Offering your employees well-being initiatives that they can use to their benefit may seem like a solid idea. It provides your employees a way to de-stress and improve their personal and professional life. But, are you giving your employees the well-being benefits that they really want and need?
Every employer struggles with the fine line between benefits that will enhance the lives of their staff without costing them a bundle in the process. Yet, introducing a well-being initiative that your workers are not interested in at all is a colossal waste of money for you and them.
To avoid a wasted expenditure, seven members of Forbes Coaches Council share how you can figure out what the best employee well-being initiative to provide to your staff is and what factors you should consider when implementing it. Here’s what they recommend:
1. Ask Them What They Want
Too often, we sit in boardrooms and make decisions about what is best for our employees without even consulting them. Do your research on what other companies have successfully implemented and why. Then share the results with your employees to gauge their interest in participating in such an initiative. – Ed Krow, Turbo Execs, LLC
2. Tailor The Initiative To Individual Specificity
As a registered dietitian, I see a variety of problems and potential solutions every day. Some need healthy snacks, others benefit from having a gym onsite. However, the one thing that seems to fit the majority is health education. With two-thirds of the U.S. population being overweight, knowledge of how to manage and reverse diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol is always welcomed. – Frances McIntosh, Intentional Coaching LLC
3. Create A Wellness Library
One tool that I have used with businesses is a creation of a wellness library. This library can consist of books, CDs and DVDs on a variety of topics important to employees. Topics could include things like finances, marriage, parenting, addiction, physical health, and mental health. Then notice which resources get used. You will know where to place more focus on additional resources. – Ken Gosnell, CEO Experience
4. Hire External Expertise
Leadership is often too close and too biased to really put a finger on the pulse of what’s going on within an organization. Bringing in an outside third party alleviates the burden of dealing with assumptions and ulterior agendas. Hire a consultant to conduct an independent employee feedback survey or focus group. The consultant can present an unbiased recommendation of his/her findings. – Niquenya Collins, Building Bridges Consulting
5. Look To The Swedes
When it comes to well-being initiatives, Sweden leads the way. From shorter work days to flexible working hours, “wellness grants” for health-conscious employees, long paid parental leave, onsite childcare and temporary parental leave to care for unwell children, Sweden is well ahead of the rest of us, and absenteeism has decreased steadily since the millennium. Coincidence? – Ashley Good, Ashley Good Coaching & Consulting
6. Seek Out Staff Feedback
Seek out feedback from staff as they are the ones who are going to benefit from the well-being initiatives. Leaders often forget to include these important stakeholders in the decision-making processes. Ask what initiatives they’re interested in and how they believe they would benefit. Also, be sure to check in regularly with staff to ensure the well-being initiatives are working as intended. – Kyle Elliott, CaffeinatedKyle.com
7. Survey Them Anonymously
As well-intentioned as my many HR colleagues and business leaders are, they often ask for verbal feedback or put a lot of thought into non-confidential talks. But they don’t involve their people in surveys — anonymous surveys that will provide insights that you normally wouldn’t get. You may get wild ideas or comments, and that’s fine. A solidly written, confidential survey will provide keen insights. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com.