On the face of it they would seem fairly similar, but actually their start points are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Most businesses look at Wellbeing as a top down initiative devised by management, health professionals, third parties or government initiatives and guidance programmes. However, what this fail to take into account is the requirements of the employees – what do they need to “Be well”?
If businesses understand that a healthy workforce has benefits beyond sickness absence rates to include increased productivity and engagement then surely, the objective of your Wellbeing programme would be to meet the specific health and wellbeing needs of employees so that initiatives can have the greatest impact.
Most Wellbeing Programmes operate on a “scatter gun” approach providing employees with a little bit of everything (or a lot of everything dependent on your budget) from fruit bowls to subsidised gym membership, to in-house activities relating to general health and wellbeing. But, will it inspire behavioural change, will it invoke long-term benefits or short-term gains, does it engage the already healthy members of the team only and, primarily – does it meet the actual needs of your employees?
An individual can articulate and comment on what Being Well means to them. It becomes employee focussed not an employer focussed exercise. Employees/individuals can identify very well what they need to Be Well, what Being Well means to them and what does Being Well look like.
If you start from this stance then the perspective changes.
You need to look at what the needs of your team are – take the impetus from their needs and then once those needs are understood in terms of prevalence and treatment penetration matched to measured productivity losses (the cost of presenteeism and absenteeism combined) against conditions you can establish what the health and wellbeing priorities are for your employees providing a secure foundation for your Well Being Programme which is more likely to provide engagement and long term dividends in terms of behavioural change, VOI and ROI.
It will also provide you with baseline measures that form the KPI measures associated to your programme.