Expected Business Wellbeing Trends for 2017


The New Year for many means new intentions. If adopting Wellbeing habits to maintain good health and performance for yourself and staff is on your agenda this may be of interest. As a wellbeing enthusiast this offers some of my reading insights around driving success through Wellbeing and what to expect for 2017.

Last year a fellow business associate told me to consider that “Not everyone is as passionate about Wellbeing as you are Leigh”. This actually hadn’t occurred to me and was a great help in developing my self-awareness. Still why wouldn’t you be interested in a topic that is no longer a buzz word but a fundamental need for individuals and businesses to reach optimum performance. Ethical, financial and moral evidence is available through organization’s who have embedded a Wellbeing culture like Marks & Spencer and PWC. With blurred home-work boundaries, increased expectations and stress as an epidemic my hope is that some of what I share creates an impact – even if it is subliminal.

Wellbeing – what to expect in 2017

Employees Voice

According to Virgin Pulse wellbeing research board, employees will have a greater say in the implementation and design of wellbeing programmes. Speaking to employees asking for their input on exactly what healthy habits they would like to cultivate, followed by providing them with the tools will be a growing trend.

The broad concept of “Wellbeing” is based on personal experience and involves a myriad of levels to mention a few mental, physical, emotional, social, culture, leadership and organisational values. Hearing everyone’s unique perspective will support these levels and the diverse structure of the workforce.

Whilst online wellbeing learning continues, more face to face interactions will prevail. I am fond of this prediction – it supports cultivating a wellbeing environment and culture to drive desired behaviour. Bring on the 1-2-1’s, walking meetings and group work outs! This is cohesive with the NHS 5 steps to Mental Wellbeing – specifically to “connect”. (See Work Wise Resource: Simple Steps to prioritising Mental Wellbeing)

Wellbeing Investment

Measuring the return on your investment remains high on the agenda – well of course you are running a business! Whilst figures are easier to ascertain especially for monitoring physical wellbeing, expect to see a shift from solely quantitative data to the introduction of some new performance indicators.

“Value on investment” models will develop. These are less easily monetised however, recognise the employee morale, participation, engagement and productivity.

As the shift towards supporting more holistic wellbeing strategies continues this model makes sense incorporating the many wellbeing domains. (For more on VOI & wellbeing domains see Work Wise Wellbeing Strategy Resource)

Wearable Tech keeping us in Check

2017 will see the emphasis of corporates incentivising the personal responsibility in wellbeing through wearable health devices. Juniper research who specialise in identifying high growth market sectors revealed that the global retail revenue from wearable devices will reach $53.2 billion by 2019 – trebling from 2016.

When integrating wearable tech with a Wellbeing initiative employers will need to be cognizant of data privacy and protection laws and establish a balance of what data is revealed and not. Consider using devices as an incentive – the minute it perceived as a behaviour and disciplinary tool the buy-in could be potentially lost.

Depending on which metrics you choose, information collected could highlight wellbeing significance for those attached to attaining return on investment figures. HR Magazine share the ABI Research report: Wearable Wireless Devices in Enterprise Wellness Programs predictions show that by 2018 at least 13 million wearable devices will be integrated into wellness programs which makes sense to the technology savvy Generation Y. The best way to integrate the devices will vary from business to business.

Psychological Wellbeing

Organisations will continue to make this one of the main focuses. The biggest challenge of managing stress will become a fundamental driver of performance and good health. I’m guessing there are not many reading this who have not been affected by stress at some point. More so, for those reading, you have possibly directly or indirectly through friends and family been affected by mental health illness. The statistics say it all, “It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem.” Mental Health Org

Wellbeing initiatives will help to increase dialogue and awareness around these issues. Guidelines and practices will become key around supporting the importance and complexities around mental health. For Work Wise this will remain a pertinent and ongoing focus.

If your plan for 2017 is to pay closer attention to Wellbeing, we would love to be involved in one or more of the following ways:

  • Give structure to a Wellbeing project
  • Shape your Wellbeing vision
  • Complement existing wellbeing initiatives and strategies
  • Create an environment where individuals are able to manage stress and prioritise wellbeing
  • Assist in measuring your Value in Investment

“Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business” Sir Richard Branson

If you would like a copy of the following resources we have put together please let me know:

1. Simple steps to prioritising Mental Wellbeing. We’ve elaborated on five evidence based NHS principles to offer ways to step away from stress and build on mental wellbeing.

2. Work Wise Wellbeing Strategy: This resource sets out the evidence of the clear financial and significant reasons emerging for embracing Wellbeing at work. How having a robust Wellbeing framework and developing a holistic approach offers results.


Stay Well,

Leigh McKay