How to design an employee wellness program?
Employee wellness is an indicator that maps the health of your employees. Some enthusiasts put their job over health. They skip meals, are sleep deprived, basically turn into a zombie, just to get some work done. Taking a break off from work has never been an option for them even though the managers might have insisted on taking one.
It is great to show dedication but if it puts your health at risk, it is counter-productive in the long run. It is becomes the responsibility of the leader to make them lead a healthy and balanced life. Wellness programs have been introduced to help manager to do just that.
What benefits does it provide?
Employee wellness program sounds dull but presents potential benefits that keep employees healthy and in turn, they work better which affects the revenues and the customer satisfaction.
Imagine having a sick employee in to having a healthy energetic individual, who adds on to a healthy aura of the team as well. There will be a positive energy around the team which result in better relationship and in turn, better productivity at work.
There will be a drop in the stress level with teams on implementing a employee wellness program. Workplace stress has become a norm in the industry, it easily burns out people resulting in higher turnover rates.
High amount of sick leaves is a cause of concern to organisations. It is estimated that an average of 15% of the employees are absent on a given day. Employee wellness programs counteracts that before it becomes an issue.
How do you create a wellness program?
With the benefits in mind, let us now see how to create a wellness program and implement them.
Identify and set the goals:
It is easy to stray from core goals of setting up a wellness program, but focus on what is needed for your organisation’s wellness and include only that. Think and structure the program in a way that all the employees are covered.
Build a team:
Build a team to curate and manage the wellness program as one of their core duties. It might consume a lot of time and work and having a team in place to do the work will be the smarter approach. Led by a HR, the team should comprise of different domain experts like finance, executive, operations and others who can understand and promote the wellness program.
Execute the planned program inside your organisation with the help of your team. Use the team to approach their departments and implement with ease. Before implementing, ensure the team is well educated about the program and its benefits. The ultimate goal is for them to utilise the most out of it.
Get constant feedback from the employees about the program to optimise it. Their feedback value the most as they are the beneficiaries of the program and their inputs matter the most to fine tune the program.
What should the program comprise of?
Employee wellness program doesn’t always mean just gym memberships, discounts, yoga classes and many other old school events. These are just some of elements of a quality program that concentrates on much higher values.
Make sure employees who work more than 40 hours a week are involved in some physical activity. Not all offices can come up with a space to host gym equipments, but smaller activities such as sports or anything that promotes them to move is just as good.
Reimbursing or offering to cover a part of their gym, yoga classes can also be a part of this. Motivating a dance enthusiast to dance once in a while is also a good practice.
Stress is the first thing that comes to our mind when we talk about mental illness. That is because it is one of the easily acquirable and powerful illness over all.
Stress relief activities are a must in a wellness program. Allow the people to take a break from their work to talk with the team. A Thursday snack time, where all the employees come together to snack for a while as they move around and mingle with others acts as a stress buster.
Insist on a closing time and laptop free weekends, to bring in balance. It has to come from both the sides to succeed on this one.
Helping tendency is a good quality and also promotes the relationship between employees and their morale. Motivate them by organising community services event once in two months. Get them on the field. Don’t force, instead, ask around for volunteers to participate in a fundraising event, clean-ups, etc.
People first. Purpose first.