Unlocking wellbeing valuation: Measuring what truly matters

13 February 2024
5 minutes read

The matter of wellbeing has been much more prevalent in the societal zeitgeist particularly since the pandemic. Our understanding of its importance and what key things tend to influence it continues to grow, allowing us to take the right steps to promote better wellbeing. However, what else comes from improved wellbeing and how do you measure it?

A key factor in social value and wellbeing is recognising impacts and the way they should be captured, particularly as this will vary based on the needs and context of different scenarios and individuals. Ultimately, social value can also be seen as all culminating in individual and community wellbeing, both in the current and long-term.

Wellbeing is…

  • How we experience life as a whole
  • How external conditions affect our lives
  • How we function in society

Important factors impacting individuals may include

Health: Mental and physical health are both key to our wellbeing, which may be influenced by access to health care, healthier lifestyle choices and overall mental wellbeing. All of these contribute to the overall health relating component of wellbeing.

The activities we do: Engaging in purposeful activity can enhance our overall life satisfaction, whether this be work, leisure and hobbies. On the other hand, lack of meaningful activity and a high stress environments can negatively affect our wellbeing.

Income and work: Economic stability is a significant factor alongside having a regular income to help support your family. Equally, job security and opportunities for professional growth feed into wellbeing, all being particularly pertinent coming out of the pandemic and into a cost-of-living crisis.

Relationships and social support: Healthy relationships and a robust social support are crucial for wellbeing. Positive connections with your family, friends, and community members can provide you with emotional support and companionship. On the other hand, strain on or lack of relationships can lead to social isolation and feelings of loneliness, negatively impacting your wellbeing.

Our environment: The physical environment in which we live can have huge impacts on the way we feel. As human beings, having clean air, water and access to green spaces are all proven to positively impact wellbeing, while having an unsafe and unclean environment can have a detrimental effect.

Our communities: A sense of community and quality of social infrastructures play a vital role in our wellbeing. Having a supportive community with access to educational and recreational resources can foster a sense of connection and shared purpose, while providing tools to help people develop and grow.


Measuring wellbeing

This is not just about how someone feels, it’s also about the impacts that come from how they feel. For example, having better access to health provision not only means a person can access the care they need and feel physically better, but there’s also a multitude of onward impacts. That person then is able to go to work, feel more financially secure and fulfilled, but also feeds back into wider elements like the overall economy or community through other activities they are well enough to do.

Essentially, there are multiple domino effects that come from improving wellbeing, which tie closely together with wider areas of social value. That’s where social value tools like Loop come in, helping you to measure the huge variety of metrics using robust measurement frameworks, which can also apply monetary values to the outcomes.


Key steps in the monetisation process

Identifying impacts: Conducting qualitative research to identify the social, environmental, and economic outcomes, stemming from the intervention or change.

Assessing methodologies: Evaluating the most robust evaluation methodology tailored to each impact.

Finding the data: Collating the highest quality data available to support each evaluation approach.

Distributional weighting, inflation, additionality analysis, and discounting: Applying a range of analytical techniques to adjust the values and ensure the value is an estimate of the causal impact.

Key takeaways 

It’s not just about looking at big numbers, you want to measure what matters in a wellbeing aspect and show a true estimated impact, rather than over-inflated figures.

Diverse methodologies and tools: It is crucial to navigate the diverse methodologies and carefully select the one aligning with your specific requirements for valuation, while also following the right guidance where possible.

Challenges in valuation: Of course, this is a matter that can be subjective; how do you put a value to a person’s wellbeing?

Rewarding investment: Measurement frameworks providers should be investing time and resources into developing robust valuation methodologies and being rewarded for quality over quantity.

Growing scrutiny: There is a noticeable trend of scrutiny in the valuation space being seen. Instead of simply accepting the value is right, there is a drive for accuracy and understanding where data comes from and how numbers are generated.

Evolution of methodology: Methodologies in this space cannot sit still. Social value is a rapidly-evolving space, so moving forward with valuation methodologies helps to ensure that all-important point of accuracy – which ultimately stacks up against the aforementioned scrutiny. The wellbeing valuation is witnessing positive transformations. Embracing the right methodologies and guidance, involving the right individuals, and navigating the evolving scrutiny are key to successful and credible valuations.


Are you interested in learning more about social value and our software? Download our free guide to social value or book in for a demo to speak to a member of our team.

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