Employee wellness 101: Its importance and how to get started
Ensuring the health and wellness of employees is paramount when it comes to supporting employee well-being. It is because it directly affects the productivity of an employee and the performance of a company.
Learn more about the importance of employee wellness and how you can implement employee wellness programs in your company.
What is employee wellness?
Employee wellness refers to the state of an employee that relates to physical health and mental well-being. It is measured not only by the number of sick days incurred but also by work productivity and attitude.
In companies, employee wellness programs are implemented to provide all-inclusive healthcare benefits from physical and emotional to psychological aspects.
Today, employers view employee wellness as one of the top priorities and spend adequate money on programs that aim to improve it.
Importance of employee wellness
Apparently, healthy employees tend to stay longer in a company. Employees that use up fewer sick leave days can make your business more profitable.
A study by Kronos in 2020 found a 33% increase in employees’ trust in a company that prioritized employee wellness programs. Businesses with a positive workplace environment and healthy employees are also linked to a high level of productivity.
Further, a study by Gallup saw a record-high increase in employees’ daily stress from 38% to 43% in 2020. It has led to burnout and unproductivity.
All that said, the support of employers addressing the problem will not only allow workers to focus better on work. They will also feel appreciated and valued even more, which will reflect in the company culture.
Effective employee wellness programs
Some companies have been investing in various programs to support employees in their wellness. However, not all of them are proven to be effective.
Here are some effective wellness programs with successful results that companies may implement.
Flexible working schedules
Today, due to the advancement of technology, the nature of work has become more digital, allowing employees to become digital nomads. This is often viewed as beneficial to companies as it reduces direct costs to organizational expenses.
It also has an advantage for employees because it increases productivity and engagement as they can work freely without being carefully monitored. With that said, flexible working arrangements are ideal for both parties.
Some studies have revealed that employees who sit for long hours daily experience a terrible effect on their health. With that, there is a need for exercise.
As part of their employee wellness program, some companies provide facilities for exercise and fitness classes to help their staff stay physically fit.
Mental health counseling
According to an SHRM study, since the pandemic, 40% of employees have suffered from burnout and exhaustion due to fatigue at work.
In achieving a better working environment, some companies are now beginning to realize the importance of mental health and putting effort into establishing mental health counseling for employees.
Health education offers learning experiences in all health-related topics aimed at prevention and wellness promotion. It can be done through lectures, seminars, workshops, and even courses.
With proper education and necessary resources, this program will reflect a positive change that employers are eager to achieve.
Steps to starting an employee wellness program
It takes effort to design and manage a comprehensive employee wellness program. Employers must ensure that there is proper education and resources before implementing these programs.
Below is a list of the step-by-step process for how to start an effective wellness program
Step 1. Before anything else, conduct an assessment
It is necessary to obtain information first about the current health status of the workforce. This can be done through surveys among employees.
It is a critical step that allows employers to overview which types of programs are necessary to offer. This will lead to establishing the goals and objectives of the wellness program.
Step 2. Build a dedicated team
Form a good team capable of handling, building, and supporting the effectiveness of wellness programs. It is wise for the employer to create a committee that has an interest in promoting wellness in the workplace.
Step 3. Find resources and define your budget
Obviously, without funding, the program is impossible. The cost of a wellness program varies depending on what the committee plans to include, ranging from incentives to expert fees and program analysis.
This must be planned carefully to avoid spending more than necessary on the program.
Step 4. Design and make a comprehensive plan
After collecting data from the assessment, it’s time to create a comprehensive plan that’s aligned with your goals and objectives. It is essential to elaborate on essential components based on the needs and interests of employees.
Upon designing the wellness program, employers must still consider possible legal issues and compliance requirements before conducting a specific program.
Step 5. Evaluate the success rate of the programs
The team must foresee the potential challenges that the programs might experience. After creating a plan, acquire some comments and suggestions from experts.
A number of revisions to the plan may be necessary to ensure a successful employee wellness program.