The perceptions around holistic corporate wellness initiatives have changed over the past few years. Once seen as a unique, fringe benefit, organizations are now recognizing that they are a necessity to help staff optimize their health, navigate change and advance workplace performance.
Research has shown that companies often save money  through wellness programs because of their impact to insurance costs and absenteeism. As a study from the University of California – Riverside demonstrates, they have also been shown to improve productivity .
As businesses view their employees as whole people, a focus on wellbeing can help them achieve their goals by developing healthy, motivated and engaged team members. If you are establishing or enhancing your offerings, I invite you to consider seven questions to build a program that supports your employees’ physical, mental and emotional wellness.
Improve Employee Wellbeing with 7 Considerations
- What does the research say about wellness programs?
- What processes and procedures are currently in place to support wellbeing?
- What opportunities are we offering to enhance connection?
- How are we contributing to our staff’s long-term futures?
- How can employees provide input on our initiatives?
- At what frequency can we deliver wellness programs?
- How are we prioritizing and providing options?
Let’s explore each of the questions in greater depth.
1. What does the research say about wellness programs?
Holistic initiatives focus on physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Take time to review what leading companies are doing to boost each of these aspects of health, research recommendations from experts in corporate wellness and identify which offerings have provided the greatest return on investment to both the bottom line and staff. I also invite you to collect and analyze primary data from your employees to understand what they feel would be most impactful to their overall wellbeing to inform your approach.
2. What processes and procedures are currently in place to support wellbeing?
Having formalized plans are essential to ensuring that individuals can appropriately take advantage of your wellness programs. These processes may speak to a wide range of offerings from typical considerations like health insurance, family leave and flex time to more unique benefits like trainings that show managers how to spot burnout or ones designed to reduce stress. Listing out all of your current procedures and policies that are intended to improve mental, emotional and physical wellbeing can help you identify what exists today and where there may be gaps to fill.
3. What opportunities are we offering to enhance employee connection?
Strong workplace relationships can improve wellbeing , and socializing will look a little different based on your team members’ preferences. Consider a mix of experiences that support connection, including group gatherings, purposeful team building , Employee Resource Groups and leadership trainings to help managers build positive relationships with staff. If you are operating in a remote or hybrid work environment, I encourage you to be mindful of engaging team members in multiple locations and time zones by keeping them looped in on upcoming events and providing virtual bonding activities.
4. How are we contributing to our staff’s long-term futures?
In addition to supporting employees in navigating today’s challenges, wellness programs can be strengthened by incorporating initiatives that empower individuals to build new skills, create career paths and engage in growth opportunities so that they are prepared for the future of work. Providing professional development, mentoring, leadership development  and peer coaching programs can help staff expand their skillsets and see a future with the company, which may inspire engagement and motivate performance.
5. How can employees provide input on our initiatives?
Employee voice is a powerful tool to drive improvements to your work. Be sure to solicit feedback after participants engage in your wellness offerings to get input. You can also distribute periodic surveys or host focus groups to get new ideas for programming or determine how to adapt your initiatives. Lastly, turn to your colleagues for inspiration. You may find that a team member is a certified yoga instructor or a former chef who could host a healthy cooking demonstration. It can be a great way to expand on the work you are doing while recognizing coworkers for their expertise.
6. At what frequency can we deliver wellness programs?
It is wonderful if your company can provide a host of on-demand, self-paced experiences as well as scheduled events to support your staff’s health. And, depending on the size of your organization, you may be limited in the sorts of mental, physical and emotional wellbeing offerings that you provide. Be realistic about what you are able to deliver and the frequency of it. Once you understand your team’s capacity, I invite you to connect with your company’s healthcare providers or explore free, online options to round out your programs.
7. How are we prioritizing and providing options?
By exploring the questions above, you may begin to identify opportunities to prioritize where you make investments and how you adapt current practices to strengthen wellness. In addition to having corporate standards around where you will spend and what you may push proactively to staff, I encourage you to leave options open for your team members. Individuals will have varying needs and interests for different types of wellness offerings. By allowing them some choice and providing a mix of experiences, you can enhance their wellbeing.
Supporting employee wellness is no longer a fad. It should be an integral part of your engagement strategy. By investing in programs that show staff you care , your people can be more productive and your company will benefit from more motivated, effective employees.
Discover how Emergenetics can help you create the foundation for productive, happy team members. Explore our programs  or fill out the form below to speak with one of our team members today!