The growth of well-being initiatives has been a pivotal employee trend, one that has become a crucial component of modern-day talent management practices.
Research has found that 68% of senior HR leaders rated employee well-being and mental health as top priorities. This is in line with the projected growth of the corporate well-being market, one that is now estimated to be $20.4 Billion in the US and is forecasted to grow to $87.4 Billion by 2026. Indian markets have seen a similar uptake of well-being initiatives, with the recent Microsoft WTI report noting that well-being initiatives are a key factor that influences employee decisions.
HR leaders increasingly define the current world of work as the "age of creating the right experience". With the rise of well-being as a critical component of modern-day workplaces, it today plays an essential role in creating the right employee experience. While companies innovate to raise their engagement in their wellness efforts, the changing nature of work requires HR leaders and wellness professionals to pay closer attention to how they are creating the right employee experience through such innovations. By adopting an employee-centric approach to well-being, companies stand to improve not only wellness indicators but also the overall experience of the employee.
Stakeholdership and empowerment
Empowerment today is essential in creating an employee experience and plays an important role in attracting, retaining, and motivating employees. Within wellness, this translates to the active involvement of employees in how the wellness programs are designed and implemented. Being active stakeholders in their well-being, companies stand to improve their experience and create a better workplace. Empowering employees to play a more significant role in the company's well-being programs can take different forms.
- Active Feedback: Robust feedback mechanisms help improve employee partnership and ensure well-being initiatives are relevant to employees' demands. This is a must-have for most organisations as not only does this help improve the experience, but it also makes well-being initiatives more impactful.
- Personalisation: Proving an option of personalised care is core to empowering employees to pick and choose the health and well-being benefits that fit their needs. Customisation, when done correctly, helps improve employee experience and engagement.
- Diversify: By offering a diversified range of health and well-being care, companies can ensure employee concerns are heard and addressed. Including aspects of mental, social, and financial well-being in their initiatives creates a positive shift towards a better experience.
- Wellness influencers/committees: Many companies are empowering employees to participate in their wellness programs. Companies like Infosys, for example, have turned well-being enthusiastic employees into wellness influencers to help create better engagement and employee-driven initiatives.
Importance of purpose-driven well-being
With the Covid-19 pandemic retreating fast beyond the view of the rear-view mirror, companies today boast nuanced well-being programs that significantly enable a healthy and productive workforce. Yet that was not always the case. In a short time, what was once considered good to have, the pandemic catapulted well-being programs right at the centre of the storm. Companies scrambled to revamp their wellness programs to keep their workforce healthy. The focus expanded from being purely on being on physical health to a more holistic approach.
But it's now necessary that companies further solidify their commitment to improving employee well-being.
To ensure a robust employee experience, the focus should now translate to creating purpose-driven well-being. Organisations can connect properly with a multigenerational workforce by linking well-being to its larger purpose and goals, thus helping connect better with their employees and improve their experience. For example, the recent Deloitte study noted that over the past two years, 44% of Millennials and 49% of Gen Z said they had made work-related choices based on their personal ethics. In parallel, World Economic Forum reports noted that a clear focus on employee wellness is a top demand among for employees. Companies that can translate their wellness agenda into their purpose stand to improve the overall experience of their employees.
For companies looking to create a robust employee experience in a world of work under rapid transitions, providing purpose-driven programs creates the proper foundation. In many cases, employee priorities have shifted in recent years to value health and well-being over financial compensation, and many are looking to work with companies with the right purpose. By adapting to the new rhythms of the redefined hybrid workplace, employers can energise their workforce and ensure they are able to retain talent.
Friction-less access to holistic coverage
Post-pandemic, employers have a new responsibility to actively support the health and well-being needs of employees to help them feel safe and to flourish. As the ambit of wellness programs widens, today, companies must look at various well-being dimensions. Emotional, social, and financial well-being are core to creating the right experience.
Frictionless access to professional health and well-being services also plays a significant role in ensuring a good experience. With companies today extending their wellness benefits to employees and their dependents, it's crucial to remove the lag of manual intervention in availing services. Digital tools and well-being technologies today have proven vital in ensuring a smooth and seamless experience while availing wellness services like OPD benefits, scheduling regular health checkups, mental health support etc. Investments in the right digital healthcare tools help create a multifold impact on improving employees' experience and overall engagement while pushing the envelope on employee well-being.