‘Woo woo’ v evidence-based – you choose

‘Woo woo’ v evidence-based – you choose

by | May 21, 2020 | Information and Tools

We are working on evaluating the benefits and impact of GLWS in a number of different ways.

We’re presenting results from two distinct approaches here:

  1. How do GLWS respondents feel after completing the survey?

  2. What impact do GLWS respondents report after a fuller GLWS experience (survey, report, personal debrief and coaching session)?

Immediate GLWS impact – what happens for respondents?

Back in 2013, when work first started on the GLWS development, we kept one goal in mind – that the process of completing the survey itself would be a significant step forward for people in how they think, feel and act in relation to their wellbeing.

We wanted the items to prompt reflection, perhaps shake people up a bit (in a constructive way) and engage their interest and motivation in addressing their wellbeing, all prior to seeing their GLWS Personal Wellbeing Report or receiving a debrief.

Since then, we have often heard anecdotal feedback that we achieved our goal, but till now, we weren’t collecting the evidence systematically. That all changed at the start of 2020, when we introduced some new, optional questions to the GLWS – 5 items right at the end of the survey that ask the respondent what impact and benefits they perceive from the process so far.

We have taken a look at the responses to date (n=290) and are feeling pretty excited about what we have found out!

Some of the highlights are that:

  • Almost 1/3 of respondents reported that they already recognised the need to change behaviours and habits and,
  • Almost 40% felt more motivated to make these changes simply as a result of completing the GLWS

Add your details to the form below to download the summary results.

Now, we want to be really explicit about these numbers – they aren’t massive, they aren’t 90% – but… remember… this is immediately after completing the questions, the respondents haven’t seen any results, they haven’t had a debrief discussion about their wellbeing. They have spent 15 minutes thinking about and answering 126 questions about their wellbeing at work and at home.

Yet, 75% of these respondents told us that this survey had given them the opportunity to ‘pause and reflect on themselves and how they are going’ and 51% have been prompted to ‘think more deeply about their wellbeing’.

In the rush of our leaders’ busy lives today, we think this is significant and it tells us that we are making a difference with the GLWS questions. In the words of one CEO who completed GLWS very recently:

“I understood immediately after completing the questions that I was inherently unhappy in my current role and personal situation and have to make some big decisions about my future. The survey made me face this so I actually responded that it had a ’negative’ impact on me. But that was temporary and in fact, I now have an immense sense of relief and a plan for moving forwards”

We think this, and the data above, tells us we are meeting our goal for the process of completing the survey itself to be a significant step forward for people in how they think, feel and act in relation to their wellbeing.  

Stay tuned for more updates on this ‘immediate GLWS impact’ research.


GLWS Impact following debrief & coaching

To gather these insights, we are very dependent on our GLWS clients – the people who are out using the GLWS with their clients or in their own organisations. To help them along in measuring the impact of GLWS, we developed a simple, short survey for respondents to complete after they have completed GLWS, received their GLWS Personal Wellbeing Report and had a one-to-one confidential debrief and wellbeing coaching session. (Our recommendation is that this post debrief evaluation take place at least 4 weeks after the debrief, so there is time for the reflection to take place and actions to be implemented).

To date, we have two very different leadership populations who have completed the GLWS and the post-debrief evaluation survey:

  1. Partners from a global law firm who completed GLWS as part of a leadership development program
  2. Senior scientists who were also participating in a leadership development initiative which included GLWS

Add your details to the form below to download the summary of our latest research. 

The key findings we want to shout about from these studies are:


83% of respondents have a better understanding of their wellbeing and the factors that impact it AND, 81% have taken at least one positive step to improve their wellbeing.


Fantastic. This means that as these leaders experience the inevitable ups and downs in their wellbeing, they are much better informed and equipped to know how to respond and regain their equilibrium.


42% think that their energy and/or performance levels have improved.


If you go to your CEO and say “I can get a 42% upswing on energy levels and performance from our leaders”, what do you think they might say? It’s got to be worth a go… ?


72% have had more or better conversations with their team or colleagues about their wellbeing.


WOW!! This is leaders enabling wellbeing in action. If we seriously want to change the narrative and embed wellbeing into organisational culture and strategy, then leaders having these conversations is essential. We are stoked.


Finally, 90% of respondents said they would recommend the GLWS debrief to others.


We might say that again… 90% of the people who experienced the GLWS within these two very different organisations (and responded to the evaluation survey) have said that it’s been good enough for them to recommend it to other people.


Ask yourself: how often you would expect to get that kind of approval rating on any leadership intervention?


That’s probably enough, because after all, these are only two studies and the numbers of leaders in them is not overwhelming. But with some help from the organisations who are already using GLWS we hope to soon bring you even more insights. (In the meantime, you can see how other organisations have used GLWS here).


Future impact studies

The results above relate to the relatively short-term impact of the GLWS on leader’s wellbeing, motivation and performance and we will continue to gather this data as described above. However, we are also already exploring (and seeking) opportunities to undertake longer-term impact studies as well as research that can link GLWS to more objective metrics (IE not self-report) such as performance ratings, engagement data, 360 feedback, absence/health data.

If you are similarly motivated to ‘hunt down the evidence’ in your organisation – talk to us about a joint research study (favourable commercial terms for research purposes!).


Further research

To keep learning about leaders’ wellbeing and to continuously improve the GLWS in measuring this, we also have to regularly interrogate the survey data we are collecting (i.e. in the actual survey, not in an evaluation survey as above).

An FYI is that this is also underway – Project 3000, as we are calling it, is a thorough analysis of a sample of 3000+ leaders who have completed GLWS. Through this analysis, we will be answering the following questions (amongst others):

  • What are the factors that most impact leader’s wellbeing? (and then we and you will know how best to address these factors in organisations)
  • As above but with the distinction between professional life and personal life – what are the current factors impacting the personal lives of the leaders of our organisations? What can we find out about societal and family influences on wellbeing which can inform institutions and policy makers?
  • How well is the GLWS working? DO we have the right questions? What might we need to adjust to measure wellbeing even more accurately?


Please stay tuned!

See the GLWS in action now with a suite of sample reports

If you are a leader, or a coach working with leaders, you can find out how the GLWS works in practice by reviewing our suite of reports. Sign up here to get instant access.