Rachel Arkle - The rise of the Wellbeing Manager

Last month Yoke released a white paper with HR Review on “3 reasons your wellbeing strategy could be ineffective…and how to fix it!” Excitingly it got over 100 downloads in 8 days, which is one of the fastest download rates for the first 10 days. But what does this tell us?

People are interested in wellbeing TODAY and interestingly, more and more of those ‘people’ actually have wellbeing in their title. The breakdown for us so far is below:

> 12% Heads of Wellbeing
> 55% Heads of Human Resources
> 23% Heads of Talent, Learning & Development
> 10% Personal & Research/Academics

As a result a new community is emerging and with over 12 percent of respondents selecting ‘Wellbeing Manager’ this marks a 50 percent rise on last year.

Who’s interested in Wellbeing Managers?

Following our subsequent, wider research with the UK’s HR community, we uncovered the diversity of approaches to wellbeing in the workplace.


20 percent of companies are embracing wellbeing and making striving steps forward to create a meaningful approach, lead by “wellbeing managers”. We can’t currently see a significant trend for the size of these organisations, or indeed the sector; however the obvious driving force is a leadership team that really GETS it! The cream of the crop in our eyes is Barclays bank who have a dedicated team who focus not only on improving employee wellbeing but also on cross-organisation collaboration to shape the future of the industry.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, 8 percent of HR Directors are in denial about wellbeing and continue to tell the story that ‘wellbeing isn’t done here…as it’s not and never will be a part of our culture.’ The intention for employing wellbeing managers is far from their reality and they are vocally dismissive about this.


And then there’s the lovely big pot (72 percent) of HR Directors & Managers in the middle. Those who have good intentions and a personal belief in wellbeing, but who have not yet figured out how to leverage organisational wellbeing effectively. Instead it stays on the bottom of their to do list as they can’t figure out how to address it effectively around their already demanding day job.

What do Wellbeing Managers do?

Wellbeing Managers are a new breed, setting new standards in the field of wellbeing. They enable organisations to make the step change to embracing wellbeing, by improving:

1. Employee engagement – helping organisations and employees understand, manage and improve (the boundary between) personal and workplace wellbeing

2. Leadership education – working with key sponsors to help educate leaders on the very real business case for wellbeing and gain sustainable support

3. Exemplary culture – highlighting and celebrating wellbeing-orientated behaviours and also walking the walk themselves, towards creating and managing a balanced, well & successful life

What if we don’t have one?

So you may be reading this thinking, that’s all great but the reality is I’m in the 75 percent bucket without a Wellbeing Manager….so what can we do?

Well from our perspective, we at Yoke not only want to be at the heart of the new ‘Wellbeing Manager community’ but we also want to support those of you who aspire to have one!

As a result off the back of our white-paper launch, we are hosting 2 Wellbeing Strategy Breakfast sessions which bring together the best Wellbeing Managers in the industry to share ideas. Although these are fully booked for May, we are having a FREE mop up webinar to reflect on all the learnings from the sessions:

‘#3 most effective ways to tackle your wellbeing strategy”

We promise you that in one hour you will gain clarity with how to start tacking wellbeing and make the whole process more manageable and less overwhelming! We can’t wait to have YOU 🙂