Article: The secret elements that make a successful employee wellness program

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The secret elements that make a successful employee wellness program

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Lack of evidence is cited as a reason for not embarking on a wellness program. Here's how you can measure the success of your program.
The secret elements that make a successful employee wellness program

When was the last time you had an internal analysis of your employee wellness strategy to assess what’s working and what’s not?

Organizations in India have taken a great interest in providing health and wellness benefits to their employees, but with rising healthcare costs and more diverse workforce, decision-makers are forced to design wellness programs that are not only engaging but also profitable.

While there are many options available in the market, employers need to prioritize the interventions that help in achieving the bottom-line of the business.

A study conducted by Willis Towers Watson reveals that most significant challenges in implementing health and wellness benefits faced by India Inc. are:

  • Lack of evidence on returns

  • Lack of employee engagement 

  • Fragmented delivery of wellness programs

Organizations in India are keen to measure the returns on the investment made towards wellness benefits. Here are a few key elements that simplify what makes employee wellness programs successful:

Measurability: Whether you have a structured wellness or base-level wellness program, ensure that you can measure the returns.

  • Tangible indicators include:

    • Return in rupee value – There are models available to track it for specific programs.
    • A reduction in unplanned sick leaves
    • Reduced doctor visits
    • Reduced hospitalization costs and insurance claim ratio
  • Intangible indicators include:

    • Change in employee healthcare behavior
    • Increased engagement score
    • Increase in employee satisfaction score 

Focus:  Is your wellness program focused on engaging millennials or does the program include employees from any age group or any level?

  • Programs that include fitness, competition may attract millennials.

  • Programs specific to chronic diseases may help Gen X and Gen Y to ensure they’re fit. HRA, screenings, preventive interventions such as flu awareness and vaccination, ergonomics, stress management may engage all employees.

Business need:  It is proven that employee wellness helps improving productivity and engagement. However, HR leaders must design a business case that allows the CFO and CEO to understand and drive wellness activities. 

An ideal wellness program must define the bottom-line impact to the business. And that’s why every industry has a specific requirement. 

  • Manufacturing industry may require wellness programs that strengthen safety aspects & minimizes accidents in the assembly line as employees are engaged in heavy manual work.

  • IT & BFSI sectors need to address healthcare issues that improve work-life balance and help employees meet the deadlines of the projects. 

HR Leaders must ensure these elements are integrated, supported by the leadership team, digitize the program if required and followed-up to create a sustainable “wow” experience for both, employees and employers.


Employee Health and Business Success, Insights from the 2015/2016 Staying@Work Survey — Asia Pacific, Willis Towers Watson.

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Topics: Employee Relations, Corporate Wellness Programs, #Wellness Wins

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