How to create a successful employee wellbeing programme

Smiling team on a break

How to create a successful employee wellbeing programme


What is employee wellbeing?

Employee wellbeing is when an employee is able to thrive in their role at an organisation. They are happy, healthy, fulfilled, and able to be the best version of themselves at work. An employee in a state of wellbeing will achieve their potential and be an asset to their organisation.

Employee wellbeing is impacted by stress and workplace conditions as well as personal factors like diet, sleep, physical fitness and relationships with others.

Resilience determines an employee’s ability to thrive in the face of adversity: when the pressure is on or when times are tough. Delivering an important pitch or working to a tight deadline with depleted resources are examples of where workplace resilience is crucial.

Employees need both wellbeing and resilience if they are to remain happy and productive.


What are the benefits of employee wellbeing?

The risks of not supporting your employees’ wellbeing are clear: in 2019, 12.8 million working days were lost because of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in the UK alone.[1] Other research indicates that employees with poor wellbeing work to only 64% of their potential.[2]

On the other hand, the American Psychological Society found that organisations that promoted health and wellbeing had 19% less turnover, their people had 21% higher job satisfaction and were 24% more likely to say they are motivated to do their best.[3]


How to create a successful employee wellbeing programme

Creating a successful employee wellbeing initiative is not as straightforward as it might seem. Around 25% of organisations do not see any benefits from their employee wellbeing programmes,[4] so it is crucial to lay the foundations that will help them succeed in the long-term.

There are three key ingredients to a successful employee wellbeing initiative:

Align it with your organisational mission

Your employee wellbeing programme will struggle from the start if you do not help senior leaders understand its value. They are more likely to be supportive when they understand how the initiative will contribute to the organisation’s vision and mission.

An employee wellbeing programme will have more return on investment if your employees and leaders understand how it benefits them and the organisation.

Take time to understand people’s needs

Before designing an employee wellbeing programme, it’s important to find out what your people need and want from it. Letting people know that you have incorporated their feedback will increase their engagement with the programme.

Your employees will be more engaged by a wellbeing initiative that appeals to their basic human needs.[5] Psychologists suggest these may include competence: a need to be good at what we do, autonomy: a need to feel free to make our own choices and follow our own goals and relatedness: a need to connect with others.

Measure the impact of the programme

Measuring the impact of wellbeing initiatives is critical for making sure they improve over time but only one in five organisations currently assess how effective their wellbeing initiatives are.[6]

Before starting the programme, work with key stakeholders to identify what a positive impact would mean for your organisation. For example, if the aim of an initiative is to help people make healthier choices, what specifically would qualify as a healthy choice? How would this be quantified? How would it be tracked? If you can’t answer these questions, your programme will be less effective and you will struggle to demonstrate ROI.


How can Lane4 help you to improve employee wellbeing at your organisation?

Lane4 can design and implement employee wellbeing programmes, but it also provides digital tools to help organisations carry out their own initiatives.

Balance4 is a personalised, on-demand learning tool to help your people understand and improve their own wellbeing. It includes a diagnostic and nine interactive, bite-sized e-learning modules to develop skills and improve wellbeing. Learn more here.

Want to learn more about employee wellbeing? Check out our white paper Wellbeing: Thriving in all aspects of working life.



[1] HSE. (2019). Health and safety at work Summary statistics for Great Britain 2019. Retrieved from

[2] O.C. Tanner Institute. (2016). The Impact of Excellent Employee Wellbeing. Retrieved from

[3] Grawitch, M. J., & Ballard, D. W. (2016). The psychologically healthy workplace: Building a win-win environment for organizations and employees. American Psychological

[4] CIPD& Simply Health. (2019). Health & Well-being at Work. Retrieved from

[5] Trice, H. M., & Beyer, J. M. (1993). The cultures of work organizations. Prentice-Hall, Inc.

[6] Stillman, T. F., Lambert, N. M., Fincham, F. D., & Baumeister, R. F. (2011). Meaning as magnetic force: Evidence that meaning in life promotes interpersonal appeal. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2(1), 13-20.