According to the World Health Organization, wellness is a state of complete wellbeing, including physical, emotional, and social aspects. Despite the different wellness dimensions vital for holistic employee wellness, most of the time only physical health is emphasized upon. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the spotlight on many other employee wellness dimensions, and mental wellness is now prioritized equally as physical health.
Apart from the physical and mental wellbeing, the other holistic wellness dimensions are not paid much heed. Even most of the advanced employee wellness programs only address physical and mental wellbeing.
However, holistic employee wellness can be achieved when all the wellbeing dimensions are taken care of, as they are all inter-connected. Any change in even one wellness aspect, good or bad, can cause a ripple effect on the other employee wellbeing aspects too. And so, it is vital to focus and improve all the different wellbeing aspects for complete holistic employee wellness.
The Holistic Wellness Dimensions
To focus and improve the different wellbeing aspects, it is important to understand and know about the different interconnected employee wellbeing dimensions. Here are the 9 key holistic wellbeing dimensions that contribute to complete wellbeing, and they must be included in the employee wellness programs.
1. Employee Physical Wellbeing
Physical health is all about taking proper care of the physical body for it to function optimally. Employees who are physically fit are relatively healthier, active, and productive than those who are not healthy. Physical wellness can be achieved by focusing on employee wellness program modules for better nutrition habits, exercise, better sleep, regular preventive health screenings, and healthy lifestyle habits.
2. Employee Mental Wellness
Employee mental wellness, also referred as emotional wellbeing, is the ability of the individual to identify, express, and deal with their emotions and feelings. When managed well, they help in coping up with life circumstances in a much better way. However, when not expressed or managed properly, it may lead to the building up of emotions, causing stress, anxiety, and other chronic mental health issues. Also, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has impacted employee mental wellness due to social isolation and has caused workplace burnout.
Employee wellness programs must include mental wellness programs, health coaching, and wellness challenges ideas that can help employees to deal with their stress and anxiety. They must be trained to identify and acknowledge their stressors and channel their feelings in the right direction. The corporate wellness services for employee mental wellbeing can include yoga sessions, mindfulness challenges, cognitive-behavioral skills management, and meditation sessions with experts or online resources.
3. Social Wellness
Social wellness is about building a connection with co-workers, family, friends, neighbors, or with people who share a common purpose. They act as a support system for each other as these healthy social relationships are built on trust, respect, and similar feelings. The pandemic has restricted social interactions owing to the quarantine, lockdown, and remote working situations, affecting employee mental health and social wellness. Employers can come up with effective employee engagement strategies through their corporate wellness programs or otherwise to ensure the workforce interacts well with each other and have a proper work-life balance.
4. Financial Wellbeing
Financial wellbeing is a major aspect of employee holistic wellbeing. Financial wellness refers to the employee’s awareness of their financial condition. It involves proper analysis, budgeting, and planning for a secure financial future. The current economic state and individual financial status for many have been impacted by the pandemic. This financial stress has affected employee mental health, causing a ripple effect on other wellness dimensions too. Financial wellness programs can include consultations with experts to help employees understand their financial condition, set long and short-term actionable financial goals, and work towards a secure financial future.
5. Intellectual Wellness
Often overseen, intellectual wellness is important for employee holistic wellbeing. Intellectual wellbeing pertains to the employee’s willingness to learn, seek knowledge, adapt, and participate in activities that develop their skill set, improve their decision-making skills, raise global awareness, and foster their creative thinking hats. Corporate wellness programs can include partaking in mental activities for an active and intellectually healthy brain. It also reduces the risk of age-related cognitive decline and related mental health complications.
6. Environmental Sustainability
Environmental wellness is about creating awareness about environmental sustainability and the individual ability to protect oneself from environmental hazards for a healthy life. Employers can include environmental sustainability wellness challenges ideas in their corporate wellness programs to teach about the potential environmental hazards and help in practicing eco-friendly lifestyle habits to protect the environment and ourselves from the risks and uncertainties.
7. Occupational Health and Wellness
Occupational wellness is about employee satisfaction, career decisions, and accomplishment in their profession and other aspects of their lives. It is about employee engagement at the workplace, alignment of their goals with the company’s business goals, valuing and following the workplace culture. Employers can make sure that all employees are given equal opportunities to contribute to the business growth, seek regular feedback on employee needs through surveys, and strategize to deliver employee demands.
8. Cultural Wellbeing
Cultural wellness is about acknowledging and respecting the cultural diversities and backgrounds of people from different walks of life. Be it religion, race, gender, age, geographical location, or any other cultural aspect, cultural wellness calls to appreciating diversity and valuing it. Recruiting a diverse workforce could be the start of appreciating cultural diversity at the workplace. Employers can include different activities in their workplace wellness programs to make sure each employee is prioritized equally, irrespective of the cultural background and diversity.
9. Spiritual Wellness
Every individual has a different spiritual belief to find peace in their lives. Their beliefs, principles, values, and purpose of life come from a firm set of feelings and opinions. Since spiritual wellness and mental wellbeing go hand in hand, organizations must establish a healthy workplace culture that supports all cultural and spiritual beliefs.
Employee holistic wellness is omni-channeled, yet, all the facets are interconnected. The first step in achieving holistic wellness is to identify the different wellness dimensions and take adequate measures to ensure they are available and involve the entire workforce, ultimately improving employee health and wellness.