Workplace Wellness Programs: How to measure progress

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Workplace wellness programs, Employee wellbeing and mental health are getting a lot of traction during COVID.


Workplace Wellness Programs: Back it up with data


Not only is a healthy employee more likely to be a productive employee.

It’s also the right thing to do to focus on the whole person at work.

And both numbers and research are there to support it.

So let’s say that you did all your homework.

You sat down and designed this great wellness programme (need tips? check this external link) together with your Wellbeing Committee based on feedback from your employees.

The strategy is there, the plan is clear.

You’re ready to launch your 90-day challenge or Workplace Wellness Month!

But hang on.


How will you know if your Workplace Wellness Program is a success?


Well, you need to measure progress.

And in order to measure progress, you need to know where things stand on your first day, right?

How can you see if employee morale is being positively affected during your Workplace Wellness Program?

And how can you get an indication of which actions have the biggest impact without organizing a survey after each event?

I.e. is a surprise Waffle Friday – where the CEO prepares the breakfast – more popular or effective than organizing a weight loss seminar?

Which has the biggest impact?


Baseline Measurements

Baseline measurements can be done with a simple pen and paper where you ask employees to answer the same question at the end of every workday.

Any standardized work question will do, for example: How was your day?

Or you can use a big bowl.

Just ask employees to put either a green or a red ball into the bowl, to let the company know how your workday went.

Or why not make it extra visible and fun with red and green balloons?

You then count how many green vs red you got.

Others hang a device with smiley buttons for employees to press.


Employee wellbeing ideas


How did employees feel BEFORE the Workplace Wellness Programs?


The beauty of repeating the same question every day is that you always measure the same variable.

I.e. How was your day?

Do you get an average of 70% green ballons and 30% red when people evaluate how they feel on a “normal” workday?


Once you have established a baseline of how people feel, it easy to see patterns and trends.

You can then visualize it by using a simple Excel sheet. There you can show the % of green balls you get per day.

Or use the dashboard if you’re measuring with a provider.



Employee wellness programme

The day you start with your workplace wellbeing programmes, your baseline is 70% green. That means 70% chose the green option, and 30% chose the red option.



How will your people react on a day when you organize an event within your Employee Wellbeing Program?

Will you get more (or less!) green, compared to a normal workday?

As mentioned, you have established a daily baseline by always asking them the same question as they leave work.

You can now see the difference and rate how big the impact of your Kickoff Meeting for your Workplace Wellness program has been.

I.e. how big is the difference?

Some systems will automatically see how big the difference is.

They will then rate the workday for you based on your people data.


Analyze staff wellbeing program

How do employees feel DURING the Employee Wellbeing Initiatives?


Let’s have a look at the chart below.

It shows the employee morale evolution, over time.


Grey background colour: This is the daily Employee Morale, the “background” data. This KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is calculated using an average of the last 30 rolling days.


Green line: This line shows the Employee Morale KPI for the days where an event or communication has taken place within the Workplace Wellness Program.




Workplace Wellness Program


See how the employee mood spikes during some days?

And underperforms for other events?

Let’s find out what Workplace Wellness programs they are.


Workplace wellbeing challenge


What events were (most) effective during your Employee Wellbeing Month?


So, below is the same chart as shown before.

This time, the wellbeing activities are outlined:


The grey background shows the average of employees pressing green.

The green line shows the effect of the Workplace Wellness challenge.



Employee wellness programme


The employee mood results will, of course, depend on many things.

Some events have a very positive impact on the mood.

Others, not so much.

When analyzing, did you make sure that leaders – at ALL levels, especially team managers, were on board with the idea and understood the WHY?

You need their support. That’s the best way to get the maximum amount of employees on board and participating.

When results aren’t as positive as you expected, perhaps you didn’t have all the buy-in you thought you did?

Did you have the right people on your wellbeing team? Were they from different departments? Age groups? Categories?

Or were perhaps some activities cancelled, or deprioritized as fires were popping up?

I.e. did the pilates class clash with end of month production stress?

Or did the fun dance off take place after work hours and people were upset as they couldn’t join?

You can also cross-check the data with absenteeism, long term sickness, retention, store sales figures, production efficiency, ROI, etc.


workplace wellness programs ideas

Evolve your Employee Wellbeing Month


Remember to share and celebrate the findings with your employees.

They will be curious!

Back up your stories with data when you share them.

Analyzing the data together with your employees is also important in order to evolve your Workplace Wellness Program. 

As data research show, regularly talking with employees about improvement is the best way to improve employee engagement.

Ask your staff to think about the group, their coworkers, when they answer.


Some conversations starters could be:

  • What worked well? And less well? Why?
  • Who participated? Those who didn’t, why not?
  • How can we make it better the next time? What do you think others would improve?
  • Were team supervisors onboard? How did that impact the participation and outcome for the rest of the team members?


This way you can adapt your employee health and wellbeing policy so it works best for your company culture.

The results?

Your people will feel better about their lives and jobs, and their relationships with the people around them.

And hey, that will benefit your company’s bottom line.


This article was previously published on HR Tool Box.


Interested in measuring the impact of your Employee Wellbeing Initiative? 


Smiley feedback terminal Celpax


Employee wellbeing monthMetrics for change managment

Rebecca Lundin, CelpaxHej! I’m Rebecca, co-founder at Celpax. We use simple tech tools to create better work environments. And build a better society while at it! Let’s talk about Employee health and Workplace Wellness programs on Twitter? Or follow us on Linkedin.

Photo via freepik

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