To ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of the wellness programs, HR leaders need to ensure that their wellness strategy encourages employees to become healthy.
While the pandemic may have aligned organisational strategies to address wellbeing needs holistically, many organisations are still reflecting on their sustainability.
Will organisations need to invest in a wide variety of wellness programs? Do they need to have one holistic solution? Do they need to continue to invest in new wellness technology – how much and for what?
These are some questions that need answers as companies navigate a new hybrid world of work.
Despite the number of products in the marketplace, a Gartner survey showed that only 10 per cent of HR leaders tracked wellbeing ROI with formal, quantitative metrics.
However, the research on employee wellness is unambiguous. Healthy and active employees incur lower health care costs, employees who take advantage of wellness are more productive and physically active employees are healthier.
To ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of the wellness programs, HR leaders need to ensure that their wellness strategy encourages employees to become healthy. Here are a few steps companies can take to ensure sustainability.
- The need to audit: Experts suggest the need to audit the state of your current wellness programs from a utilisation perspective. It would also be helpful to engage employees by using surveys to understand their needs better as companies emerge to a part-remote, part-office model in the short term.
- Go holistic: Depending on the size of the organisation and the employee needs, you can choose a holistic wellness platform or choose a bouquet of products. However, it may not be ideal for organisations to address one wellness factor with one product.
- Ensure easy access: For organisations with a larger employee size (> 2000), it may be worth investing in a holistic wellness program that gives employees easy access to medical check-ups, video consultations, insurance cover and testing services.
- Offer multi-touch modes: Offering a multi-touch, multi-modal approach to engage individuals when, how and where they want to will be critical to ensuring the use of technology platforms. A holistic technology platform needs to support the individual wellness goals of employees. That means companies need to provide employees with the tools, insights, and offerings they need.
- Build healthy habits: Engaging employees in long-term culture of wellness necessitates the creation of healthier habits, whether that's to do with their lifestyle choices, engaging in exercise or going for preventive health checks regularly.
Wellness platforms focused on improving habits need aligning with the science of behavioural change. Employers need strategies to keep people motivated to ensure that wellness programs take hold and produce lasting change.
- Focus on personalisation and convenience: Personalising health roadmaps can inspire employees to take action and improve their overall health and wellbeing. Remember, employees, are looking for convenient, engaging health and wellness options. And more employees are willing to receive care in a non-traditional setting like telehealth, retail stores or pharmacies if it is less costly and more convenient.
- Focus on simplicity and experience: Making your wellness programs simple and appealing, so employees see their value right away is one of the ways to ensure sustainability. Undue stress due to the lack of accessible or enjoyable choices will make adoption difficult.
- Map the right incentives: Including incentives as part of your wellness strategy can play a significant role in establishing change. Ensuring these incentives spark interest and promote sustainable participation, improve employee productivity and improve employee morale and retention.
- Review communication strategies: Making a compelling communication strategy that is creative, clear and continuous can help ensure the success of your wellness programs in the short and long run. Continually auditing your communication strategy can also help improve wellness programs' effectiveness, motivation, and adoption.
Ultimately, the long-term sustainability of your wellness programs will be based on the employee experience. From the choice of programs and platforms that align with individual employee goals, it's best to avoid complications and ensure that employees are focused on forming the right habits from a holistic wellness perspective.