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BW Businessworld

Need For Special But Inclusive Wellness Programs For Organizations

Be open to the employees, and don't wait for the next meeting or appraisal to deal with any physical or mental stress your employees might be going through

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With technology transforming the way we work, stress at the workplace is now becoming increasingly common and takes a toll on the overall wellbeing of employees. To help employees cope with the various challenges and deadlines that riddle day-to-day life, PayPal has endeavored to counter stress and burnout in the workplace by fostering an environment of growth and wellness.

Organizations need to first create and foster a culture where employees feel comfortable sharing and discussing their concerns at the very onset of any issues, without having to wait until the stage where they’ve reached burnout.

How to preempt burnout

Jayanthi Vaidyanath, Senior Director HR at PayPal says, “We aim to nurture a sense of balance physically, mentally and emotionally while creating a workspace that not only engages our employees but also gives them the impetus to think, reflect and observe. Through our Employee Assistance Program, we aim to have open, healthy conversations about their mental wellbeing.”

Richard Lobo, Executive VP, Head HR, Infosys talks about their strategy, “Employee burnout is a lurking issue and if not given immediate attention, can significantly affect the productivity of the workforce. Having realized the impact a while back, HALE (Health, Safety, Leisure and Emotional Well-being) was Infosys' response to counter the increasingly evident issues at the workplace.

Arijit Sengupta, Director HR, Bacardi says, “Bacardi’s performance program ‘Let’s Talk’ is designed in a way that facilitates regular interactions between employees and their line managers, allowing them to raise concerns almost immediately and not wait until the next appraisal meeting. By designing our programs in this way, we can to identify and address concerns at the nascent stage, where in most cases, the swift intervention can easily resolve any conflicts."

A Flipkart spokesperson highlighted, "Employees are encouraged to reach out when in need of any counseling services with respect to stress management, relationships or even to develop better productivity at work. Additionally, we also organize sessions on managing stress and maintaining a healthy work-life balance on a regular basis." 

Dealing with Stress

Several studies have indicated that stress in the workplace often extends beyond long working hours and encompasses simple issues which stem from a lack of proper communication between individuals. Creating flexible work schedules, a work atmosphere that inspires and engages talent, providing incentives that lead to growth and employee satisfaction are all measures that can address and effectively counter burnout.

Bacardi ensures that it constantly monitors and proactively addresses employees’ mental and physical health through an annual full-body check-up. By making sure that employees have channels to release their work pressure through physical activity, Bacardi aims to fulfill employee health goals.

Ideal Corporate Wellness Program

An ideal wellness program should invest in things that matter the most to the employees, and in doing so, we have the opportunity to transform ourselves.

Richard Lobo of Infosys explains, “The HALE initiative focuses on the increasing emotional value-add for our employees by optimizing their health, quality of life and work environment. The goal is to ensure healthy and happy employees who will be more productive and in the long-term, add to our competitive edge in business. HALE strives to achieve this goal through a set of offerings that focus on health, safety, stress, and leisure.”

Paul Dupuis, MD, and CEO of Randstad India talks about his idea of an ideal program, “An ideal corporate wellness program should be something that's inclusive because the moment you create these things for fit people, you just miss out on a good chunk of the organization. So it needs to be inclusive and accessible for everybody regardless of their thoughts on fitness and physical activity.”

Rohit Chennamaneni, Co-Founder of Darwinbox don’t believe in a standard definition of a corporate wellness program. He added, “What might be ideal for particular sectors and even teams may not cut it for another having very different circumstances. Having said that I believe there should be some characteristics for any wellness program: it is should be configurable to suit the needs of the organization; should be proactive in approach and put the focus of prevention rather than cure, and lastly must place equal if not more weight on the mental health of the employees.”