Promoting well-being together

Well-being management platform keeps its finger on the pulse of employees’ well-being

Mieke Loncke, Marketing & Communication Director BDO Belgium

Happy employees who feel good about themselves give their best. This is positive for the employee, the team, the organisation and the customer. But how do you recognise, achieve or promote this feel-good feeling? Everything relies on correct, real-time data about the well-being of your employees and providing the right incentives and solutions. Together with the start-up Wenite, the BDO HR team is rolling out a platform with which we continuously measure the well-being of our employees, the results of our actions, and make adjustments where necessary.

Suppose an employee is suffering from sleep deprivation. If we rely only on the 2 evaluation interviews that we organise each year, the problem will only be discovered relatively late. In fact, it may even escalate before you as a manager can intervene and make a meaningful difference or offer a solution.  “Today, many employers have very little relevant data about how their employees really feel, what their organisation does well and what could be done better, and why. After 6 months, many data are no longer up-to-date, meaning you can no longer gain valuable insights from them,” Jasper Dezwaef explains. That’s why he and Robin Vannieuwenhuijse founded Wenite. Wenite – the contraction of ‘We Unite’ – is a self-learning well-being management platform that continually measures the well-being of employees and proactively proposes solutions to boost their personal well-being. In a sense, Wenite is a pocket-sized digital and personal well-being hub.

No more relying on your gut feeling

“With the emphasis on personal.” Elke Verstraeten, an employee engagement and change expert on BDO Belgium’s HR team, thinks the individual approach is one of the platform’s major assets. “Every week, the employees – everyone has an individual account – receive a short ‘pulse’ questionnaire (which takes no more than a minute to complete) on their smartphone or computer. It’s really easy to use and comes with incentives to stimulate cooperation. Depending on the response, further questions will be asked and a solution proposed to the employee. For example, employees who are feeling down can request a free follow-up appointment with the psychologist. Someone who is suffering from sleep deprivation will receive tips and tricks for better sleep. The more information the platform collects about the individual, the more targeted the support that we can provide to ensure everyone’s personal well-being.”

The employee retains control of his or her personal well-being. Nothing is imposed top-down.

Robin Vannieuwenhuijse, Wenite

All data are processed and treated in strict confidence. Partly because of privacy regulations, but intrinsically – and even more importantly – to safeguard employees’ psychological safety at work. “Thanks to the ever-increasing amount of anonymised data, we can detect trends down to team level in a company like ours, with a workforce of 850 employees. Who knows, perhaps we will also be able to predict developments and proactively anticipate events in the near future,” Elke Verstraeten says, explaining why the platform has so many benefits for BDO as an organisation. If one group appears to be more concerned about their financial situation, or if another group experiences a general sense of stress, the organisation can set up initiatives for each of these teams separately. “In addition, we can immediately see the effect that a coach, a meditation app, or a teambuilding initiative has had on the well-being of employees. If the result is not as we hoped, we can intervene quickly and invest resources in other initiatives.”

According to Jasper Dezwaef, many business leaders and HR teams today still tend to rely on their gut instinct all too often when it comes to their well-being policy. In contrast, the new platform makes trends and results tangible, and the data form objective tools that can be used to develop a policy that is tailored to each individual employee.

The real value? Customisation!

The platform’s growth possibilities and the underlying algorithms explain why BDO and Wenite are such a recipe for success. After all, no matter how advanced the technology underlying the platform is, the real, innovative value lies in customisation. “The parameters, the questions, the solutions that we propose, and so on, are in keeping with BDO’s company culture and DNA,” Robin Vannieuwenhuijse emphasises. “That’s why a real partnership is so important. We don’t roll out a ready-made solution. Instead we work with BDO, personalising the platform to create a tool that makes everyone feel comfortable. It’s vital that you get the ‘employee experience’ just right. We offer employees added value by ensuring that their employer can implement a better policy to promote well-being in the workplace in addition to providing them with individual incentives. This inspires trust, which is essential to the platform’s success.”

“Thanks to the tangible data, we can immediately see the effect that a coach, a meditation app, or a teambuilding initiative has had on the well-being of employees.”

Elke Verstraeten, employee engagement and change expert at BDO Belgium

With many more people forced to switch to hybrid work because the coronavirus pandemic has blurred the lines between work and personal life, employers are now finding it even more difficult to keep their finger on the pulse of their employees’ well-being. Elke Verstraeten: “What’s more, the working environment is changing rapidly – both for the employer and for the employees. HR policy is becoming increasingly complex, and we have to think of all sorts of creative and innovative ways to ensure that the connection between the employer and the employees – and among the employees themselves – remains strong. A platform that continually measures this, providing real-time, objective information, is an essential lever for our well-being policy.”

HR Game Changer

When Jasper Dezwaef and Robin Vannieuwenhuijse launched Wenite at the end of 2020, they could have never imagined that they would be nominated for the HR Excellence Awards in the ‘HR Game Changer’ category just one year later. “Scout’s honour, we did nothing whatsoever to try to get that nomination. We merely followed our passion. Apparently, word of mouth still works well.” The founders do have one ambition, though. They hope that Wenite will one day become a requirement for prospective employees to work for an employer. “If we are able to achieve this, we will have succeeded in our mission to make the world of work a better place. But we can’t do this by ourselves. That is why we are so grateful to BDO and the other businesses and early adopters that give our team the opportunities and energy to do their best.”

“The employee retains control of his or her personal well-being. Nothing is imposed top-down.”

Jasper Dezwaef, Wenite