The Tools HR Needs to Deliver A Health And Well-Being Strategy

Posted by Aaron Keeganon 01-June-2016 10:25:03

Our blog 'Who is Responsible for Employee Health & Well-being?' looks at all the different stakeholders who have a role to play to improve health and well-being not only for the company but also for society. In this article we will look specifically at HR and how they can make a significant contribution.

The CIPD Report, Growing the Health and well-being agenda: From first steps to full potential, 2016 'emphasises the role of HR in creating cultures where health and well-being are centre-stage in supporting efforts to improve workplace health, enhance productivity and have a more sustainable and motivated workforce.'

Each employer needs to nurture the proper foundations of culture, leadership and people engagement to develop an integrated well-being strategy that leads to sustainable employee engagement.

The CIPD Well-Being Pyramid

HR are seen as the 'enablers' of this integrated health and well-being strategy as they have the strategic vision to embrace this area, are in the best position to communicate with the different stakeholders and have the expertise and experience in employee engagement.

However, does HR have the tools and resources to deliver on this role?

The first challenge to get a health and well-being strategy initiated is senior management support. It will be up to HR to convince the Board that this is a key business initiative that has moved from “nice to have” to a “must have”. HR will need substantial clout to achieve this. The CIPD Report mentioned above will help along with the research that has come from thought leaders in Harvard and Michigan Universities but they will also need a strong business case that resonates within the specific characteristics of their business. HR need to articulate with metrics the cost currently being sustained through poor health and wellbeing and to then demonstrate the savings that will be enjoyed by reducing the health risks within the organisation. A Health Risk Assessment and robust absence data will provide much of the data required.

Not only will HR need to get support from the Board they will also need champions at every level of the organisation. There will always be some suspicion from employees and so it is important that the programmes are seen to be independent from the company and also owned by the workers. Getting staff to name and brand the strategy is a very effective way of getting buy in.

While HR writes the policy most organisations will devolve day-to-day responsibility down to line managers. HR can struggle in ensuring that policy is implemented consistently and that there is compliance from line managers in their responsibility. HR will need a robust data recording and management information system to allow them monitor and track implementation of policy.

These strong systems in the areas of absence management, wellness, EAP and traditional occupational health services will capture the metrics to allow HR and Board evaluate the success of the strategy and guide future decision making and resource allocation.

HR has a central role to play in unlocking the potential for a broader and more sustainable integration of health and well-being practices at work. However to achieve this they need the proper tools and resources to convince top management and ensure that the strategy is implemented consistently. The right tools can have a significant impact on the success of the strategy and deliver a strong ROI.

Unsure where to start?
Download our eBook on the 6 critical steps every successful Wellness Programme should have. Just click the image below.

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