As the process of transition and change continues, with many employees returning to work and others remaining on furlough or home working, it is crucial for employers to understand how staff are coping and what support they need. At a time of inevitable stress and challenge, addressing these needs will improve workforce wellbeing, allowing organisations to function efficiently and effectively.

A staff survey is a great way to test the temperature of staff wellbeing by gathering feedback on the main challenges they are facing and their impact. This important information provides organisations with the tools to develop a clear strategy and action plan, to measure results and to improve staff wellbeing and performance.

Why now?

The pandemic has hit us all hard. Staff have faced a range of personal and professional challenges which have taken their toll on mental health. Initially, as we emerge into a new work environment, it will be important to understand the impact of these events on staff.

In this post-lockdown phase, as we attempt to pick up the pieces and re-establish a new normal, there are many more sources of stress that are likely to impact staff wellbeing. Making sense of how staff see the resilience and wellbeing challenges they are facing both at work and at home, will help organisations to understand the likely impact on work functioning. This will provide essential information on which to base the development of a staff wellbeing strategy and action plan going forwards.

What makes a quality wellbeing survey?

Wellbeing is multifaceted, so any survey aiming to understand the challenges a person or staff team are facing will need to investigate both personal and professional experiences, considering the key social, psychological and environmental elements of each.

Typically, a wellbeing survey will need to look at:

  • Factors that are known to influence wellbeing, such as social connection, daily routine, diet and exercise, work/home balance, self-care and sleep
  • The impact of external threats, such as the challenges posed by Covid-19. This might include understanding the impact on physical and mental health, work/home balance, alcohol consumption and finances.
  • Triggers for anxiety and low mood. These might include fears around Covid-19 and safety in the work environment, job security and financial worries as well as changes in both home and work life.
  • Perceived support from the organisation and from line managers.
  • Demographic information such as age, gender and job role to understand the wellbeing of different groups within the workforce and to ensure generalisability of findings.

Using standardised measures of mental health, resilience and wellbeing that have a good evidence base also allows for robust evaluation at more than one-time point. For example, as people return to work and again after wellbeing measures have been put into place.

Ensuring that your staff survey is anonymous will help staff to express their true views and feelings. Commissioning an external organisation to conduct your staff wellbeing survey not only increases response rates but also elicits greater honesty in the replies, providing a more accurate picture of work challenges and workforce mental health.

How we can help

As Clinical Psychologists, our training in research methods and statistical evaluation, combined with our specialist knowledge and expertise in the field of mental health and wellbeing means we are well placed to design and implement a staff wellbeing survey tailored to the needs of your organisation. We will carry out a detailed analysis of the challenges faced by your staff. This will be followed by an easy to understand report providing clear recommendations to inform the development of your wellbeing strategy. We will also support you to put your action plan into place.

Contact us for a free staff wellbeing consultation.