How to Measure Employee Wellbeing and 5 Key Metrics to Track

One of the key parts of any workplace wellbeing strategy should be measuring the effectiveness of your initiatives. We recommend that your first step should be to measure where you are right now. That way, it will make it easier to track key metrics going forward. Once you have benchmark data, you can then set goals and KPIs to improve employee wellbeing.

As part of your ongoing strategy, it’s vital to keep measuring and tracking so that you can optimise going forward. Only then can you see what’s working, what still needs improvement, and what needs to go.

In this guide, we’ll look at some of the key metrics to track employee wellbeing and the different ways you can collect that data.

5 Key Metrics to Measure Employee Wellbeing

There are many different metrics you may want to use when it comes to measuring workplace wellbeing. These five are the most commonly used and ones we recommend using, even if you do so alongside other data you’re collecting.

Absenteeism and Sick Leave

An estimated 17.9 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in the last year. The number of sick days an employee has is generally linked to how happy they feel at work. Employees who are feeling stressed or overwhelmed at work are far more likely to need more time off.

Start by tracking the number of days your employees need off due to ill health, but also general days absent too. This will give you data on both planned and unplanned absences that can help you build a clear picture of how much time off people are taking.

You may also want to consider getting more in-depth data on absences and sick leave during back-to-work interviews if an employee has been off for a while due to stress.

Remember, not all employees feel as though they can talk about their mental health. Ensure you create an open and honest environment that allows people to discuss their mental health and wellbeing. This will help you get more honest feedback about what might be causing high levels of sick leave. Our guide, How to Talk About Mental Health and Wellbeing With Your Employees, can help with this.

Employee Retention and Turnover

Alongside sick leave and absences, tracking your employee retention and turnover rates can also give you an insight into overall wellbeing at work. High levels of turnover, especially if there’s a fluctuation in the norm, may indicate an underlying issue in the organisation.

Employees who are happy and healthy in their roles will generally stay at a company for longer, so retention and turnover rates are often directly linked with workplace wellbeing. Track this data by measuring voluntary and involuntary turnover, and see if there are any areas for concern.

It’s important to remember that not everyone who leaves their role will be doing so due to workplace wellbeing issues. Conducting exit interviews are key for delving deeper into why employees may be leaving and whether it’s due to issues at work or for other reasons.

Employee Satisfaction

One of the most common and effective ways to track employee wellbeing is by asking your employees how it’s going! There are many different ways you can measure employee satisfaction and we’ll go through ideas a little later.

Once you have developed a way of measuring employee satisfaction, try to keep the methodology the same (or as close as) throughout the implementation and tracking of your wellbeing strategy. This allows for better tracking and will give you a clear picture of what is and isn’t working.

Wellbeing Program Uptake and Utilisation

As you’re building out your wellbeing strategy and implementing new initiatives, it’s imperative you track the uptake and utilisation of these new programs. How many people know about the initiatives? Are people using them? If so, how many? 

If there aren’t enough people utilising your wellbeing programs, is it because they don’t see the need for them or is it because they don’t know about them? We’ve found that often employees just aren’t sure what their employer provides and this can lead to low uptake. Ensure you’re communicating what you offer and how to access it, from onboarding a new employee onwards.

Learn more: Our most recent workplace wellbeing survey highlights some of the key issues faced in workplaces according to employees.

Return on Investment (ROI) or Value on Investment (VOI) for Wellbeing Programs

Many organisations will track the Return on Investment (ROI) for any new program or initiative they implement. This is generally done by calculating how much is spent on things like absences and staff turnover, and whether there is a ‘return’ (savings) after investing in employee health initiatives. If the money spent on wellbeing leads to greater savings in other areas of the business, then that’s a positive ROI.

However, some organisations are now looking at Value on Investment (VOI) as another way of measuring the impact of wellbeing programs. This metric not only looks at the financial return, but measures other aspects such as morale, productivity, and engagement. While it can be more complicated to measure, VOI encompasses so many more of the benefits of a wellbeing program than ROI.

Depending on the resources you have available, you may want to choose ROI, VOI or a combination of both to measure employee wellbeing.

3 Ways to Collect Employee Wellbeing Data

Now we know the kind of data and metrics we want to track, how can we go about collecting it? Here are some of the most popular ways to start collecting data and building up a clear picture of your employee’s health and wellbeing.

Open Conversations with Employees 

We’re big fans of creating an open and honest workplace culture, and this generally means having a lot of conversations! You may wish to talk to employees during one-to-ones or group discussions and use this to start building up an overall picture of their health and wellbeing.

It’s also a good idea to gather data during return-to-work interviews, exit interviews, and even when onboarding new team members. The more informed you can be on your team and their individual struggles, the better.

Finally, try using Wellness Action Plans to learn more about employees’ specific needs and struggles.

Gathering Data from HR

The majority of the metrics we’ve covered to measure employee wellbeing will likely come from human resources data. You may wish to ask your HR department to send regular reports on the key metrics you want to track, or even set up alerts if there are fluctuations in things like sick days or turnover.

If you don’t have an HR department, you can still track sick leave and turnover on a basic level. Remember to use open conversations with employees to dig into the data a little further rather than just looking at the numbers in black and white.

Employee Wellbeing Surveys

Finally, one of the best ways to measure employee wellbeing is through questionnaires and surveys. As mentioned, we recommend that you keep the methodology of these surveys the same throughout so that you can see the real impact of your wellbeing programs and initiatives. 

These surveys and conversations with employees are also useful for tracking Value on Investment (VOI) as they’ll cover some of the less tangible aspects of employee wellbeing. Adding this to HR data will give you both an ROI and VOI that can show the real impact of your workplace wellbeing strategy.

Now it’s time to use this data as part of your ongoing workplace wellbeing strategy. Use our in-depth guide and free template to create your employee wellbeing strategy.