Why hire a wellbeing officer for your company?

A quick summary:

  • What does a wellbeing officer do?
  • Other titles you might come across
  • Wellbeing officer job description
  • Reasons to hire for this role
  • Advice to small to medium businesses
  • Our final thought on hiring a wellbeing officer

In today’s workplace, a wellbeing officer is becoming more and more in demand. Leaders are recognising that, alone, they cannot drive higher engagement, better job satisfaction and happy employees.

But that isn’t all leaders have realised. It’s also become apparent that without extra care for things like engagement, employees become withdrawn from their job. In recent years, the Great Resignation has proven just how quickly employees can jump ship.

Despite this, not having a wellbeing officer doesn’t mean employers are failing. After all, the role of a chief wellbeing officer is relatively new.

But recognising the need for one of these people operation professionals is simply acknowledging that more can be done — should be done.

Our team did a quick search on Indeed.com and found around 1,010 jobs for the term “wellbeing officer”. So, it’s safe to say it’s a growing career opportunity.

The reality is that this particular job role is evolving, and sooner or later, most companies will have some form of wellbeing team. HR professionals are great at managing employees and keeping the business running, but it doesn’t necessarily make them ideal for creating healthier, happier staff.

Leaders must recognise that Sarah from HR might not be equipped to support employees with the likes of emotional wellbeing or social wellbeing support.

That isn’t to say Sarah is incapable, but this level of support requires a much greater understanding of mental health and wellbeing. It requires someone who is educated and qualified to deal with these matters.

So, what exactly are we looking at in this guide to why you should hire a wellbeing officer for your company? We’re glad you asked! Below, we’re kicking things off with the question “what does a wellbeing officer do”. It’s a popular one, and we’re going to take a look at the role in more detail.

We’ll then look at the wellbeing officer job description that you might want to consider before hiring one. Finally, we’ll get into the reasons to hire a wellbeing officer.

By the end of this guide, you’ll feel a lot more confident when interviewing, hiring and ensuring this type of employee drives healthier, happier teams in your organisation!

A manager delivering a speech in an office setting
What does a wellbeing officer do?

What does a wellbeing officer do?

Starting with the basics, what does a wellbeing officer do? To put it simply, the job of a wellbeing officer is to provide information, guidance and advice to employees around topics such as mental health and wellbeing.

Additionally, if employees have any concerns, the best point of contact is the wellbeing officer. In a nutshell, that’s the responsibility of a wellbeing officer, but let’s dig a little deeper.

Wellbeing officers are measured on their ability to bring happiness, satisfaction and team morale to the workplace. This is often achieved through arranging corporate events and get-togethers, listening actively to the needs of employees, and providing other incentives and initiatives in the work environment.

If morale and happiness begin to drop, wellbeing officers are required to find out why and uncover solutions to the problem. On the surface, it may be pretty corporate, but the role is nothing short of creative.

They must be creative in their approach to building high morale and happiness in the workplace. Cast your mind back to a time when you had to listen to the problems a friend or relative was facing, and find ways to lift their spirits - no easy feat!

Now, imagine this on a much larger scale — that’s the role of a wellbeing officer. And as we all know, sometimes our efforts to raise the atmosphere and mood of our friends, colleagues or relatives require a little bit of outside-the-box thinking.

Hopefully, that clears up the question above, “what does a wellbeing officer do?”. In conclusion, they put out fires when it comes to unhappiness and dissatisfaction in the workplace and they ignite a culture of openness and trust.

It’s not an easy job, and it requires a certain set of skills, but for anyone wondering what does a wellbeing officer do, there’s your answer! As for the expertise required, we’ll look at that in a bit more depth soon.

Other titles for a wellbeing officer:

It turns out ‘wellbeing officer’ isn’t the only title given to this particular role. And now that we know the answer to the question, what does a wellbeing officer do, let’s look at some other known titles for this responsibility. While the duties and tasks can differ slightly, especially in an educational institution sense, take a look at other titles for this job:

  • Safeguarding and wellbeing officer
  • Chief wellbeing officer
  • Mental health and wellbeing officer
  • Inclusion and wellbeing officer

Generally, all of these roles revolve around one purpose; to serve a community, group or individual with health and wellbeing support. Why? Well, it depends on the environment. In a university, a mental health and wellbeing officer may help with concerns and issues surrounding life on campus.

When it comes to safeguarding and wellbeing officers, these are likely to support the safety of children in a school environment. As you can see, the role and responsibilities change ever so slightly depending on the environment.

Of course, we’re only concerned about the meaning of a wellbeing officer in a work environment. So, let’s not waste any more time and look at what makes for a wellbeing officer job description.

A team of employees in mid-discussion in the office
Wellbeing officer job description

Wellbeing Officer job description

Despite the explanation above, you may still be wondering what the wellbeing officer job description really entails. Perhaps you’re looking to hire one for your business or become one. Whatever the intention, we’re going to look into the wellbeing officer job description.

First and foremost, a wellbeing officer has to have experience and knowledge in key areas. Some of these include psychology, counselling and teaching. Not only this but a typical wellbeing officer job description will say things like “the ability to remain calm in all situations” or “able to actively listen to the needs and concerns of everyone”.

It’s also the responsibility of a wellbeing officer to find programmes and platforms to support employees. Whether that’s learning platforms like Udemy or health and wellbeing platforms like us here at Heka.

For that reason, you might find mention of “developing or sourcing wellbeing programmes to meet employee needs” in a wellbeing officer job description.

Essentially, a wellbeing officer job description should tell you whether it’s the right career move for you, or if your company needs to hire one. Take a look at a wellbeing officer job description on sites like Indeed or LinkedIn for a much better understanding.

These job sites will provide hundreds or thousands of results. You’ll notice similarities across the board, and it will give, as a recruiter or even a job seeker, a better idea of what to expect as a wellbeing officer.

Skills and qualifications in a wellbeing officer job description

Now that we understand what to expect in a wellbeing officer job description, let’s look at just some of the common skill sets required.

  • Safeguarding training
  • Understanding of positive health and wellbeing practices
  • Experience in planning systems, policies and procedures around wellbeing
  • A university degree in psychology or social work
  • Non-judgemental approach to dealing with others
  • Ability to assess the best approach to dealing with others

Our team had a look at some of the salaries you can expect to find in a wellbeing officer job description. According to employer review site Glassdoor, the average salary in the UK for a wellbeing officer is around £39,133. This figure is based on 4,112 submitted salaries according to Glassdoor.

Staff looking at a folder and discussing projects
Why should I hire a wellbeing officer?

Why should I hire a wellbeing officer?

As we’ve covered the typical wellbeing officer job description, let’s find out exactly why you should hire one. Below, we’ve discussed various reasons which we think make an appealing case for recruiting someone with these skills.

Keeping employees healthy and safe

To begin with, let’s consider one of the priorities of any wellbeing officer — to ensure staff remain healthy and safe. What good can an unhealthy employee really do? The answer is quite simple, not a lot can be achieved.

It doesn’t take a wellbeing officer job description to tell you that! Safeguarding is one of the major responsibilities of a wellbeing officer in any form or environment. Let this be your first consideration. It is about putting the health and wellbeing of those around you above everything else.

Remember, modern life is driven by an ‘always-on’ culture. One that eats away at our energy and focus. Couple that with the long hours some of us find ourselves working, and you have a recipe for a health and wellbeing disaster.

This is exactly why you should hire a wellbeing officer. Having someone with a duty of care, a compassion for the happiness of others can alleviate the pressure as a leader. Whilst they go to work keeping employees satisfied, the ROI of these efforts will become evident in the overall productivity and performance of the workforce.

When employees are happier, they are more engaged, and higher engagement leads to better results. This isn’t a possibility, it’s more or less a reality.

In some of the biggest organisations, where budgets are able to offer employees everything they need and more, happiness empowers employees to produce their best work — how else do you think some of the most successful companies stay at the top?

After all, businesses are built by people just like you. Hire a wellbeing officer and raise the happiness levels in your organisation.

Protect the future of your business with a wellbeing officer

Protecting your business should be high up the agenda of any business, but how can a wellbeing officer help with that? Well, hiring someone with the responsibility of employee wellbeing demonstrates to stakeholders that you’re serious about not only the present but the future.

It shows that you're prepared to support employees and retain the very best talent. Because an unhappy workforce is a depleting workforce.

There are plenty of hurdles along the way to business success, and employees are at the heart of everything you set out to achieve. We’ve all heard the saying that if you want to go further, go as a team - and it’s very true.

With a robust team that collaborates and communicates effectively, you’re setting yourself up for long-term success. Hiring a health and wellbeing officer isn’t just about solutions in the present, but looking towards the future.

Think about how fast you want to grow, and the projects you foresee in the future. The more you grow, the more employees will need support. That’s the focus here, you are adopting a long-term vision for your business, putting short wins lower on the priority list.

Unfortunately, most businesses see the financial gain of short wins and deny everything in the business longevity rulebook. It’s the businesses that are people-centric, and that plans for the future that are the most innovative and disruptive.

Have you considered who a wellbeing officer can support your business goals, both in the present and future?

Two employees smiling at one another while sat at their desks
Supporting employees through uncertainty

Supporting employees through uncertainty

The modern world has thrown a lot at all of us in recent years. First the pandemic, and now the economic downturn we’re seeing unfold.

These events don’t occur without their negative implications. Typically, those implications hinder the quality of life and happiness of people, i.e your employees.

When you hire a wellbeing officer, you are making a huge step toward quashing the issues and concerns employees are experiencing in the immediate sense. In the vast uncertainty that we’ve been swept into, it may be the best hire you can make all year.

This is especially true, considering the recession Britain appears to be in. Prices continue to skyrocket, and we’re all finding it hard to stay afloat against the rising tide of inflation.

Through a rigorous employee benefits program, and a wellbeing officer, you’re able to provide emotional support and financial wellbeing support all rolled into one.

Your employee wellbeing officer should also be the first point of contact when it comes to unhappiness regarding financial health. They have the power to hear the concerns of employees but also put forward any new incentives or initiatives that they see fit for health and wellbeing.

Let your wellbeing officer be the much-needed guiding light. Whether it’s a global pandemic, a recession or a war in Ukraine, events that create fear, anxiety and stress impact us all differently.

Ownership of a health and wellbeing strategy

Finally, let’s discuss ownership of a health and wellbeing strategy. When you hire a wellbeing officer, you are creating emphasis on people’s wellbeing. A different degree of attention and care that your company now exhibits.

Not only does it alleviate the stress and struggle of your leadership team, but it hands over the responsibility to someone with experience and expertise. Someone who knows exactly what needs to be done, as appose to a manager who isn’t too clued up on building stronger teams.

Of course, managers can listen and support, but the role of a wellbeing officer is to go that extra mile — to develop a robust workplace culture.

It’s always a wise move to hire people better than ourselves to carry out tasks better than we can. It also frees up our time to focus on more pressing tasks. In a scenario like a wellbeing officer, managers don’t only have someone who can do a better job, but they have acquired more time each week or month to focus on other tasks and duties.

Having a wellbeing officer, who is responsible for the wellbeing of people in the workplace means leaders can set KPIs too. For instance, one target might be to raise the overall job satisfaction of the workforce over the course of a year.

Wellbeing officers would be responsible for going away and finding solutions to improve job satisfaction in the workplace. A survey can then be conducted to find out if employees are happier since hiring the wellbeing officer.

It’s objectives and projects like this that wouldn’t otherwise be feasible given the short amount of time and dedication general managers have for employee wellbeing.

Take a look at your leadership team and find out how much time each week managers are dedicating to employee wellbeing. Combine those hours, and find out if they would be better spent by a wellbeing officer instead.

Other reasons to hire a wellbeing officer

Now that we’ve covered the various reasons to hire a wellbeing officer, let’s list out a few others for your consideration. Because believe it or not, the list doesn’t end there.

In fact, we’ve only discussed a number of reasons. So, take a look below at the list we’ve compiled which should reinforce why hiring a wellbeing officer is a great idea.

Advice small to medium businesses on hiring a wellbeing officer

Before we review our final thoughts on wellbeing officers, let’s talk about different business sizes, and when the best time is to introduce this role to your company.

Firstly, we completely understand that bringing on an employee to focus on people's happiness and wellbeing isn’t without its costs. You have to hire, onboard, train and retain — of course, this depends on experience and skills etc. but this timeline is a possibility.

All of that said, we’d recommend that startups build a culture of health and wellbeing from the get-go. Too often, startup environments are driven by a select few who are overambitious and prioritise nothing but growth.

This way of working can deplete motivation and create a burnt-out workforce who aren’t happy with the style of leadership. Instead, start by putting people first, not last (before the numbers).

Of course, this can be hard, when one bad move can obliterate your business as a startup, but people should, in some capacity, come first in your startup or smaller business.

As for medium-sized businesses, those with around 50 to 250 members of staff, we think a wellbeing officer is a no-brainer. Hire one and let them take ownership of the wellbeing strategy.

It’s likely your business is about to take off, as you’ve proven by headcount growth. It’s important you scale in the right way, however. If you’re a recruiter in a medium-sized business, get onto a job site and start interviewing for your next wellbeing officer.

A female worker smiling at her laptop in an office
Our final thoughts on hiring a wellbeing officer

Our final thoughts on hiring a wellbeing officer

Finally, before we introduce you to Heka, let’s wrap up our final thoughts on the idea of becoming or hiring a wellbeing officer.

It’s safe to say that the intention of the wellbeing officer role is to create healthier, happier teams. It’s to raise engagement and job satisfaction. What often goes overlooked is the tremendous ROI that’s possible when you increase employee engagement.

The statistics don’t lie! In a report by Gallup, it was suggested that higher engagement leads to a 21% increase in profitability. This is something that should come into consideration when deciding whether to hire a wellbeing officer or not.

The same report highlights a couple of other interesting stats. It’s reported that an engaged workforce is responsible for 17% higher productivity and a whopping 20% higher sales.

So, what are you waiting for? Our advice is to most certainly hire a wellbeing officer for your team! Now, let’s talk about all things Heka.

Hiring Heka as your employee wellbeing officer

Employee wellbeing is a huge task for leaders. It requires the attention and commitment of truly compassionate employees. Heka can really take the pressure off wellbeing officers and help HR strengthen health and happiness in the workplace.

Through Heka, employers are giving their people a monthly allowance. Employees are booking and buying the best that wellbeing has to offer. And our platform is host to thousands of wellbeing experiences, products and services.

Everything from bouldering to spa days, life coaching to axe-throwing, there’s something for all of your team on Heka. Book a demo with our wellbeing experts today!

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