• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
BW Businessworld

Maximizing Employee Potential Through Health And Wellness

Programs now cover Holistic Wellness like emotional, social, financial elements of work life, as well as physical health

Photo Credit :


While the concept of wellness is now common in workplaces, what constitutes a health and well-being program is changing. Over the past two decades, wellness programs have moved from the annual flu vaccination and sports game to allowing time for exercise; providing on-site eating areas; holding "walk and talk" meetings; health education and coaching. 

Programs now cover Holistic Wellness like emotional, social, financial elements of work life, as well as physical health. Employers are focusing on the holistic wellness of their teams with the belief that a healthy workforce leads to a more effective and productive organization. Also, focus on employee wellbeing can lead to reduced absenteeism and increased morale amongst employees. Building an enabling culture is an important pillar of the organizations' people strategy and blended work life is an important discussion on the leadership agenda. Leaders are now encouraging employees to have an active social life, pursue hobbies, take vacations and spend time with their families. Opportunities are also being created to talk about financial wellness through effective financial planning.

This holistic approach to wellness fosters overall well-being for the workforce and can help increase the happiness quotient.  

Retaining talent

While there is insufficient data yet to prove the hard ROI on wellness programs, common sense tells us they are beneficial. As wellness programs become more established, we’ll be able to assess the long-term results. However, even in their relative infancy, wellness programs are seen more than a means to reduce health care costs. They’re viewed as a way to attract and retain better talent.

Not just a ‘nice to have’

Organizations often frame their wellness programs as part of a total health benefits package, which includes medical and travel insurance and, often, chronic disease support. Today, wellness has moved from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a strategic human capital management tool.

Developing a culture of health and wellness

A key component to the success of wellness programs is a culture of health within the organization. Not only do you need top-down commitment, but you also need support at the grassroots level. Wellness advocates or ambassadors can promote and perpetuate the services the program is offering.

Taking advantage of digital support

The increasing use of digital technology in corporations has fueled the growth of wellness programs. Wearable devices and apps help participants track their activity and help when applying for incentives.

Protecting your most important asset

It is recommended that organisations look at six key factors to ensure they are running their wellness programs effectively:

  1. Build a wellness culture – demonstrate there is enthusiasm for wellness among senior executives and  recruit grassroots level support
  2. Ask your employees – base your program on what’s really needed, through initial and regular evaluation
  3. Think holistic – ensure your program looks at all aspects of health and wellness, including physical,  emotional and financial
  4. Provide health and wellness assessments – so employees can track their own health
  5. Take advantage of the latest technology – online resources, wearable and smart device apps will make the program more accessible
  6. Finally, communicate – ensure all employees know about the program and how to access benefits

Health and wellness is becoming as important as sustainability or corporate responsibility on the corporate agenda, because at the end of the day, good health equals good business. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
Employee Health health and wellness employees

Reena Tyagi

The author is Chief Human Resource Officer at Cigna TTK Health Insurance Company.

More From The Author >>