4 Employee wellbeing metrics leaders must know

A quick summary:

  • What makes employee wellbeing metrics so important
  • The power of employee feedback and surveys
  • How to measure wellbeing at work with sick days
  • Why add staff turnover to your employee wellness metrics?
  • Can productivity and performance measure employee wellbeing?
  • Our conclusion on measuring employee wellbeing

Building and launching a workplace wellness programme is a great idea. However, without measuring employee wellbeing, how can you be sure your framework and initiatives are effective?

This burning question is what leaves many people management leaders stunned. To give you the best possible chance of creating a robust plan for healthier, happier teams, we’re looking at 4 employee wellbeing metrics.

A button to speak to an employee wellbeing expert

By the end of our guide to employee wellness metrics, you’ll have all the tools and know-how needed to truly support your workforce.

We’ll kick things off by understanding why it’s important to measure employee wellbeing, before jumping right into the four metrics — helping you refine your employee wellbeing initiatives with confidence.

Employees discussing employee wellbeing metrics
Why does measuring employee wellbeing matter?

Why it’s important to measure employee wellbeing

Although it sounds like a no-brainer, this is a very valid question. After all, why should you track and measure employee wellbeing? Does it really matter how Simon from marketing or Emma from sales felt six months ago?

The answer, is in fact, yes! Through ongoing surveys, feedback reports and other employee wellness metrics, your HR department can assess wellbeing based on historical data.

The health and wellbeing of your team may change over time, but understanding the ups and downs they’ve experienced makes it much easier to address the issues.

Managers can then ask why certain team members felt unhappy at certain points in the year — and providing employees feel comfortable speaking up — these problems, whether it be workloads, colleague relationships or another matter, can be resolved.

In simple terms, measuring employee wellbeing doesn’t start and end with a survey, it’s both current and historic data that leaders should draw from when improving their team’s health and happiness.

A group of leaders measuring employee wellbeing
How to measure wellbeing at work

How to measure wellbeing at work

To measure employee wellbeing, start by understanding what it is you are measuring, i.e employee wellness metrics. This includes employee surveys, absence rates, labour turnover and employee output.

By identifying key outcomes from these employee wellness metrics, you're better able to revise your strategy and efforts to improve wellbeing at work.

Let’s dive into the main part, the employee wellness metrics themselves! Below, we’ll walk you through employee feedback, sick days, turnover and productivity and performance.

Four key metrics that will paint a picture of a healthy and happy workforce, or the complete opposite! Remember, our list is by no means exhaustive and we strongly recommend you research other ways on how to measure employee wellbeing.

Top tip: If you’d like access to more than 17 HR calculations, we strongly recommend downloading the HR calculations cheat sheet!

Input your company’s numbers and our resource will present the answer to things like turnover rates, profit per employee, learning and development costs, job offer acceptance rates and so much more.

A female employee smiling
How to measure wellbeing at work

The power of employee feedback and surveys

How often do you ask your team how they’re feeling? Hearing the opinions of others can sometimes be hard, but it is leaders that listen who know how to make a difference.

General feedback should top your employee wellbeing metrics list. It’s the most honest and revealing form of your team’s wellbeing. With your current workplace wellbeing package, come up with a number of questions to ask your team.

This includes their thoughts on particular activities, when and how these events are led, the working environment/flexibility arrangements, and other topics.

Armed with these opinions, you will be in a much better position moving forward to refine your current wellbeing programme.

Example questions to measuring employee wellbeing

In an effort to make this article as practical and problem-solving as possible, we’ve listed a number of questions you can consider asking as part of any survey or feedback report

  1. Does our benefits package support your health and wellbeing?
  2. Would you agree measuring employee wellbeing is a priority for management?
  3. How would rate your happiness in the work environment out of ten?
  4. What rating would you give happiness outside of work out of ten?
  5. Do you believe our current incentives are somewhat stale?
  6. Would you feel comfortable discussing health and wellbeing with managers?
  7. Is there a culture of health and wellbeing in our company?

Instead of diving into any figures, you can hear first-hand what people think, saving the number crunching until later.

We've also put together a survey that you can print out, with 15 questions and five pages of insight into how to handle issues around happiness, remote working, working culture and relationships.

Before you move onto any other employee wellness metrics below, it is absolutely vital that you start with conversations and one-to-one wellbeing meetings. There are two reasons for this:

  • You won’t get a more honest response than speaking directly to employees
  • Surveys are the quickest means to measure employee wellbeing

How sick days help us measure wellbeing at work

Absence and absenteeism are two different things. One is genuine, the other often without good reason; but of course, this should be taken on a case-by-case basis.

That said, both absenteeism and general absence due to sickness and health concerns can be minimised through a robust wellbeing programme — making sick days a good addition to your employee wellbeing metrics list.

Firstly, wellbeing is all about our mental and physical health. It’s the steps we take to ensure we’re leading a healthier and happier life.

For this reason, employee benefits that are also wellbeing initiatives can encourage and help employees feel their best at work and at home. And of course, the more attention employees give their wellbeing, the fewer sick days people have. 

HR teams should carefully assess employee absences. Not to interrogate employees or make them feel uncomfortable but because it's a great addition to their employee wellness metrics.

When it comes to absenteeism, this usually occurs with unhappy employees. Whether that’s due to overall job satisfaction or perhaps burnout, this kind of absence usually boils down to much bigger problems at work.

It’s also a sign that employers just aren’t managing their employee wellbeing metrics correctly. Luckily, wellbeing initiatives can quash absenteeism with enough perseverance and commitment from leadership.

And so, all that’s required is the right initiatives, and that knowledge can be obtained from these employee wellbeing metrics, especially surveys and feedback reports.

In fact, 51% of employees expect employers to provide more support towards employee mental health, demonstrating just how significant mental health and wellbeing are in the workplace. 

A woman during a yoga session
How to measure wellbeing at work with staff turnover

How to measure wellbeing at work with staff turnover

While staff turnover can be the response to a wide range of issues in the workplace, a weak employee benefits package that lacks wellbeing initiatives can contribute to departing employees. 

For this particular reason, we believe retention joins the list of important employee wellness metrics. It’s a percentage; a figure that dictates the growth of your workforce headcount, but also the progress the company is able to make.

Without a growing workforce, there are inevitable projects, processes and skillsets missing from your team.

By analysing staff turnover rates, you can see overall how happy employees are, especially if a wellbeing programme has already been introduced. High rates of staff turnover indicate that more needs to be done for employees to stick around. 

Firstly, look at your existing employee wellbeing initiatives and assess the rates of staff turnover across the 3 to 6 months since your employee wellbeing programme was implemented. This is a no-brainer for employee wellbeing metrics and will give you a glimpse into overlooked patterns.

It’s in these patterns where you will find the results of your wellbeing programme; are they working or are people leaving your organisation?

What makes this an employee wellness metric is simple; unhappy employees will leave and happy employees will stay — and the happier we are, the healthier we are.

One step to minimising staff turnover is by tracking absences. Why? Because measuring employee wellbeing through absences is key. People are much more likely to begin taking days off work for job interviews and through disinterest in their role in the company.

In simple terms, absence can be a progressive consequence of unhappy employees towards them departing from your company. Great leaders will recognise the negative impact that the company could incur through losing talented employees.

Employees looking at employee wellness metrics
Measuring employee wellbeing through performance

How to measure employee wellbeing through performance

Finally, the last addition to your employee wellbeing metrics should be output, otherwise known as productivity and performance. If you’ve noticed a significant drop in these across the whole business, it could tell you something about your wellbeing programme.

To begin with, examine all four of the above ways of measuring employee wellbeing. We would recommend you start there, on your quest to identify the root of dropping productivity and performance.

There are plenty of reasons why your team can fall behind and find themselves in an unproductive rut. And while it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more absent from work, or on their way out the door, it’s something you must rule out.

Once you’ve ruled out the above employee wellness metrics, it’s time to consider other reasons why productivity and performance might’ve dropped.

And of course, it’s the big one — health and wellbeing. Take some time to speak with line managers and colleagues about employee attitudes towards work. You may discover that some employees are becoming less sociable, talkative or generally positive towards their colleagues, which is, of course, a cause for concern.

If this is the case, the best course of action is to hold wellbeing meetings and conduct surveys to better understand what’s going on. Ultimately, a loss of productivity and performance can definitely signal poor wellbeing.

All in all, performance and productivity are employee wellbeing metrics, and should be taken seriously. Businesses that implement strong wellbeing initiatives often see better engagement from team members. And better employee engagement means improved productivity and performance.

In fact, a disengaged employee costs a company between £2,500 - £7,400 annually. So, ensuring your team is happy and feel as though mental and physical health has been taken care of, means performance can remain steady or grow at a quicker pace. 🚀

Below, we’ve included some other employee wellbeing metrics to consider to better understand the health and happiness of your team:

  • Safety incident reports
  • Toxic staff relationships
  • Overall engagement levels
  • Incentive package uptake
A male employee doing yoga on outside during lunch
Our conclusion on employee wellbeing metrics

Conclusion on employee wellbeing metrics

It doesn’t take much to recognise the importance of measuring employee wellbeing. It’s the answers you need to better your decision-making when it comes to offering personalised, meaningful benefits.

Without the data and analysis of these employee wellness metrics, your efforts to support employee health and wellbeing could be unsuccessful. So much so, that employees may still be driven to leave despite all your intention to help them.

What’s the solution? Employee wellbeing metrics. It’s having your HR team collate survey results, hold conversations, develop the overall culture and really just find out what people’s needs are.

Without knowing how to measure wellbeing at work, you are limited to generic support. Just as decisions are dictated in our personal lives, we rely on genuine understanding and the correct information to ensure we make the best choices.

Your employee wellbeing benefits, or approach to supporting the workforce should be no different. Whilst your HR team will need to focus more of their attention to gather this data, it should be viewed as an investment in your people.

Using Heka to improve employee wellbeing

Now that we’ve covered how to measure wellbeing at work, let’s look at the initiatives and solutions can you offer your team.

We’ve developed an employee wellbeing platform that puts your people first. It’s through more than 3,000 experiences, products and services that your team can truly take control of their health and wellbeing.

Whether it’s life coaching, personal training, yoga sessions, financial consultation and so much more, there’s a lot on offer through our platform.

To find out the difference our wellbeing platform can really make for your business, find out what our customers think!

If you would like to discuss the features and benefits of Heka for your employees, book a demo with one of our wellbeing experts today.

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