Article: From wellness to wellbeing – what’s working and what’s not

Benefits & Rewards

From wellness to wellbeing – what’s working and what’s not

Driving wellness calls for a long term commitment, not just short term metrics
From wellness to wellbeing – what’s working and what’s not

Without wellness there cannot be wellbeing. While wellness is about initiatives focused on physical health, wellbeing is about addressing ‘whole-of-life’ experience.  And in the context of an organization, “wellness is different for each individual. It can be very different for someone who is young vs. someone who is middle aged. Therefore striking a balance between these different goals in a precise manner is what wellness is all about.” Dr. Noel Coutinho, eKincare said. 

In a panel on what’s working and what’s not, leading industry experts reflected on the state of wellness today. The panelists included: Joyeeta Chatterjee, Executive Vice President – HR, Punj Lloyd (Chair), Daniel Picardo, Head – Compensation and Benefits, Fidelity Investments, Dr. Noel Coutinho, Senior Vice President, eKincare, and Arvind Krishnan, CEO, The Fuller Life.

There are different ways of thinking about wellness strategies. Multi-generational factors, and need-based factors are the most popular ways of designing rewards strategies. Daniel encouraged the audience to think about factors like social contexts of employees, and backgrounds of people as a means of identifying needs of employees. While Arvind spoke about the three parts that companies need to focus on: 1) Philosophy 2) Strategy and 3) Branding and communication and it’s this journey that can be different for different companies. Arvind also noted the importance of sports and exercise as a way of thinking about wellness about from preventive health checks and  

Here are the key takeaways from the session:

1. Wellness is a leap of faith, and a multi-year journey

Speaking about embarking on a wellness journey, Arvind noted that early adopters usually take a leap of faith, that’s because most wellness initiatives are long term focused and cannot show immediate ROI. While companies do have the intention of investing in wellness, they often seem to struggle with the best way of allocating the budget. 

2. Different company, different impact measures 

Success in wellness programs means different things for different companies. It is often dependent on the size of the company, Dr. Noel said. For a smaller company, it could be engagement, or attendance. And for a larger company, it could be more advanced metrics like savings on insurance premium.

3. Success stories matter!

Whether it’s measuring impact in terms of ROI or driving adoption, stories matter. It’s often that one email from the employee that makes a difference while driving programs, Daniel said.

4. Continuously validate to drive adoption

Adoption of wellness programs are a huge challenge. After a limited time period, most initiatives fizzle out. HR and business leaders need to realize that the impact of the measures are going to be felt only in the long-term. So it is important to phase out activities that are not active. 

5. Use data to make messaging targeted

With the rise of a number of AI based technologies, it is critical to employ them to get targetted results. Understanding population data and contextualizing services based on big data trends are not far away. Companies should make the most of these services as they build on their wellness journey initiatives

The ultimate success of a wellness program lies in the commitment that a company has on driving employee wellbeing. And that means being concious of work related stress and helping their employees navigate workplace challenges with ease. In addition to that, the role of the leadership in role-modeling and driving the initaitives will be critical.

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Topics: Benefits & Rewards, #TRWC2019

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