What is an Employee Wellness Program

Employee wellness programs are an additional benefit provided by employers in the form of health benefits. Employee Wellness Programs have a holistic purview by aiming to improve the physical as well as mental well-being of its employees. These may be general to all the employees as well as specific to each individual, beyond the mandatory medical insurance provided by the company. 

Irrespective of the size of the company, many companies today are realizing the benefit and potential of the Employee Wellness Program for their employees as well as the overall performance of the company as well. 

Employee Wellness Program is a simple exhaustive concept, in which the company thinks about the all-round wellness of its employees, and ways to improve it. These programs can include any combination of ideas to improve the physical, mental, social, and financial health of its employees. 

There are many benefits of the Employee Wellness Program that are accrued by both the employer and employee simultaneously.  Simple ideas that can be implemented by the employee on a day to day bases, such as yoga classes, dietary awareness programs, smoking cessation programs, mental health awareness programs, counseling sessions, and financial guidance sessions are popular programs amongst companies today. Especially during Covid-19 and a world post-COVID-19, companies are actively working in developing a holistic and inclusive Employee Wellness Program to help their employees cope up with adversities. 

Contrary to popular belief, most of these plans are very easy to manage and are cost-effective. The company doesn’t need to set up any separate department for handling any of these activities, instead, it can give its employees the freedom to come up with their own solutions. Thus, it becomes an inclusive bottom-up democratic approach to a whole range of problems and solutions. 

In an ideal scenario, all programs should be designed by the employees themselves. Active participation of employees in the ideation and implementation of different programs promotes transparency, camaraderie, and a democratic ethos in the office space. This can further be encouraged by the use of technology and by providing other kinds of incentives. An example would be the use of health fitness bands and incentivizing those showing certain levels of performance. One common problem at the workplace is absenteeism; this can be easily curbed by effective Employee Wellness Programs as studies have shown a direct positive correlation between attendance and Employee Wellness programs. 

Not only do these programs reduce absenteeism but it also improves worker’s overall morale and a healthier working environment. Not only that, but it also has a direct bearing on the productivity of the company too. Research shows that the return on investment on employee wellness programs in the US is 3 dollars for every one dollar spent by the company. These numbers are also corroborated by the fact that Employee Wellness Programs have gained popularity in recent times wherein more and more companies, small and big, have actively started including and promoting the Employee Wellness Program.  

Furthermore, regular participation in the Employee Wellness Program has proved increased retention capabilities for its employees. All Employee Wellness Program campaigns eventually lead to the formation of high-value human resource capital. The core of it is to ensure the happiness of employees by taking care of their mental and physical wellbeing. It is no secret that happier employees will show higher levels of productivity. However, the Employee Wellness Program is not merely about profits rather it is essentially about employee satisfaction wherein benefits of comprehensive Employee Wellness Programs are numerous and definitely outweigh the costs.

Employee Programs Reduce Stress

 

Employee Programs Reduce Stress In twitter, employees are served 3 catered meals per day, in-office acupuncture, as well as improve classes. Google is quite popular for offering its employees lunch made by chefs, yoga classes, haircuts, and twice a week chair massage! Well, you are thinking what I am hinting at! Employee happiness- yes, in today’s competitive market, trends are changing, employees are eager to go after the additional benefits rather than chasing the paychecks! Attracting and retaining top talent is imperative.

While we understand that all the organizations can’t afford the grand benefits rolled out by Google and Twitter, still, they can choose and design the benefits that are inexpensive yet attractive to the workforce for the simple reason that Corporate wellness programs reduce the work stress” and promote health, we are not making tall claims here, we have evidence to prove that.

In a study conducted by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2014, the findings revealed that “Evidence accumulated over the past three decades shows that well-designed and well-executed programs that are founded on evidence-based principles can achieve positive health and financial outcomes”

Individual happiness is such a personal domain. You or the organization you run can’t make people live better and be responsible for fixing all the choices they make in their lives. Yet, still, you can help them with your organizational program, let’s see how:

Taking care of their Financial stress:

People work for money, but most don’t know how to handle it. So, any compensation or benefit like Corporate insurance, flexible/comprehensive wellness, and health plans that give smart returns will be worthwhile. This translates into better financial security for employees and gives them one less thing to worry about.

Offering flexibility and the right culture:

According to an HBR study, after health insurance, employees place the highest value on flexible hours, more paid vacation time, work from home options.

To keep a check that work culture and conditions remain optimal is the primary focus area for every organization because employee’s social and emotional behavior is influenced by their job condition. Post every work shift, organizations pump out employees as it’s social exhaust, the degree of impact most employees will make in society is based on the quality and the value held high in the organization.

Emphasizing on Wellbeing:

The organization has a responsibility to change the inertia. Since they want employees to be physical, emotionally, and mentally invested in what they are doing. The organization loses real money when employees are disengaged at these plans. By focusing on preventive check-ups, organizations can make sure that employees are always a step ahead in terms of their health quotient! Organizing preventive health checks, seminars on managing stress, help, and support to cope with stress will keep the employees motivated!

The right Leadership:

No measure of initiatives can make an impact if employees don’t believe that leaders mean it as a gesture of acknowledgment of people’s effort and not just good to have. Organizations are tribes, all the focus on happiness and engagement is essentially driven primarily at emotions i.e. fear, love, belonging, being valued, being cared for, and having a say. But one thing everyone in the tribe looks up to for solutions or take inspiration for their emotional predicament is the leader or leaders of the tribe.

In nutshell, a well-designed wellness program helps employees engage better with self at physical, mental, and emotional plains, which in turn helps them manage stress, makes them engaged in general, and much better contributors.