Employee Mental Wellness Program - Is there any need for it

Employee Mental Wellness Program - Is there any need for it

What is Employee Wellness Program?

In your professional life, have you ever felt that today you’re not at your 100%? That you don’t want to work today? Relax, that’s normal and can happen with anyone. However, if the same feeling extends for days, or weeks, or months, that’s when it becomes concerning, and that’s when the need for Employee Wellness Program kicks in.

So what’s this Employee Wellness Program? An employee wellness program is an initiative taken by an employer to improve their employees’ physical, mental & emotional health. The companies often take the help of third-party providers to run several activities like employee training, staff seminars, etc.


What is the importance of Employee Wellness Programs?

Earlier it was believed that when you come into the office, you left your personal life at home and start afresh your professional life. However, with time it was found that we carry ourselves as it is, whether it’s the personal life or professional life. It was also found that our personal life affects our work life much more than anything.

However, with today’s hectic work life when the employees hardly get time for even sleeping, it’s quite unrealistic to expect that they would work on these things. But, these things, in turn, not only decreases the productivity of the employees, sometimes the employers have to lose their valuable assets i.e. trained & experienced staff.

Hence, there are many companies that have adopted Employee wellness programs and hired experts like Peakmind to run these wellness programs for them.


Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs?

So far we’ve discussed what is Employee Wellness Program, and why it is important. Now, let’s just quickly understand the benefits of it.

1- Increased Productivity

This is probably the first & foremost reason why employers go for these employee wellness programs. The more your employees are well both physically and mentally, the more productive they would be. And, at the end of the day, their productivity directly affects the employers’ business.

2- Workplace happiness

Have you ever felt the tension and negativity in the workplace right after entering there? Well, that’s what happens when all the employees communicating is negativity, could be because of health issues, or mental issues, or emotional issues of the employees. Therefore, it is necessary to have an Employee wellness program for your employees in place.

3- Attracts Talent & effective retention

Who doesn’t like to be a part of an organization that takes care of its employees? Or Who wants to leave such an organization? Well, now you have your answers!

4- Reduce absenteeism

Because the basic model of employee wellness programs is to keep employees healthy, they would naturally not be skipping office. But most importantly, when a company introduces such programs, employees feel valued and that keeps them motivated to attend the office.

How to design an Employee Wellness Program?

Employee wellness program sounds like fun, but in reality, it can prove a nightmare to even the most skilled of management. Why? Because here you are dealing with the deepest and confidential issues of the employees, whether it’s physical health issues or mental health issues or emotional health issues or whatever.

Probably that’s why they look for experts who can do this task for themselves.

Now, if you’re still adamant about launching an Employee Wellness Program on your own, here are some things that you should consider:

1- Conduct assessments

This step is really important because based on this you’d come u with the elements of your Employee wellness program. Hence, it is super important to perform well in this step. 

You can conduct individual surveys to evaluate the personal wellness interests and needs of employees, or you can also conduct a health risk assessment of employees, or you can conduct an organizational assessment to determine what wellness programs are best-suited.

2- Management’s buy-in

Introducing a wellness program can be very costly, hence, don’t be hasty in announcing it or taking the above-mentioned step if you have yet to take Management approval on this. 

Below are some points you can base your presentation on, and win management’s approval in an instant:

  • Linking it with the organization's short- and long-term strategic priorities. You can show how wellness programs support the organization's short- and long-term strategic objectives.
  • The benefits that employees can expect from this initiative and the potential value of the wellness program to the organization.
  • Analyze the leadership styles, pressures, strengths, and weaknesses of the organization's senior-level executives. The analysis can help determine the method of presentation.

3- Wellness committee in place

A wellness program is not a one-man show as it requires working on different dimensions simultaneously. Hence, you should have a committee in place with defined roles and responsibilities.

While forming a wellness committee, take care of the following points:

  • Determine beforehand how long the committee members will serve, and the recruitment criteria. The members should be rotational to avoid burnout and to obtain new perspectives.
  • Look for the committee members who can best represent their peers, motivate fellow colleagues, and helps with the implementation of the wellness program. 
  • Support of the supervisors of committee members is really needed so that the committee members can devote time to the committee activities.

4- Define & Develop the goals & objectives

You should have a defined goals & objectives based on the initial assessments, and then develop them in the later stages. For example, reducing the number of employees suffering from obesity by 5 percent in 20XX can be an initial objective, and reducing absenteeism, boosting worker productivity, and increasing retention can be the end goals.

Please keep in mind that the objectives you set should be clear, time-limited, and can be easily determined.

5- Establish a Budget

Budgeting is one of the most critical steps in such programs as, without it, the program will stall.

While creating the budget, you should not only focus on the cost of let’s say training or sessions but should also include the cost of things like incentives, marketing, etc.

A typical budget includes items such as screening vendor/other provider fees; participation incentives; promotional materials; meeting provisions; pedometers/fitness trackers; HR representative and committee member time; etc.

6- Determine Wellness Program Incentives or Rewards

Rewards have always been proven effective in changing one’s habits and behaviour. The positive consequences always drive people to act willingly, and a wellness program pulls this very basic principle of behavioural psychology.

Rewards can be anything like vouchers or gifts or money. However, it’s always best to identify what would motivate the employees, and here the role of the representatives comes into the picture.

7- Communicate the wellness program

Well, all the above-mentioned steps are irrelevant until and unless you can’t communicate the program effectively to your employees.

The communication should be carried out in such a way that employees feel connected and willing to participate. The communication must include the organization's intent behind the program, the level of involvement you expect from your employees, and the rewards & incentives system for employee wellness.

The importance of Employee Wellness Programs can’t be neglected especially in today’s competitive job landscape. Not only does it helps to make your employees more productive and reduce absenteeism but it also has several long-term benefits such as it helps to attract talent to your organization and also results in greater retention. However, constructing the program on your own can be a huge task and should be done correctly.