With a great budget comes great responsibility.
With increasing acceptance of employee wellness programs (EWP) amongst top leadership teams in India, it is essential to make every rupee count. Many companies face challenges to show the forecasted results used to convince the CEOs and CFOs to sanction the wellness bouquet.
The single most differentiating factor that separates the successful EWP with unsuccessful is ‘Employee Engagement.’ To be more specific, a successful wellness program converts employee participation to employee engagement. An engaged employee in wellness would not only shift towards positive healthcare behavior but will also influence others to participate. They will also have a sustainable attachment with the wellness programs offered.
In a typical work environment where employees are chasing timelines and sales targets, when it seems like the employee only wants a fatter paycheck over other benefits, how do we ensure that our EWP increases employee engagement and satisfaction?
- Employee centricity:
Answering the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ questions are critical to making employees utilize wellness offerings.
-What is the program?
-Why is it being offered?
The communication should reflect organization’s commitment towards the well-being of the employees instead of just pushing them to join Yoga classes or making them visit the website provided by the wellness partner or insurance partner. Employees should feel the program is driven by them rather than HR team or wellness partner.
Many Indians and MNCs have structured wellness plan with a “branding” approach to show how caring an organization is. This communication should speak the language that the employee understands and should be sustainable.
- Driven by leadership:
Leaders drive an organization’s culture and values. Who other than top management team can establish the integration of health and wellness into a company’s culture? After all, they are the brand ambassadors of the initiative. This “pulls” the employees (instead of “pushing”) towards adopting EWPs.
- The head of manufacturing plant ensuring routine check-ups and tests done to ensure occupational hazards are kept at bay.
- CEO of the company taking a flu shot and sharing a video message on what motivates him/her to participate in preventive activities will encourage employees throughout the organization.
- A leadership team that is at the forefront of driving a fitness competition can have a ripple effect on employees at all levels.
- Leverage analysis
It is evident that analytical approach helps decision makers to curate a successful program.
- Healthcare interventions: Ensure your wellness programs covers the top healthcare ailments your employees are facing currently.
- Employee preference: Are your employees tech-savvy? Or are your employees in a manufacturing plant? Are they on the field with limited hours in front of the computer? The communication vehicle should be chosen accordingly.
- Balancing perspectives of employee and employer
A recent study conducted by ASSOCHAM reveals that EWP generates positive ROI (Return on Investment). However, the path to success involves making employees more productive and supporting them to achieve their business goals.
In today’s culture, where employees understand the organization’s motive behind offering benefits, it’s perfectly alright to communicate that wellness programs are as important as L&D programs.
Many organizations have “wellness committee” formed by cross-functional, cross-level employees to help employees understand the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
A company’s motive behind stress management initiatives will be to control diminished productivity and disengagement of stressed employees, while an employee will utilize this to have better work-life balance (which is eventually every company’s objective)!