How To Create A Corporate Wellness Program To Promote Workplace Health?
The uncertainty this pandemic brought has left a scar on many's mental health. In fact, in a survey by The7thFold, it was revealed that every 3rd Indian employee is suffering from mental health issues. In these times, the importance of Corporate Wellness Programmes can't be denied. They are not only essential for the employees' mental health but would help the companies to stay afloat with a motivated and productive workforce.
Mental health has been the center of attention, especially post the pandemic. This pandemic succeeded in showing us our unhealthy patterns, either at work, with our mental health, as well as in our interpersonal relations.
On the one end, with the entire world moving inside and online, the environment benefitted for a brief period, but on the other hand, new issues and concerns got recognized and termed. Things like zoom fatigue and a boundary-defying work schedule have invaded our lives. In many of our previous blog posts such as Reclaiming work-life boundaries - Peak Mind and Five Tips to Manage Your Work and Time, we have spoken about how each individual to do things for themselves, for their mental health, and various other dimensions. Here, let us look at how organizations can take a step towards the wellbeing of their fellows.
Workplace health and wellness is of increasing interest, mostly driven by the goal to counter the continuous rise in corporate healthcare spending, be it in the form of leaves, or insurance. As a result, employer-sponsored workplace wellness programs are being implemented with the objective to control healthcare costs over time, improve employee productivity, and optimize overall business performance by encouraging healthy behaviors.
The first step is to conduct assessments. Obtaining information about the health of the workforce—and the organization's willingness to make improvements based on this information—is a critical step in developing a workforce wellness program.
Post that, some of the key factors for companies to consider about workplace wellness are:
● Plan & Manage: Set up proper planning and execution as well as leadership support and buy-in from all levels of the company.
● Clear Communication: Find different ways to make it very transparent what the drivers are for the program and that people matter more to the employer than productivity and the bottom line.
● Holistic Wellness: Go beyond physical heath and take into consideration other life dimensions of employees, for example, mental/emotional health, money, career, social connection, substance abuse, environment.
● Many-Sizes-Fit-All: Create a mix of activities and niche options that are customizable to individual goals, motivations, and situational needs and preferences. Individual successes can have a widespread impact on employee morale and motivation.
● Small Steps: Assume that many employees already have a busy life. Encouraging small steps instead of major changes will provide more consistent follow-through and increasing self-empowerment through small successes which will add up to big results over time.
● Value Measurement: The ROI of wellness programs is often challenging to measure. VOI (Value on Investment) can provide further insight and incorporate areas such as wellness culture, employee education, and health status, and utilize data from employee surveys and other sources. In general, it is critical to establish baseline data for the company and per employee before the program implementation.
These can be basic guidepost points for the Corporate Wellness Programme. Once the assessments are done, using these guide points, the wellness program can be custom-made to fit its population. Whether it be the focus on mental health, or physical fitness, or stress reduction, tailor-making it to fit most of those present and allowing space for the inclusion of any outlier requests will ensure that the wellness program is benefitted by all.
Author: Sharanya Prakash (Counselling Psychologist)