The challenges that we have all faced through the pandemic have brought mental health into sharp focus. Consequently, employers are increasingly recognising their ethical and legal responsibilities in relation to employee wellbeing. In this article we discuss how to choose a workplace wellbeing provider that will help you to prioritise and invest in staff wellbeing for sustainable change. Research shows that organisations that do this have lower sickness absence rates, greater productivity and better business outcomes.
Creating a psychologically healthy work environment that places employee wellbeing at centre stage takes a considered and strategic approach. The tick-box method is no longer acceptable and piecemeal offerings lack consistency and lasting impact. Instead, employers need to be making changes at a cultural level, which are felt by all staff, no matter what their position. This includes rethinking policies, procedures and leadership practices.
To achieve these crucial changes, organisations need to partner with specialised workplace wellbeing providers for high impact, evidence-based solutions that produce tangible results. But how can you choose a wellbeing provider and be confident they are equipped for the job?
How to Choose a Workplace Wellbeing Provider
Credibility and expertise
With significant growth in the wellbeing industry over recent years, a range of new companies have come to the market offering support to organisations. Many come from the business or tech sector and bring innovation and technological solutions. However, they may lack the psychological knowledge and expertise to provide robust wellbeing solutions that create safe and lasting behaviour change.
Choosing a wellbeing provider with the right qualifications and background experience will ensure they have the skills to deliver your required outcomes. Consultants who are qualified healthcare professionals will bring essential clinical expertise to improve the health and wellbeing of your workforce. Registered professionals will adhere to a code of ethics and are backed by a professional body. This provides protection for your organisation and your staff.
When working with the mental and emotional wellbeing of your employees, look for providers with mental health qualifications and experience. These professionals will have the expertise to manage and support staff members experiencing distress. Anxiety, trauma and grief are just some of the issues that can come to the fore during wellbeing interventions. These need to be approached with sensitivity and awareness of the wider mental health context, to ensure no psychological damage is done. A trained professional who can respond flexibly to issues as they arise, will create a safe training experience for all. They can also support or signpost individuals to further help if necessary.
There is little value in delivering staff wellbeing support that has no proven benefits. Therefore, it is important to choose a wellbeing provider that grounds their practice in robust research and theory. Drawing on contemporary models and research evidence maximises the potential for lasting organisational and individual behaviour change.
Beware of wellbeing providers that promise an “evidence-based” approach without any ongoing commitment to scientific rigour. Are they actively contributing to their field of expertise through research or other academic projects?
A sound wellbeing provider will be able to show evidence that their service offerings have a clear research-backed rationale. They will take a systematic approach to understanding the specific challenges facing your organisation and will tailor their service accordingly.
Measurement and assessment
An effective wellbeing strategy or programme must to be tailored to the needs of your employees. It requires in-depth knowledge of the challenges and psychological risks that are present within your organisation. Measuring this through a bespoke wellbeing assessment at the outset will produce clear data to guide your wellbeing provision going forwards. This ensures a more targeted investment, allowing you to set the right priorities and focus on areas of most need. A systematic approach to measurement also allows you to benchmark organisational wellbeing and evaluate outcomes.
Using standardised measures of health and wellbeing provides statistical data that tells you whether a programme or intervention is effective. This information can then be used to inform future adaptations to your programme.
Choosing a wellbeing provider that is experienced in the use of research methods and measurement will be central to establishing an evidence-based wellbeing strategy. Check whether your wellbeing provider has expertise in assessment and evaluation of staff experience. They will also need knowledge of relevant health and wellbeing measurement tools. Evidence of previous evaluation data, pre-post measures and customer feedback or reviews will further demonstrate their commitment to quality control.
Positive working relationships
Through our many years of delivering health and wellbeing services, we have learnt that trusting, respectful relationships are at the heart of successful outcomes. Through our partnering process, we build lasting relationships with our clients to provide responsive and adaptable support over the long term. Our values-driven and human approach facilitates open communication, creating space to understand our customers and respond flexibly to their changing wellbeing needs.
How you choose a wellbeing provider will pay dividends for you and your staff. Take your time. Find a provider who shares your values and ideals. Ensure they are suitably qualified and are committed to making a real difference through evidence-based practice and evaluation.
Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, Ultimate Resilience – are a team of qualified clinical psychologists who provide complete workplace wellbeing solutions. We partner with employers to create lasting psychological change that impacts the whole organisation.