Invest in employee wellness: Harshvendra Soin
“Companies that want toattract and retain qualitytalent must understandthat workplace wellnessis not just an employeeengagement initiative, buta sound business strategy”
Keeping employees actively engaged at work is fast emerging as one of the primary concerns being debated by employers today, with particular emphasis on physical and mental well-being for both employees and their families. Research shows that the health and wellness of employees directly influences their behavior at work, absenteeism rates and productivity.
Companies that want to attract and retain quality talent are quickly realizing that workplace wellness is not just an employee engagement initiative, but a sound business strategy. Many organizations have jumped on to the wellness bandwagon and have launched active wellness programs for their employees. Access to gyms, fitness centers, spas, yoga and meditation sessions are offered by most employers today. For the success of such initiatives, it is important to realize that employee wellness is linked to building an overall healthy organizational culture and developing initiatives based on a larger health strategy.
As a healthcare service provider, ensuring wellness and encouraging a healthy lifestyle among employees is an organizational priority for Fortis. The wellness strategy is a combination of providing access to quality healthcare services and building awareness through targeted communication. The wellness approach entails, in part, educating employees so that they are equipped to make informed decisions about their health. This campaign includes a daily e-mail blast, ‘Health Tip of the Day’, which is sent to all employees across the network as well as valued partners. Resources like gyms, fitness centers for employees, spa and relaxation services for employees, patients and attendants add to a healthy organization.
Work stress related disorders are on the rise and employers should endeavor to address these critical issues by promoting work-life balance, providing flexible work timings, and exposure to stress management programs. It is also important to focus on the physical characteristics of the workplace like ergonomics, safety policies, lighting, healthy eating options, etc. Human resource policies and processes should also ensure role clarity, availability of resources, open communication and access to mentors and guides in the organization, all of which contribute towards alleviating work stress. Add to this, the wellness sessions focus on building awareness and combating stress and associated ailments with minor changes in lifestyle.
The concept of holistic health is relatively new in India’s business landscape. There needs to be increased focus on the root causes like lifestyle rather than short-term acute illnesses. Organizations need to tap into employees’ intrinsic motivation and cultivate a drive to manage their health better. This will lead to behavior change that is sustainable. With some creativity and innovation, employers can create and promote wellness strategies, encourage employee participation, significantly improve well-being and create a healthy, engaged and productive workforce.