Designing and Implementing a Workplace Health Strategy

4 Steps to Creating a Bespoke Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Implementing a holistic and targeted workplace health strategy makes good business sense, yet, according to Aon’s UK Benefits & Trends Survey, only 44% of employers have a wellbeing strategy in place and of those, a mere 10% actively measure their return on investment (ROI).

Research suggests that organisations who yield the best results are those who build their strategy on 3 levels: prevention, intervention, and protection, yet according to the Aon survey, almost 40% of the organisations surveyed were planning to focus on reactive measures rather than taking a proactive approach. Reacting to poor health comes at a cost, either through sickness absence, poor performance or employee turnover.  To reverse this, we should be creating an environment which nurtures employee health and wellbeing, which will decrease absence and improve performance and retention.

Every organisation is unique and there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution, however, there are generic elements that should form the basis of any health and wellbeing programme.  Understanding both organizational and employee needs will enable you to build a holistic and targeted health and wellbeing strategy that drives good health and good business.  Here are our 4 steps to creating a bespoke health and wellbeing strategy:


1.Do your research

Gathering data will help you identify the true costs of poor health on both the business and its people.

Identify costs associated with absence, presenteeism, accidents and employee turnover.  Look for patterns in absence based on the workforce demographics such as age, gender, department, and job role. Start to build the bigger picture around the trends and costs associated with poor employee health and wellbeing.

Undertake employee surveys to understand individual needs.  Asking questions around the psychosocial work environment, levels of engagement, wellbeing and physical and mental health is a great place to start. Often employees are more open to answering questions when they know their answers are anonymous.

Undertaking research will allow you to identify your starting point and offer a benchmark for your programme.


2. Plan

Once you have collated the data and better understand the true costs of sickness absence it’s time to move onto building a targeted, holistic programme that drives results.

The first step is to undertake a SWOT analysis to identify your priority drivers (goals).   Goals are usually quite relaxed such as reduce sickness absence, improve engagement, or increase retention.  Once you have identified your priorities you can set objectives against a wellbeing framework to help you achieve them.


3. Do

This is where you make your strategy come to life!

Launching a strategy is a fundamental part of the process. It is a waste of time and effort doing the research, building a strategy and framework and then taking no action. In order to gain long term momentum a strategy needs a ‘launch’. It’s about bringing your brand to life, gaining engagement, communicating it well, ensuring everyone understands the benefits of health improvements and why you are implementing your strategy.


4. Review 

Reviewing the impact of your programme is an ongoing process. Understanding what works, what doesn’t and why, will enable you to adjust and adapt your plans for the future. Evaluating your programme and establishing ROI is key to building your programme’s success year on year.

It takes time, effort and knowledge to build a healthy and productive workplace but with consistency and structure it is achievable for any organisation no matter what size.

If you would like to know more about how you can implement a robust workplace health strategy in your organisation, please do get in touch with Renee at [email protected]

 Renée Clarke Msc – Head of Workplace Health and Wellbeing | ParkLaine


Renée Clarke Msc has worked in the health and wellbeing sector for 13 years. Renee is passionate about the benefits workplace health and wellbeing has on performance and retention.

Renée’s expert knowledge has led her to deliver to some of the UKs largest public and private organisations. Her ability to translate the complexity of workplace health into an easily understandable subject gives her an edge in the industry.  Renée has written an online course for SME’s who want to implement a workplace health and wellbeing strategy on a limited budget.