What are the key indicators of wellbeing?

Historically, absence and sick leave have been used as the leading metric for wellbeing.  While absence can be a useful barometer of several issues, research is helping us to understand the value of other metrics such as “presenteesim,” to spot staff that may be sinking under emotional and mental workloads.

Increasingly we are understanding and better using employee voice as way to measure wellness and identify where we can make structural changes to working practices help staff manage their responsibilities both inside and out of work.   Asking if employees would recommend your organisation as a place to work and their reasons why can reveal a wealth of useful information to improve the employee experience.

In these conditions of perma-austerity the HR & OD community needs to do more than simply measure the level of wellness in our organisation.  If we are to persuade senior manager to fund and engage with wellness we need to provide them with evidence that the solutions we are proposing work and work in a sustainable way.

As HR & OD professionals this challenges us to really understand the evidence base for wellbeing.  Are the interventions we have in place cost effective? Do they show a good return on investment? Are there other interventions that might be more effective?

Whilst we will be sharing specific Wellbeing evidence on this page, it’s worth looking at out ‘Let’s Talk: Evidence’ pages to learn more about our take on this.  We’re huge fans of Professor Rob Briner and his team at Bath University, Centre for Evidence Based Management which is focused on increasing the rigour and discipline with which we approach these questions as a community.

Back to the Let’s Talk: Wellbeing homepage 

In a 2017 Mind survey, a higher prevalence of mental health issues were identified by public service respondents

15% of public service employees said their mental health was poor compared to 9% of private sector employees

61% of private sector employees said that they felt supported when they disclosed an issue – only 49% of public sector employees said the same