Data Is Beautiful. Here’s Why.

Why is data important to Workplace Wellness?

To answer that question, let’s look at this common scenario:

A couple enthusiastic employees decide they’d like to see more wellness initiatives at work. The boss says, “Sure, go for it!” So they volunteer their time to organize a series of on-site yoga classes to take place immediately after work in the conference room. The first day of class comes, but no one shows up. The once enthusiastic employees feel defeated.

What could have given this scenario a happier ending? Data.

Had these two employees done a simple “employee interest survey,” they probably would’ve had a much better program. An employee interest survey helps you know things like:

  • what topics interest them?
  • what times are they most likely to attend a program?
  • what are their barriers to participating?

They may have discovered that their coworkers prefer shorter activities during the lunch hour. And perhaps more employees were interested in walking than yoga. Therefore 15 minute walking group meeting at lunch twice a week may have been more popular to kick off a wellness program.

Some surveys should be done formally. But an interest survey can actually be quite simple if you don’t have a lot of time or resources. Asking for opinions verbally, or getting a show of hands at an all-staff meeting are just a few informal ways you can begin to collect data.

Trust & Privacy are Key

We mentioned informal surveys earlier. However, you can and eventually should take data collection a step further. Collecting health metrics, and assessing your workplace’s supports can be extremely beneficial.

However, health-related survey data is sensitive. Employees are rarely keen to share personal information, especially health-related, with employers. This doesn’t mean you can’t get and use this info – only that you must be careful and respectful in your approach!

For health surveys, we recommend using a third party whenever possible. They can collect all anonymous, individual data. Then give it to the employer in aggregate form (this means all the data is averaged out, so no individual data set can be seen). This can help employees feel more safe in responding to questions.

Active SWV Workplace Wellness Program offers free data services to Workplace Wellness Program Members.

Thanks to support from our partners and community, Active SWV is able to offer a comprehensive Workplace Wellness Program to employers across the state. Part of this service includes access to survey templates of all kinds, third party data collection in HIPAA compliant software, technical support, and consultation for how to plan according to your data.

Read more about what you receive as a free member of our program HERE.

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