4 Approaches to Differentiate Your Wellness Program
In 2019, employer-offered wellness programs will be measured by how a company successfully provides employees with more than good health benefits. There are four approaches your organization can take to show your employees you value their work and care about their well-being.
Achieve the highest level of total well-being: Research by the National Institutes of Health has found that wellness must encompass eight mutually interdependent dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, social, mental, occupational, environmental, financial and purposeful. The best way an employer can meet all these interdependent objectives is to integrate plans and programs that treat well-being in holistic manner and not as single, isolated issues. When employees are both happy and healthy, levels of productivity increase as does overall job satisfaction.
TIP: Go beyond the discounted gym membership, annual health fair or pamphlet driven how-tos.
Customize your wellness program: Embrace the culture of your company and include all demographics of employees and corporate goals before implementing any wellness program. Even multiple locations within the same company may have a different cultural need. Approach each wellness initiative after reviewing all the needs and wants and discovering what the end result should look like. Hiring an outside consultant to provide an objective assessment your needs can be helpful.
TIP: If your company depends on the fitness and safety of its employees, ensure the plan supports physical health. If your company is reliant on employee innovation and group projects, ensure your wellness program includes mental and emotional support
Manage stress and promote resilience: Managing workplace stress, mental exhaustion and employee burnout should be a priority as these contribute to disengagement, absenteeism and high job turnover. According to a recent Gallup study, two-thirds of full-time employees experience job burnout. Unmanaged stress can weigh down an entire organization’s performance. Research has shown that chronic stress can lead to other health symptoms, including mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Occupational stress costs US employers over $300 billion a year in medical, legal and insurance costs; and presenteeism can cost more than twice as much as medical expenses and absenteeism combined.
TIP: On-site counseling and support, yoga and meditation sessions, along with proper insurance to cover mental/medical issues can lead to employees who are happier and feel more in control when facing difficult situations
Leadership training: A leader who is mindful of their own emotions can be a more effective leader and a better communicator and decision maker. Leaders who have a high emotional intelligence will be able to thrive not only as individuals within a company, but also model such behavior. According to a recent survey, only 37 percent of employees believe their company truly cares about their well-being. Employees at organizations that are perceived as caring report much higher rates of job satisfaction and engagement and lower levels of stress.
TIP: Engage leaders to deliberately promote an open and honest work culture that gives employees autonomy and the opportunity to take initiatives. Join us at our Emerging Trends in Wellness Conference on April 10-11 to learn more about emotional intelligence and enhance your leadership skills.