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Employee Wellness Made More Comprehensive

By Nilesh Gaikwad – Country Manager at EDHEC Business School, France

 

Senior Management in Organizations worldwide has realized the impact of Employee Wellness on the bottom line of their organization. Stress-free, satisfied employees are much more productive and contribute greatly to the growth of their organizations. While Google’s employees have consistently credited their employer for making work‘fun’, other companies are not far behind in devising creative strategies to fuel the wellbeing of their workforce. Herein, employee wellness encompasses a wide scope, namely – physical well-being, mental strength, financial benefits and spiritual wellness. Below we look at the broader aspects of introducing Employee Wellness program and ensuring its success:

The ‘Why’:

Like with every new project, one needs clarity on the benefits of introducing a Wellness program. Blindly copying the competition is a recipe for disaster. In order to assure positive results, Wellness program must satisfy the specific needs of the employees.The most common benefits one can achieve through such programs could be – lowering of health costs, improvement of quality of life, lower absenteeism and boosting of employee morale. Employee Retention will probably remain the biggest reason Employee Wellness program is on the to-do list of every HR personnel. Some metrics to judge the impact of Wellness program could be physical and mental wellness, increased participation from employees – say through feedback, increased awareness –regarding lifestyle decisions & its impact on their health.

Planning & Stakeholders:

In order to ensure a successful Wellness program, HR must bring the two main stakeholders – Senior Management &Employees on-board. Sharing one’s expectations from the program and its positive impact on the productivity of the organization as a whole will interest all parties involved. Employees from various hierarchies must be encouraged to share their personal practices that have produced results. Thus creating a knowledge repository for colleagues to benefit from. Periodic review of the processes and acting upon the feedback from participants will reassure the stakeholders about the earnest approach of the HR. Clearly defined goals will no doubt lead the collective group in the right direction.

 

Implementation:

Once the operational team is finalized, it is time to get the implementation right. The team must continuously encourage healthy living among the employees. Identify policies and changes that best promote a healthier workplace culture. Example – One could offer healthy food options in the cafeteria, open a fitness club within the premises, conduct yoga classes on a weekly basis etc. While implementing the program, it is also necessary to maintain a continuous communication with the participants. Lifestyle changes take time to be accepted and a one-time communication will just not do the trick. An exhaustive evaluation procedure consisting of polls, surveys etc. will keep the interest levels high.

 

Feedback & Incentives:

Employee feedback is as important as the program itself. Metrics like employee participation, absences, competitions, feedback etc. are key to understanding the return on investment and the overall success of the program. Being agile with implementing the feedback& new ideas will check time wastage and keep the morale upbeat. Play on the human psyche by offering incentives in form of gift cards, dining vouchers or any other kind of recognition to one’s employees. This will force even the fence sitters to participate wholesomely.Invite those employees who benefit from Wellness programs to mentor rest of the batch. Thus creating a self-sustaining project. Document the successes and failures for future iterations.

 

Examples:

A number of activities can be undertaken by HR personnel under the scope of Wellness Program. The decision to finalize on these activities depends on overhead costs, ease of use, tracking etc.Employers can invest in creating apps that, track the criticalfitness indicators of employees -on phones or through other wearable devices. Employees should be aware of the key health check-ups and their related parameters. Community Service Activities like volunteering to clean the beaches, offering a helping hand at an orphanage / old age home will help develop camaraderie and team-spirit among the employees. Performing good deeds itself has a feel good factor. Starting interest groups like book-club, bike-riders association, trekkers corner etc. presents an opportunity for employees to do what they love and / or try out new experiences.

 

Employers who have aced the Wellness programs seldom shy away from trumpeting it to the world. This is because they no longer fear employee attrition. In fact, they have turned their Wellness Program into their main Recruitment and Retention tool.

Author: Stoodnt Guest Author

Stoodnt Guest Author are experts, professors, teachers, tutors and professionals who want to share their advice, insights and guidance to students, young professionals and others.

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