Businesses are built by employees, and productive employees aid in their success. No wonder it is rightly said that healthy employees are happy employees, and happy employees are productive employees. And so, employee health and wellness has become a top priority for employers for many reasons.
Apart from health and wellness, employee engagement is also vital for business productivity and workplace wellness.
One of the proven methods to boost employee engagement, and also help employees achieve holistic wellness is by strategies implemented through the corporate wellness programs.
A well-designed corporate wellness program includes most of the modern-day modules needed to improve employee engagement and workplace wellness. Right from the health assessments and biometric screenings, to wellness challenges, rewards, health coaching, reporting, and more – a proper wellness program must be capable of offering it all.
Health assessments and Biometric screenings are essential onboarding activities of any wellness program as they give an early insight into the underlying health risk levels, and can serve as an efficient preventive tool to avoid any chronic health complications in the future.
With the COVID-19 pandemic enforcing remote working conditions, the workplace wellness programs, along with its onsite activities like biometric screenings, have also been forced to evolve accordingly to provide the same value to the employees and the organization.
Premise Health conducted a Q & A session with Tad Mitchell, the CEO of WellRight, a wellness program provider, about the impact of the pandemic on the workplace wellness programs, and how they have adapted to the changes.
Here a few brief excerpts from the discussion.
Impact of Remote Working Modules on Employee Wellness Programs
The primary aim of wellness programs is to improve employee health and wellness by adopting healthy habit behaviors. The pandemic has created more mental stress than ever for employees as they shift to remote working, and the employers need to step up their wellness programs to adapt and support their workforce by offering the right tools and resources.
One of the major areas to focus on was employee engagement and social connections, as the remote working and the pandemic safety regulations have isolated many from normal social life. Coming up with wellness challenges that virtually connected employees, kept them active, and helped with stress management, gave them the extra nudge to engage and create a healthy working environment. To accommodate these changes well, it is vital that the wellness platform used to deliver the wellness program is built using latest wellness technology to make it flexible and scalable.
Pandemic Begot Changes In Wellness Programs
The pandemic has mentally stressed employees to a huge extent. Having to work remotely with children and family around, along with completing the work-related tasks and the fear of the coronavirus, has affected them mentally and physically. And so, employers are looking out for different ways to support employees by bringing them the right mental health and wellness resources.
Of all, choosing an employee wellness program that offers a robust wellness platform and a worksite wellness app is vital. Employers can then deliver relevant mental wellbeing challenges, health coaching, and other resources through the portal. In short, having a comprehensive online wellness platform is a must for every wellness program, and it has been proven by the pandemic-induced situation.
Importance Of Biometric Screenings In Wellness Programs
The traditional employee wellness programs only included health assessments and biometric screenings. These health screenings are an integral and essential part of every wellness program. The screenings help in the early detection of health risks and conditions, and they focus on planning suitable preventive measures before it gets complicated. As the key objective of the wellness programs is to bring positive behavioral changes in employees and prevent chronic disorders, health screenings can provide an insight into the metrics that can indicate the risk areas, allowing focusing on them and promoting healthier choices.
Although health screenings usually involve going to the clinic or lab for testing, it might not be possible now due to the pandemic. It is suggested to talk to the screening vendor or wellness program provider to look out for more reliable options to conduct the biometric screenings safely and comfortably to the employees.
Rewards and Incentives for Employee Engagement
Rewards and incentives can be set according to the company’s financial condition, wellness program budget, and employee interests. The most common and efficient wellness incentives offered in most wellness programs, including that of Wellness360, are e-gift cards and premium discounts. Employees can earn the reward points by completing the wellness activities, and they can redeem the points as e-gift cards or premium discounts, whichever has been enabled by the wellness program administrator or employer. With the e-gift cards, employees get to choose where they want to redeem it, and it can have a huge positive impact on engaging them to participate in the wellness activities.
How Employee Wellbeing Programs Can Help Manage Risk Factors?
Every employee is different, and each will have their unique health and wellness needs. This is why customization of the wellbeing programs is crucial. Employers can gather health risk information from biometric screenings and assessments, and tailor the wellness program modules, including health coaching, wellness challenge ideas, and other resources to help employees make healthy habit choices and prevent health complications.
Irrespective of whether the biometric screenings and assessments identify a chronic condition or a high risk level, the wellness programs can help the employees make healthier lifestyle choices to prevent any health complications and to achieve holistic wellness.
In short, the employee wellbeing programs help the employees adopt and follow holistic health living habits like eating nutritious food, exercising regularly, sleeping enough, and other wellbeing practices, which everyone should be doing anyway. With the help of the wellness activities, health coaches, and other modules, the programs give that extra motivation for them to keep going through their wellness journey.