- Boost Employee Engagement
- Enhanced Productivity
- Reduced Healthcare Costs
- Better Workplace Culture
- Easy Recruitment
- Higher Employee Retention
- Reduces Absenteeism Rates
However, all these benefits can be reaped and a good return on investment (ROI) for employers can be gained only when the employee wellness program is engaging. To ensure employee engagement as the workforce returns to the workplace, the demand for employee health and wellness support is on the rise.
Studies have shown how the pandemic has affected employee health and wellbeing, particularly mental and financial health. Mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and stress skyrocketed during the pandemic. According to a Mental Health Index report, around 23% of US adults reported higher mental stress in January 2021. Also, 29% of US adults experienced anxiety symptoms and 23% reported depressive disorder symptoms in 2022.
A Standard and Versta Research reported that 46% of employees faced mental health issues during the pandemic in 2020 compared to 39% in 2019.
These health issues impact productivity, engagement, and overall business growth. And so, employers are looking for approaches to ensure their employee wellbeing is taken care of. So, while the realization that the traditional wellness program setup is no longer helping, organizations are looking to implement hybrid work setups, redefine their employee benefits offerings, and implement the right employee engagement strategies to address their current wellbeing requirements.
Improving Employee Engagement of Workplace Wellness Programs
Participation and employee engagement in workplace wellness programs are essential to driving it to success. Here are some simple ways to boost participation in workplace programs for a workforce that is working remotely, is back to the workplace, or prefers the hybrid work mode.
- Understand the Current Health and Wellbeing Status
For a workplace wellness program to be engaging, it must meet the specific health and wellbeing requirements of the workforce. And to ensure the right modules are offered, the current wellbeing status and interests of the employees must be identified and analyzed. Conducting a comprehensive Health Risk Assessment (HRA) and health screening can help in identifying the health conditions, lifestyle habits, and potential health risks. This can help in addressing the specific health and wellbeing concerns of the workforce, engaging them better.
For example, offering a smoking cessation program for a population with higher non-smokers will be a failure. Similarly, offering physical health wellness modules to a group of remote workers may not be very effective.
So, the first crucial step to improving employee engagement in your corporate wellness programs is to understand the current health and wellbeing landscape of your working population and craft the modules accordingly to ensure higher participation and success.
- Build a Healthy Workplace Culture
Employee wellbeing calls for an investment whose returns shall reflect long-term gains. And to ensure high ROI, employers must invest in the right places and best-suited modules. One of the most effective ways to boost workplace engagement and employee satisfaction is by fostering a healthy workplace culture. Also, it is important to communicate the benefits, features, and activities of the wellness program to the workforce so they can participate willingly.
Be it a healthy workplace ambiance, including DEI programs, rewards and recognition, and incentivizing the wellness program – it is all about making the workforce feel happy to engage and participate voluntarily, ensuring higher success rates of the workplace program. When the employees know that their organization is taking extra efforts for their wellbeing, they are more likely to participate happily.
- Gamification of Corporate Wellness Programs
One of the major concerns of consistent employee engagement is to keep the workforce interested in the activities and wellness challenges. If it is monotonous and boring, it will eventually affect participation and engagement. Gamification is one of the best employee engagement strategies.
Many employees have resorted to using technology and its related activities during the pandemic. Employers can leverage these new interests and trends of the employees to boost the engagement of well-designed employee wellness programs. Gamification can include various approaches like –
- Wellness challenges
- Rewards and incentives
- Educational resources
- Health and wellness quizzes or polls
- Giving wearables and fitness devices
- Allowing activity tracking
So, employers can implement the right corporate wellness technology and gamification techniques to offer customized activities and features ensuring high participation and consistent engagement.
Simply put, the specific health and wellness needs of the workforce must be assessed well and a positive workplace culture must be fostered, and supported by the right wellness technology in the employee wellness program. This will lay a strong foundation for higher employee engagement and will also motivate workers who are initially reluctant to participate in the wellness program.