wellbeing committee as they often straddle many disciplines and will have great insight into the company and its employees as a whole.
Learning & Development: Educational learning through workshops and training forms a core part of many health and wellbeing programmes, so knowledge of existing training programmes and initiatives is key to ensure that there are no conflicting message or overlap in terms of an employee’s exposure to training.
Benefits & Rewards: Often the line between benefits and wellbeing is blurred. As health insurance, dental plans, gym memberships, perks and incentive schemes all attribute to an employee's wellbeing and engagement. Benefits and rewards may also be a key part in attracting new talent and becoming an employer of choice which may be an underlying business objective for the wellbeing programme.
Health, Safety & Environment: For many companies the HSE role has been predominantly focussed at looking after and managing accidents and safety rather than health (The silent ‘H’ of HSE ). Often HSE will understand the key operational challenges and will have good links into the Occupational Health providers and EAP programmes, especially where manual labour is concerned.
Marketing: For many organisations, marketing is the missing link in their health and wellbeing strategy as the businesses create a wellbeing programme, with lots of rewards, benefits and provision but forget to tell their employees about it. Marketing should shape an integrated internal marketing programme to drive engagement through multiple channels across the business and to its stakeholders whilst also delivering great data insight on engagement and adoption.
IT: If you wish to take your health and wellbeing strategy online you will need the buy in of IT if you are going to bring in any new online software, intranet proposals, platforms or systems as they can be a key blocker in bringing your programme to fruition.
Executive Sponsor: An executive sponsor is a fundamental component to any success ‘wellbeing committee’ as often they can open doors to resources, budget and also sign off on projects. Without the buy in from an executive sponsor, it is often hard to get business wide buy in and to get your initiatives off the ground.
There truly are endless reasons why each of these key individuals are important to the wellbeing committee and for many companies these individual roles either don't exist or have different job titles. However, the principle remains the same. Build a wide enthusiastic team of individuals from across the business who can not only help you cultivate the right programme, but deliver insight, support and sustainability to your health and wellbeing programme.