Corporate wellness programs have become a popular trend now, especially after COVID-19. Since the pandemic, employers have realized the importance of employee wellness, and its impact on workplace culture and business growth. And so, implementing these corporate wellness programs has now become a necessity.
A PwC research showed that almost 3 in every 4 employers are offering some kind of an employee wellness program to support and improve mental health. However, it also reported that employee engagement in these employee wellness programs was pretty low.
Lack of employee engagement could be because of many reasons, and not considering specific employee wellness interests could be one of the key reasons. Also, when the word gets out that these workplace wellness programs are not really helping employees with their health or productivity, it may affect employee turnover and retention rates.
A Harvard Business Review report shows that happy and healthy employees are more productive and engaged at their workplace. And companies can make their employees happy and healthy by improving their corporate wellness programs by these 6 ways –
Incorporating Technology for Workplace Engagement
The recent pandemic has enforced many employees to work remotely, and it has become a challenging problem for many companies, especially to keep the employees engaged in their corporate wellness programs and with their work. This lack of employee engagement or proper communication could divide the employees from the employers. The current remote working situation has paved the way to incorporating corporate technology in the most incredible ways to ensure employee engagement and interaction.
Employers have made utmost use of their employee wellness platforms to deliver the best-suited wellness program modules to them. For those who do not feel safe to get out of home yet to visit the gym or walk in the public parks, employers can offer different wellness challenges ideas like virtual wellness activities, home workouts, and more. They can also accommodate online coaching sessions for the professionals to guide the employees.
Flexible Work Schedules
The pandemic has proved how vital flexible working schedules are for the employees to maintain their sanity, holistic wellness quotient, and productivity. A recent study showed that employees working remotely have little control over their working hours and most of them are working overtime. Almost one-third of the study’s respondents said that they quit their jobs due to a lack of flexible working options. Offering flexible working schedules has been known to boost employee engagement, morale, and productivity. It gives them a feeling that the company cares for them, keeps them satisfied, and they can plan their tasks well to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Providing Disease Prevention and Behavior Change Programs
Studies have shown that cancer and heart disease are the major causes of most deaths in the US. Offering preventative screenings, disease management, and behavior change programs can help in the early detection of employee health conditions and the potential risks, which in the long run can reduce healthcare costs. Preventing diseases and changing health behaviors can also boost employee wellness, engagement, and productivity. Corporate wellness programs, like that from Wellness360, can include disease management programs and wellness challenges ideas that focus on holistic wellness and help employees adopt healthy behaviors. These programs can help employees understand their health status, the potential risk factors, and other aspects to set the right goals and achieve them with the help of suitable resources.
Include Wellness Challenges for Holistic Wellness
The pandemic has affected employee’s lives in many different ways – right from the social distancing restricting outdoor physical activities, the economy affecting financial health, to the isolation impacting employee mental wellness. A well-planned employee wellness program can offer all the required resources and tools through the wellness challenges or other activities to help the workforce face their concerns. Be it mindful exercises for mental wellness, financial consultations for budgeting, or virtual health coaching to guide them through their wellness journey – the program can provide according to the employee wellness requirements.
Gamification as an Employee Engagement Strategy
If designing and implementing a well-planned employee wellness program was hard, getting the employees to participate and stay engaged is tougher. Most companies complain about their corporate wellbeing programs being boring and mundane, which explains the low employee engagement rates. Implementing gamification techniques like including wellness challenges ideas for individual and team competitions, offering rewards and incentives, and more can boost participation and engagement. To ensure managing the rewards system and the gamification modules, it is important to have a well-designed wellness platform, like the one Wellness360 offers. The user-friendly wellness platform makes it easy to support and manage all the program modules from a single place, while making it more engaging and effective.
Communicate About the Wellbeing Program
Most times employees are either not completely aware of the different modules and benefits offered by the corporate wellness programs, which reflects in lower engagement rates. A study showed that only 41% of employees are aware of their corporate wellness programs. This gap and lack of communication not only drives lower engagement making the program ineffective, resulting in a waste of the invested wellness dollars, adding to the higher healthcare costs. Constant and efficient communication about the wellness program, including the wellness challenges, upcoming events, and other activities is a great way of creating awareness to boost participation and employee engagement rates. Employers must also communicate about the wellness program benefits like incentivizing participation and rewards to complete the wellness challenges or attending events are effective strategies to ensure maximum participation.
An effective employee wellness program is one that has the potential to help employees adopt healthy lifestyle habits and keep them engaged to achieve holistic wellness in the long run. It needs to offer programs and wellness challenges that meet the employee wellness requirements and also be flexible and scalable to meet uncertain situations like the pandemic and other health concerns. More importantly, it must cater to all the wellness demands and needs of the employees.