Companies today are required to think beyond just the healthcare options they need to provide. They also need to plan the adoption and improvement of their wellness initiatives and ensure their overall culture is aligned to make it a success.
Wellness programs have become a vital tool for HR professionals to tackle host employee issues. From enabling employees to have access to real-time healthcare and wellbeing facilities to addressing issues like absenteeism and productivity, the benefits of an impactful wellness program remain ever-growing. But while companies have slowly begun leveraging wellness programs, designing an impactful wellness program remains a challenge.
Research shows that adopting ad-hoc wellness perks and stand-alone initiatives that are not aligned and integrated into the company’s overall culture are bound to fail. Simply addressing individual factors like disease prevention or providing gym memberships does little if the wellness program is not designed in a way that takes the holistic health and well-being concerns of employees into consideration. This means wellness programs have to be designed in a way that puts employees at the centre of wellness.
Companies today are required to think beyond just the healthcare options they need to provide. They also need to plan the adoption and improvement of their wellness initiatives and ensure their overall culture is aligned to make it a success. For many, this means getting back to the drawing board and reassessing how they design a wellness program. The following is a guide to ensuring HR professionals design impactful wellness programs.
Set clearly defined goals
While wellness programs are not new for businesses, the role they play today has significantly grown in scope. Today they are aimed at driving employee retention, reducing healthcare costs, and improving employee productivity. The first step to creating an impactful wellness program is to set well-defined goals. This offers HR professionals a clear vision for their wellness program. The goals will dictate the relevant strategies to be put in place to deliver these outcomes.
Learn about your employees’ needs
To raise the bar of their wellness programs, HR professionals have to bring their ears closer to the ground. Research has shown that employees are empowered to perform better when their voice is heard within the company. Listening to what employees have to say and learning about their health and well-being is the cornerstone of an impactful wellness program. Periodic pulse surveys and assessments can be used to design wellness programs by providing insights into what the employees want, how much time they are willing to commit to wellness programs, and their preferred method of engaging with these initiatives. Creating a wellness committee to oversee employee needs and nominating employees as wellness champions who can share and encourage their peers to adopt the wellness program proves greatly beneficial.
Get managers and leaders onboard
The key to the success of any employee management program is to ensure that managers and senior leaders are on board with what the program intends to achieve. This remains true for wellness programs. A study done on workplace wellness by the Rand Institute stated that leaders play a key role in creating a culture of wellness and raising adoption levels. Leaders can bring strategic value to wellness programs by making wellness central to their employee conversations.
While designing a wellness program, a clear focus should be given to creating the manager's buy-in. To gain support from management teams, companies can communicate the goals of the program and its intended benefits to create buy-in. Not only does creating such a buy-in lead to higher adoption rates of the program, but it also impacts the culture of wellness within an organization. According to Gallup, companies are most successful at creating a culture of well-being when they provide managers with the right tools for a holistic, multifaceted approach.
Plan regular evaluations of the wellness program
Designing a wellness program should allow for the evaluation and monitoring of progress. Breaking down goals and designing wellness programs in a way where outcomes can be monitored, helps them to be adaptive to employee needs. While many modern wellness solutions allow companies to monitor engagement and other wellness metrics, HR professionals need to ensure that such data points are used at regular intervals to tweak wellness offerings and address relevant wellness concerns. This also empowers businesses to end parts of their wellness programs that are not working and extend initiatives that have higher employee engagement for a better impact.
Choose the right wellness partner
The wellness program must be supported by a wellness partner whose capabilities align with the company’s needs. The right wellness partner can enable HR professionals to assist in the designing and execution of wellness programs, deliver real-time interventions programs using digital technology, and provide data back to companies to help them better their wellness offerings. While designing wellness programs, companies need to outline clear expectations of their wellness partners to ensure their wellness programs have the right impact.
An ever-growing number of companies today are focusing on addressing their employee's wellness concerns. Yet while wellness programs are on the rise, designing them correctly plays an important role in ensuring they are impactful. The right approach to designing wellness programs involves thinking holistically and creating the necessary means to bring both employees and leaders together to ensure such programs are a success.