Measuring employee health and wellbeing: The pulse of organisational success

Understanding the true heartbeat of your organisation starts with measuring employee health and wellbeing initiatives. These insights provide a real-time pulse on employee experiences and needs, enabling employers to craft personalised support that resonates deeply. By accurately gauging the climate of the workplace, companies can not only address the unique needs of their people but also retain top talent in an increasingly competitive market. Personalised wellbeing initiatives, driven by these insights, go beyond mere salary increases, fostering a supportive environment that promotes long-term engagement and satisfaction.

Read on to find out more…

There is a misconception that pay rises are the epitome of great workplaces; that employees want nothing more than to see their salaries rise higher and higher. Although that is an appealing scenario, it is not always right or true, says Alex Hind.

In fact, we need only look back over the past couple of years at some of the emerging demands of employees. These unprecedented times, burdened by uncertainty and struggle, have proven that people need much more than deeper pockets.

But what is it employees need and want more than a pay rise? The answer is personalisation, meaningful support and overall compassionate leadership. Sounds tangible, easy perhaps. Yet, so many companies continue to miss the mark.

In a MetLife survey of more than a thousand workers, a staggering 50 percent said they are willing to accept a reduction in pay for more personalised benefits. Demonstrating just how little employers are leveraging their workplace perks.

So, when we say words like personalisation, meaningful support and compassionate leadership, what we really mean is better work-life balance, benefits that support individual needs and leaders who listen and act on those needs.


It’s all well and good analysing the shift in employee demands, but where did it really begin? None other than the COVID-19 pandemic — forcing us to retreat into our homes and rethink traditional ways of working.

Since then, the workplace wellbeing revolution has become so apparent. In research carried out by ACAS, 36 percent of British employers believe their mental health support has increased following the pandemic.

But that’s not all, it’s the general habits and lifestyle choices people continue to make in a post-pandemic world. According to one report, 64 percent of people surveyed consider exercise to be a bigger priority in the wake of COVID-19. These findings are in abundance, and they point to a healthier and happier societal transformation!

Interestingly, workplace wellbeing is a win-win scenario for employers. That is because healthier and happier people are more effective at work; more engaged, more productive and so on.

This should be enough to convince you just how important it is to invest in new ways of supporting the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of everyone in your team.


Personalisation, in every sense of the word, is taking the modern workplace by storm. Employers must do away with generic, meaningless perks. The kind that does not support the immediate needs of workers.

The same can also be said for other instances in the workplace, like poor and unclear career paths. Employees deserve more and deserve better. This means refreshing the entire employee experience and adding value where possible.

It is about recognising changing the habits and lifestyles of people and adopting new policies, new programmes and ideas that move with the times. Think hybrid work. Ever since the introduction of remote work, it has become a make-or-break for many workers. In fact, it was one of the drivers of the Great Resignation after COVID-19.


Individual learning paths
Parental and family-friendly benefits
Flexible working arrangements

Personalisation is everything from the place of work to the tools your team uses. 90 percent of C-level staff members said they take employees into consideration when choosing tools. But only 53 percent of their employees agreed with this statement.

Ultimately, a lack of personalisation in the workplace is giving rise to poor engagement and job satisfaction. People are more open to asking for mental health support, more comfortable requesting fertility treatment and discussing personal topics that, quite frankly, before the pandemic were neglected and wrapped in stigma.

Because of this, leadership teams must increase their employee wellbeing perks, their initiatives and support, and hone in on personalisation for each and every team member.


Now, do not get me wrong, pay rises are a great thing. They provide employees with the means to survive and provide for their families. But they should not be observed as unrivalled when it comes to supporting employee needs.

As we have discussed here, workplace wellbeing, fringe benefits and personalisation are growing demands in the workforce. Luckily, there are alternative solutions to offer these qualities, without just paying people more money.

Of course, hypothetically, (and to give a bizarre example) if there was a growing demand for everyone to be millionaires, this article might not stand a chance. But that’s far from the truth. Employees desire things that are tangible without pay rises.

For instance, by offering subsidised yoga classes and discounted wellness products, you are enabling employees to maintain existing lifestyle choices — ones that support their lives outside of the workplace.

Think about it. A cost of living crisis will only drive prices higher, and some of your team may have to cut out the things they love. But it’s these very experiences, memberships or classes that help their mental health and general wellbeing.

In turbulent times, increasing salaries for employees might sound like a good idea. But the novelty will wear thin and employees will see that income swallowed up by bills or other meaningless purchases.

What we are trying to say is that, rather than a salary increase, employers can actively personalise employee perks and focus on what it is their people really need. To summarise, salaries don’t always address the root cause of problems in the workplace.

But with all of that being said, we cannot ignore the importance of fair and equal pay. Your people must receive adequate compensation for their hard work. When prioritising new benefits or initiatives versus salaries, always benchmark wages against industry averages.


As you can see, the modern-day challenges a lot of leaders face can be solved outside of pay rises. It doesn’t help that there is a cost of living crisis at the moment, but there are unmet needs outside of financial compensation that employees want.

Financial downturn impacts both everyday people and the businesses they work for. Hopefully, this guide gets you thinking about the solutions; the alternatives available. In times of uncertainty, it’s about thinking outside of the box.

Listen to your employees, understand what it is they want, and support them as best you can. If they want duvet days, give it to them! Access to counselling? You know what to do. Of course, if you have the means to pay them more, most certainly do. But even then, it’s important to invest in health and wellbeing perks and personalisation.

Alex Hind: Are pay rises the best way to retain talent?

Alex Hind, HR Review, 29th May 2024