Updated: Mar 9
A strategic corporate Wellbeing Program should improve employee loyalty, health, productivity, and morale resulting in moving the business forward.
Start to visualize your company's program as a net that is cast across your organization. A thoughtful web of education, experience and support.
A company with a burnt-out workforce and no sense of community are likely to experience higher turnover and/or higher medical expenses. Both are hard on the company budget. A strategic well-being program is not a "nice to have", or "a luxury", it is a necessity.
Did you know the second question most people ask when being hired, after salary, is "what are the (benefits) medical & wellbeing perks?”. If you have a high blend of Gen Y and Gen Z you already know this to be true. They know what they want and they are asking for it.
These younger groups place a high value on positive company culture, diversity and inclusion, social responsibility, sustainability practices, technological advancements and opportunities to work on cutting-edge projects.
You might be asking yourself "can these elements be captured in a well-being program?" The answer is yes -100% YES! And, if you have a program and they are not captured you need to take a fresh look at your offering.
Let's not forget about everyone else (gen X and older) who has been working for longer and perhaps never even worked for a company with a well-being program.
Do the older generations care if there is a well-being program?
Consider these questions:
Is work-life balance important to them?
Would the appreciate flexible working hours and location?
Do they care about opportunities for growth and development?
Is it important that their work is meaningful?
Do they have a sense of purpose?
The response is a resounding "of course!"
While companies are not, and should not be, responsible for how we manage our personal lives, well-being education that facilitates professional development helps us outside work too. An example would be improving your communication skills or relationship building.
Well-being experiences for personal development like positive mindset workshops or stress management courses are also transferable to all areas of life.
Some companies take that extra step and provide ‘personal services support’, like a dog walking allowance, to help lift some personal responsibilities off people so they can focus during work hours and or to ease on-site working days.
We all know the better we take care of ourselves, the more we can take care of others and the work we are responsible for. With optimal health, we do this with more joy and contentment. Don't we all want that? I should say "Don't we all DESERVE that!".
Let's define what a corporate well-being program is, what it is not, and what it could be.
A well-being program is any effort made by an employer to sustain and/or improve the overall health of their employees. Please note that wellness is balanced physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental health.
If you fall in the category of thinking a well-being program is offering fitness and yoga classes please recognize it’s so much more than that.
This is coming from a person who LOVES movement, it’s foundational to our well-being and yoga (it all it's forms) has transformed my life. But, if companies are going to support everyone they have to look at the whole picture, not just the physical. We should focus on the area of need.
As mentioned earlier a strategic well-being program should look to sustain and/or improve the overall health of employees but just as importantly move the business forward by improving productivity, reducing turnover and preventing burnout.
A well-being strategy does not have a rigid outline. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. The only exception is if you can afford to do everything for everyone and there are not too many companies like that out there.
There are lots of ways to run a successful program. Programs can consist of professional development, personal development, personal services, discounts, perks, benefits, medical coverage, emergency support and more. All programs however need proactive and reactive initiatives. Simply put, look after people before they get ill, not just afterwards.
Maybe your company needs social connectivity and mental health support and it's okay to only focus on that. Better to spend money on what will serve you best than on what you think you should have.
Each business is unique in size, location, physical set-up, industry, operational hours, and demographics. Budget is also a differentiator. This fact screams that the same program won't work everywhere.
Understanding demographics alone can inspire focused and effective programs. Age, race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, parental status, income, education, and job role each play a part in what you choose to roll out.
Let's say your struggle is workforce burnout, very common these days. A population of middle-aged married parents in the sub-burbs commuting to work 3 times a week vs. new graduates living and working remotely downtown require different support and tools.
When you know who works for you and what people need and why - you can focus your offer and waste fewer resources.
Now that the wheels are turning let’s talk a little more about strategy.
Some decisions need to be made to optimize program success for your company’s unique needs. Good intentions do not necessarily yield positive results.
For example, if you were going to roll out a short 1-hour experience to teach management tools for mental burnout you would need to look at how it would be delivered, live or recorded, virtual or in person and the time of day. There are pros and cons to each.
You must think about these nuances based on who works for you and your business' operations. Being focused and intentional will garner solid participation. You must have participation to see the benefits of what you are offering.
Let's stick with burnout as a hypothetical concern for your workforce and a problem to be solved.
Is there burnout because people are missing skills?
Are people burnt-out due to business setup or practices?
Is it because they are challenged with responsibilities outside work?
Each requires a different solution. Regardless of the reason once corrected your business will undoubtedly move forward.
Now that you know a strategic corporate well-being program can improve employee loyalty, health, productivity, and morale resulting in moving business forward doesn’t it make sense to have one?
Now that you know after salary what people of all ages want most is a holistic benefits package, one that includes well-being perks, don’t you want to offer a compensation package that includes that?
Now that you know there are lots of ways to create a successful well-being program aren’t you excited to get started?
Just remember what works for someone else might not be transferable to your setup so do your research. You can also hire WELLOGA to do that for you ~ Gentle nudge :)
Well, I hope you are excited because I know your team and your bottom line will be when you roll out a fantastic strategic program.
Let's do this right, for the right reasons.