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    December 19, 2023

    Evaluating 2023 for a Better 2024

    As 2023 comes to a close, it is a great time to celebrate the wins in your organization. Typically, we look at all the areas where we can make improvements, spend time evaluating what didn’t work, and look at closing gaps. It is just as important to understand what has been accomplished and share that information with leadership and your workforce.

    Employee Health and Wellbeing

    If you had an emphasis on mental health and well-being this year, you may be able to show an increase in usage for your EAP. Perhaps there are success stories that some of your employees may be willing to share that show that they value mental health and well-being benefits and initiatives. Sharing those stories can help break down biases about access to mental health support and get better traction in the coming year.

    You may have financial well-being improvements that you can highlight. Those can include a higher number of people contributing to a 401(k) or a higher overall percentage of dollars people contribute to their 401(k).

    Some companies have started to include employee health and well-being training in their leadership programs. This is another area that can be highlighted to show your company’s commitment to better health and well-being for everyone in your organization. It can also mean that team leaders are better able to support their team members because of their awareness of the company’s focus, benefits, and programming around health and well-being.

    Some of your employee health and well-being programs and initiatives may have gotten better traction than others. Understanding what those are and why they succeeded can help create better strategies in 2024. If there were specific people in your organization that helped make those a success, it is important to recognize their contribution. Those employees could be on your HR or Benefits team, a team leader in a particular part of your organization, members of a wellness champions network, or specific employees who made a real difference in helping more employees access health and well-being benefits you are providing. Sharing these successes can inspire others to get more involved in creating a resilient, more engaged workforce.



    Anywhere you can show improvements in utilization or awareness of benefits, programs, or initiatives means that the investment of time and funds has been valuable. Understanding why those improvements have happened can build the case for further investment. Value consists of three dimensions: merit (was the program a quality program), worth (cost-effectiveness, did the benefits exceed the costs), and significance (did it accomplish something important). A program may score well on all these dimensions or just some.


    Employee Health and Well-being Strategy

    Once you’ve gathered all the data and information on what went right in 2023, you can have a clearer path forward for 2024. Like any other business initiative, that strategy for the new year should include KPIs (key performance indicators) and have clear goals in place for any health and well-being program or initiative. Often, we push to make improvements that may or may not be important to employees. Building on successes can mean better traction.

    Another area of evaluation could be how your company’s health and well-being focus enhanced other initiatives, including DE&I. For example, did you have any focus on caregiving for children and/or aging adults? Any of your programs, including a change in FMLA usage, a dependent care program, or flexible schedules to support working caregivers should be celebrated. It shows that the company recognizes the stressors on these employees and has benefits and policies in place to help them stay engaged and productive. Did you have any initiatives focused on the intergenerational workforce? Are there examples of how those initiatives improved how teams in your organization are working together?

    You may also be able to show that you are attracting more diverse applicants by putting in specific policies, benefits, or training. If you revamped communications around recruiting to emphasize everything you do to support employee health and well-being and you are now getting more diverse applicants, that is a win. It also ties back to the bottom line by showing how these changes attracted the right mix of applicants.

    With an aging workforce and an aging population in the U.S. and many countries around the globe, keeping the workforce resilient is key to success. Your health and wellbeing initiatives are a big part of making that happen. By not only understanding where improvements need to be made but also where you have been successful will help you have more wins in the coming year.


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