Happy teams don't develop overnight: Measuring wellbeing in a way that matters

Business Insights

Rich Westman, CEO and founder of Kaido, the leading team building platform for businesses, explores how employers can measure wellbeing to drive meaningful change for their employees.

Is your team happy? It’s a simple question but one that is extremely difficult to answer straight away.

With so much in the news at the moment around the great resignation, employee loyalty and wellbeing is suddenly at the top of every business owner's mind - but how do you really know how your team is feeling? And why is it important?

Culture is at the heart of every business; it reflects the values of what a company stands for and is responsible for creating an enjoyable and productive place to work. In fact, research has shown that when employees are happier at work, they take more initiative, become better collaborators and care more about their work overall.

It is something that is constantly evolving, and any small change can tip the scales drastically in one direction if not monitored and measured. We’ve all been in an environment where one poorly worded email has ruined ties between teams.

Measurement should therefore be at the heart of any wellbeing strategy that might be in place, as in the words of Peter Drucker - ‘what gets measured gets managed.’

Creating a strategy that best suits you

When it comes to wellbeing, team’s requirements change over time. So, what mattered last year may not be right for our new world of hybrid working. An optional, anonymous survey can reset priorities and highlight what your people value on a personal, team and cultural level. To manage expectations, consider what’s possible within your budget and shape your survey content to suit. Once you have the feedback, you can then use it to shape your goals and develop your wellbeing offering.

The most successful wellbeing programmes encourage teams to adopt simple, sustainable changes that result in lasting rewards. There are many useful ways to kickstart the transformation and achieve company-wide improvement to wellbeing. For example, try creating a wellbeing section within your company intranet, or Slack group, which is regularly updated, offering tips to maintain healthy sleep patterns and balanced nutrition and lifestyle choices. It can be a great forum for people to share their passions and interests and creates a space for teams to discuss and connect.

You can weave wellbeing into your everyday interactions with your team. This could include scheduled catch ups (both onsite and online) and casual ‘check-ins’ to keep workers feeling in the loop and listened to. Establishing a regular rhythm of individual and all-colleague meet ups – that power conversation and collaboration – can nurture a sense of belonging.

Fun, focused team activities – such as a shared health and wellbeing challenge – can also keep the spark alive over a longer period, and drive engagement and positive lifestyle changes in the process.

You’ve done the hard work - but how do you know it’s working?

We typically associate measurement with a numerical device or collection of data, but measuring people isn’t always as straightforward. Therefore the research at the start is so important, as it helps you establish what you’re trying to improve, and therefore what you need to measure. Some common things to monitor include productivity, staff retention and overall employee satisfaction, but the list is endless.

One of the most powerful measurement tools in any business’s arsenal is self-reporting. Through simple scales or a straightforward question, you can gain insight into how your team is feeling then and there. Every person that takes part in one of our Challenges is encouraged to fill in daily reflections after they complete a task, answering questions on how they feel on an individual level and as part of the wider team. By collating this anonymised information daily, we are then able to track the success of the Challenge and provide companies with the insight they need to help make their team’s experience even more engaging and achieve meaningful long-term change.

As we navigate this new normal in the workplace, listening to your team is ultimately going to benefit your business, providing you with the insight you need to create an environment where people can do their best work. It might not have the same connotation as financial returns, but employee happiness is one measurement you are going to want to have up your sleeve.