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