Read how you can use workplace health and wellness programs to ensure individuals achieve a better state of well-being and higher levels of productivity.

Organizations of today have started becoming aware about closing the gap between employee wellbeing and workplace productivity. A conscious effort is being made by corporates to improve the overall wellness of their workforce. While physical health continues to remain as a focus area, employers are increasingly incorporating social and behavioral factors in their wellness platforms.

Globally, the top objectives for wellness programs are improving employee engagement and performance, at 82%, and aligning employees with the corporate culture, at 72%. Companies are offering guidance and support to employees on different aspects of health and wellness after seeing the direct correlation between the overall wellness of the workforce and the bottom line of their business. As the corporate wellness industry evolves, savvy HR and wellness professionals are steadily improving their wellness programs to stay on top of the emerging trends.

A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to work for any wellness program. It’s all about customization and staying relevant to the needs of your employees that actually will end up working. Investing in the health and wellness needs of employees is the only way to attract and build the most engaged, productive and competitive workforce possible. Read on to know why.

The need for wellness programs 

A recent U.S. study found that 92% of employers will offer wellness programs focused on mental and emotional health, and 88% will offer programs that address financial health. Community involvement, social connectedness and job satisfaction are other programs considered to improve job performance and productivity. There is a direct link between the physical and mental health of employees and their performance at work. It was found that being financially stressed can cause employees to be physically unhealthy and miss an average of nine work days each year. This underscores the importance of a holistic health and wellness program at the workplace. Below are a few of the benefits that firms can incur:

Healthy workforce

Wellness programs that offer healthy eating options as a part of their menu and make it easier for employees to get to the gym will benefit from staff that is healthier and happier. Enlisting on-site health experts is also one way to instill healthy behaviors in employees which have significant long-term benefits. This will directly translate into better results at work and help the businesses achieve better productivity.

A boon for the company culture

Employees today are looking for more than just a paycheck. The company culture is one aspect of your business that gets a boost when your company rolls out an employee wellness program. It gives employees the feeling of being valued which in turn enables them to be more content with the workplace. 

Drop in healthcare costs

Businesses can save big on health insurance for their employees by taking preventive health measures like health checks and awareness camps. Programs can be focused on preventing lifestyle diseases, diabetes and other ailments that are prevalent in the workplaces of today. A Harvard study found that for every dollar that was spent on the wellness program by the companies in their study, they saved $3.27 because of the reduced healthcare costs.

Challenges of wellness programs

As wellness programs evolve and come into fruition at companies, they face a lot of obstacles on the way. Some of which are mentioned below:

Legal hurdles

The Mental Health Care Bill of 2016 is one example of a law that companies must ensure that their wellness programs comply with. It is a comprehensive legislation that provides for state health care facilities, spells out rules and protects the rights of persons with mental illnesses in India. Violations of the law can attract huge penalties and a bad press which won’t bode well for any organization.

Budget limitations

When a company is pressed for finances, investments in the employee engagement and wellness programs get ramped down considerably. This should be carefully considered as it can backfire in a bad way for companies that are trying to boost their earnings. One way to fix this is to allocate a fixed budget and involve senior management with low cost and effective incentive ideas.

Employees are uninterested

If you aren’t in tune with your employees’ wellness needs then you’re program isn’t going to make much of an impact. Make sure you have a program that is dynamic and conduct surveys to gather valuable data and feedback to improve your offerings. Review your past successes and see how you can make them a bigger part of your wellness program.  Another way to tackle health issues is to study the data provided by your company’s healthcare provider or program manager to focus the programs in the right directions.

Wellness trends 2019

It’s always important to review and refresh your wellness program to ensure that your program is speaking to everyone.  Add some spark to you wellness program with these trends in workforce wellness:

  • Timed challenges: Individual or group challenges and coaching work well to build confidence in employees. When they realize that they can achieve set goals in a short period of time, they will learn strategies to fast track success in other parts of their lives.
  • Value addition: To ensure your staff is on track with their wellness goals, you can tailor the program to have a bespoke toolkit for good health, energy and productivity.
  • Self-care programs: This can involve programs like meditation which helps to prevent burnout from work, manage stress and boost self-confidence. It is necessary to first create a culture that supports and prioritizes self-care.
  • Personalization: AI (Artificial intelligence) involves transformative technology that helps you give employees personalized experiences. Access to information that’s relevant and timely to employees can help you create a better user experience based on the employee’s preferences and wellness goals.

Taking the right steps to revamp or restart your wellness program is crucial to keep your employees healthy and happy. Regularly assess and evaluate your wellness strategies to ensure that they are in line with the latest industry trends. Your reward for doing so will not only improve productivity and reduce sick days, but also boost your company’s culture and increase morale among employees.

With 17+ years of managing wellness and wellbeing initiatives for employees, we have the right strategies for you to deliver a holistic wellness program in your organization that will be embraced by your workforce. Call us today to know more!

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