In our last blog, we dove into the topic of wellbeing, covering exactly what we mean by wellbeing, as well as introducing some frameworks for measuring it – including the new WELLBY system. This time, we’re going a step further.
While financial values and metrics can be useful when measuring social impact and the wellbeing of beneficiaries, they only tell part of the story. There’s a strong argument for taking a more blended approach. Now that you understand more about wellbeing, we want to help you understand actionable next steps for better integrating wellbeing into your social impact strategies.
Let’s get started.
A blended approach
Financial metrics have their shortcomings – such as causing businesses to focus on ROI over local priorities and needs. They also overlook all the nuanced, meaningful stories of how interventions have truly changed people’s lives for the better.
Instead of focusing exclusively on financial metrics, combine these top line figures with real-life stories and outcomes. This isn’t about getting rid of the numbers, but rather taking a deeper look at the changes taking place behind them.
The strongest wellbeing measurement will involve communication with the people you’re helping directly. Or at least a sample of these people. General proxy values or, ideally, WELLBY measurements will give you an overview of your interventions’ impact, but it’s conversations with beneficiaries that add true depth and colour to your understanding.
Injecting human stories
It’s through quantitative and qualitative data that you can begin to prioritise realistic outcomes over outputs. Rather than simply having proxy values, you can back up your claims with tangible evidence, differentiating yourself from others and sharing stories that people can relate to.
To achieve this, we recommend surveys. They enable you to capture qualitative and quantitative data from a large number of beneficiaries throughout different stages of interventions.
Say your staff has achieved 100 volunteer hours in the last six months. That’s great, but now it’s about understanding what difference those hours have made to real people and communities. Has it helped Kevin find employment and stable income? Is Sally off the street, back in education, and in her own home?
It’s by combining these stories with hard-hitting statistics that you can begin to take wellbeing seriously and take your organisation’s impact to the next level.
Actionable next steps
The best place to start when integrating wellbeing into your impact strategies is to perform an initial review. This should include where you are now and where you want to be in the future. The chances are, you’re already doing a lot of great work to improve people’s wellbeing. Explore what’s working, what isn’t, and uncover opportunities for taking your efforts further.
After this, it’s time to create a wellbeing strategy.
Thoughtful, robust wellbeing strategies are essential for long-term, sustainable change. They keep you consistent and targeted in your approach, enabling you to keep your beneficiaries at the centre of all you do.
Random interventions here and there which, while a good start, won’t lead you to your chosen outcomes. A strategic approach helps you manage your efforts more effectively to secure the outcomes you want.
Building your wellbeing strategy
Building a wellbeing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ve broken down the key aspects to consider.
- Clearly identify your scope – What are the overarching goals of your interventions? Who are you trying to help? What outcomes are you hoping to achieve?
- Recognise leadership – Who is responsible for pushing your efforts forward? Who will take the lead on monitoring progress, uncovering new opportunities, and keeping the wider team engaged with your efforts?
- Planning and support – What are the next steps going to look like? What resources are at your organisation’s disposal? Which staff will be involved and what will their responsibilities be? How will you openly and clearly communicate with your team to ensure everyone is on the same page (building a communication strategy)? What will the next 1, 2, or 5 years hopefully look like? How will you broaden your impact over time, reaching new beneficiaries and finding new ways to improve lives?
- Performance evaluation – What indicators will help you monitor your progress? You’ll want a suite of indicators that build a full picture of what you’re looking to change. How often will you evaluate progress? At what point will you take action if an intervention isn’t performing as hoped? How will you capture feedback from beneficiaries directly?
- Improvement – Wellbeing measurement should be an iterative, constantly evolving process. You never complete wellbeing. We recommend you revisit your wellbeing strategy at least once a year to keep yourself moving in the right direction.
And there you have it. Your actionable next steps for integrating wellbeing measurement into your social value efforts. With wellbeing quickly becoming the new foundation for social impact, the sooner your organisation is able to embed it into your interventions and impact measurement, the better.
Impact has embedded the WELLBY system to help you tackle the task of social impact like never before. Seamlessly measure, monitor, and analyse all your social, environmental, and governance disclosures, and keep beneficiary wellbeing at the centre of all interventions. To find out more, schedule a demo or get in touch with the team on 0161 532 4752.