The Corporate Health Summit is India’s first corporate workforce health and wellness conference.  Trends in wellness continue to evolve as professionals in the urban workspace today face various lifestyle disorders, mental health issues, and financial stress. The aim of this conference is to bring together all stakeholders of corporate India’s wellness sector to define and chart the path ahead.

 Based on your workforce needs, implementing a wellness plan is pretty straightforward but is this plan actually effective in the long run? In order to climb the ladder of holistic wellbeing for your organization, measuring Return on Investment (ROI) is important. To approach this question, the 4th edition of the Corporate Health Summit introduced the panel – Is your company’s wellness plan working?

Speaking on the topic were, Sailesh Menezes – Senior Director of Human Resources at Hewlett Packard Enterprises(HPE), Chetak Lodaya – Director Total Rewards at SAP and Brunda Amruthraj – Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Zeitgeist. Moderating the panel was Rajiv S – Head of Client Management at The Fuller Life.

How do you create an effective wellness plan? 

  1. Building a culture of wellness -Sailesh Menezes began the discussion by sharing the method by which wellness is implemented at HPE. It is about creating not just an ecosystem but promoting wellness as a way of life. If wellness is viewed as just a series of activities and events, it becomes very difficult to sustain it beyond a certain point.  In order to create and sustain awareness, advocacy, and adoption, it is important to link wellness initiatives to culture. By making it a part of the company’s DNA, this wellness-oriented culture is driven through each and every individual in the organization and helps sustain it.
  2. Focusing on ROI – “The first thing a finance department or the CFO will cut is a wellness budget if we cannot show an ROI”, stated Sailesh Menezes. In order to ensure your wellness plan is working, it is important to measure participation in the program. However, other parameters can also help you gauge ROI. This includes looking at employee perception scores, health insurance data and number of sick leaves. According to Menezes, the output of a wellness program cannot be measured just by participation data but also by the increase in the overall happiness index of the employees. It is important to broaden your horizons on where your programs will manifest itself as outputs.
  3. Advocacy through leaders – In terms of mental health policies or programs, Brunda Amruthraj believes that advocacy is a tool that should be utilized. She gave the example of WHO initiatives that have focused on spreading awareness in order to reduce stigma around mental health issues. By enlisting the help of team leaders and managers to advocate the benefits of a mental health program, there was a significant increase in awareness and adoption of the program conducted by Zeitgeist. The use of leaders as ambassadors helped break the stigma around mental health issues and created a feeling of solidarity within the organization. Sailesh Menezes concurred with this view and enumerated on how HPE had noticed similar results. He opined that leadership support is paramount to the success of any program. It brings a personal element to the wellness initiative and strengthens its impact.
  4. Focus on the development of emotional intelligence– Brunda Amruthraj stated that in order to promote the adoption of emotional wellness programs, it’s important to promote the concept of developing emotional intelligence. Rather than just a mindfulness activity, it is important to enumerate the way it can increase productivity or attention spans. Chetak Lodaya also suggested researching and using other programs to build emotional wellness rather than sticking with a few mindfulness sessions. This could include webinars on mental health issues and events focused on spreading awareness.
  5. Assign different benchmarks –All programs cannot be looked at through the same lens. Different activities engage different audiences according to their preferences. In order to gauge the success rate of a particular activity, it should be measured using parameters specific to that program. For example, if 200 people take part in a Zumba session and 30 people participate in a mental health session; these are considered good numbers for each. Comparing participation between these two sessions is not ideal as the efficacy of activities such as Zumba is different from that of an EAP. Thus, assigning different benchmarks can help measure what is a good rate of participation for each activity.

According to the experts from the Corporate Health Summit 2020, implementing a wellness strategy is just the first step towards achieving wellness. The primary factor determining the effectiveness of your wellness program is the different types of ROI. 

How do you increase the awareness, adoption and advocacy of wellness within your organization? Pioneering employee wellness for 18 years in India, The Fuller Life has executed numerous successful programs with many companies. Partner with us to create a healthy, happy workforce through an expertly guided wellness program!

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