Article: Designing wellness plans that work for your people & business

A Brand Reachout InitiativeStrategic HR

Designing wellness plans that work for your people & business

Given how dramatically the context of work and workplace has changed, has your employees wellness programs evolved? Moving from standardisation to personalisation, organisations today prioritise co-creating health and fitness programs.
Designing wellness plans that work for your people & business

Employee wellness has become a critical component of employee experience in the workplace. 

Now in the post-pandemic milieu, as employees prioritise their wellness above all, organisations are increasingly investing in Employee Health and Fitness Program. 

But, how do talent leaders decide which type of fitness program will be the most effective for their employees? 

First, let’s understand what it takes to create an effective employee wellness program? 

Addressing diverse health needs: Providing personalised solutions

For most employers the one-size-fits-all approach is simply not good enough. They need to understand that their employees are unique and believe a personalised approach to workplace wellness will lead to greater success in meeting the objectives of improving employee health, reducing health care costs and increasing workplace productivity. 

It is important to understand that health is personal and no employer can force their employee to adapt a single regime for their personal health and wellness. To cater to the variety of employee wellness needs, a wellness program should have viable options.

“The way every individual approaches wellness is unique to each of them. Finding a wellness partner and program that can cater every person’s requirement at an organization is key to any wellness strategy,” Naresh Krishnaswamy, Head - Growth & Marketing, cult.fit (cure.fit), said. 

The cultpass Corp program by cult.fit, offers a range of interactive and engaging fitness activities for employees to stay motivated in their fitness journey. Programs like these give employees the flexibility to choose according to their personal preferences. 

Accelerating impact with faster integration

Integrating fitness programs into the workplace have various benefits like reduced absenteeism and positive impact on company culture. However, the abundance of wellness programs in the market is making it difficult to decide which will fit the needs of a company. 

A seasoned organisation offering fitness programs can forecast the needs of the company even better than the leaders. With their years of experience, they can estimate how long it will take to inculcate the fitness program in an organisation and what are the possible barriers to a fast integration of the program. 

The most common barriers to employee participation in wellness programs include insufficient incentives, inconvenient locations, time limitations, differing health beliefs and a lack of interest in the programs. 

Experienced organisations and experts in the wellness fields have the expertise to identify such barriers and curate programs that address them to facilitate higher participation. This will also involve identifying the departments concerned in the company and planning a program that will be effective for all. HR teams or other relevant stakeholders can help program providers to create a strategic plan tailored to the company's brand, population and health initiatives.

Don’t go overboard: Focus on creating sustainable programs 

A key concern leaders often have is: But how much are these wellness programs going to cost us?

The truth is the costs of providing such programs depends on how much the company is willing to offer to its employees. 

To ensure the highest investment returns, companies can choose solutions that offer product packages. Rather than making a large investment upfront, companies can select a few strategies that have been determined by the teams to have the highest chance to move the company towards a pre-defined goal. (to be added - invest in a wellness infrastructure, and ongoing motivational/engagement sessions to keep the interest piqued) 

A cost-effective option that has been gaining attention is a paid wellness platform. This enables employees to access the platform through a mobile app or a website to view the wellness program materials, health risk appraisals and manage their customised incentives. 

Deal with employee data carefully 

Wellness programs often require employees to provide their personal data through biometric screenings or health risk assessments. Such data collection can place employees’ privacy and employment at risk if the program does not follow proper protocols. Employers should keep in mind the risk involved in sharing employee’s health data with a third party wellness program provider and ensure that all the safety protocols are being followed by the stakeholders involved. 

For instance, cult.fit’s employee fitness programs are programmed with data protection built into the systems. Employers can also expect better employee participation rates in these programs once they have been assured that their personal data is in safe hands.      

Focus on the ultimate goal: Enhancing employee experience 

The wellness programs might seem attractive and exciting in the beginning. The difficulty arises in keeping the employees engaged throughout the duration of the program. If employee participation cannot be sustained, it also becomes difficult to measure the effectiveness of the programs. 

An effective fitness program will have employee engagement packs to establish the program among the employees and motivate them to cultivate its benefits. Initiatives like setting feasible wellness challenges and creating a wellness chart at the start of the year will increase participation and drive interest. 

Employee health and fitness programs are powerful tools that can help bring a difference to the physical and mental health of employees and to increase their ability to contribute to the organisation. 

“A healthier employee base means people are more motivated to work and can be more productive. Wellness programs also create help create better engagement that has a positive impact on the  organisation,” Naresh added. 

In the latest Microsoft survey, 53 percent of people said they are more likely to prioritise their health and well-being overwork.

To attract and retain this top talent, it is essential for companies to prioritise the wellness of their employees. A company’s long-term growth is directly linked to the employees’ well-being. To ensure employee wellness, companies must understand the necessary factors for the long-term success of a wellness program and how to carry out the steps required to achieve the set target. 

Stay tuned to know how some companies are enhancing their employees’ experience and organisations performance with inclusive and sustainable wellness programs. 

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Topics: Strategic HR, Corporate Wellness Programs

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