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Editorial Team
13 Feb 2019

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Creating A Big Difference with a Small Pocket: Employee Wellness Programs.

employee wellness programs

Create A Perfect Harmony Between Rest And Movement To Achieve Goals. 

 “Even people who aren’t sick may not have optimal wellness,” Brian Carter – an American author, speaker, marketer and comedian.  

He couldn’t be further from the truth. Consider this – how many of your employees can claim that they are fit and foster habits that spell a healthy lifestyle? Wellness means that a person is fit both mentally and physically and lives what we call, a good life. It is a holistic approach towards holistic wellbeing where there is no place for stress, and toxic habits.  

Now the question is – how and why workplace wellness should form an important part of your company’s culture?   

We try to answer this and other important questions in this article.  

Workplace Wellness – Happy and Healthy Employees 

An old concept, the importance of a workplace that is in its pink of its health, has recently started getting the recognition it deserved. Mainly because there are more employee burn-outs and increased absenteeism.  Organizations world over realize that they need their employees to feel good, both physically and mentally if they want the best of them. They realize that if the workforce is stressed and demotivated then it will affect the productivity of employees. The result is a loss to the organization.  

Therefore, organizations are introducing and incorporating programs that target employee wellbeing in their systems. After all, a salubrious and happy workforce will take the organization to new heights.   

But what is workplace wellness and why is it suddenly garnering recognition?  

The term as we know it is a thoughtfully envisioned program by any organization to promote wellbeing and fitness among its employees. It can be done through various discounts, cash rewards, gym memberships, and other incentives. It includes programs that not only foster physical wellbeing but an overall beneficial lifestyle as well. 

Fun and Fitness to Stay in Fine Fettle

Grabbing a smoke or two after a stressful office meeting or even after preparing that dreaded report is becoming disturbingly common of late. Welcome, Industrial Revolution 4.0 with the side of perennial stress and toxic habits to fight this stress demon. Takeaway windows are replacing the hearty breakfast followed by a sumptuous meal. Caffeine, fried food, and burger lunches are the superheroes of an on-the-go meal, and with them goes the conventional and evolution-branded body cycle, tossed right out of the window. While people are not dying of cholera and smallpox anymore, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes replace them as modern-day epidemics. The HR has to deal with a lot many sick notes, courtesy lifestyle ailments.  

Companies across the globe and especially in the US are emphasizing on the benefits of wellness programs.  They are also seeking new and innovative ways to ensure employees are not only happy but in top form and fit too.  

Companies like Google, Accenture, Facebook, and Zappos, among others, have realized that if they want to retain their talented people then they need to make the workplace, a fun place to come to. These organizations have realized that while health is a state of mind, wellness is a state of being.  

Organizations like Google, Boeing, Accenture, Zappos, Facebook, and Asana have all come up with their unique programs in this direction for their employees. Some of them are listed here:  

  1. On-site fitness centers/gyms. 
  2. Programs that foster beneficial habits and encourage a culture of good living. This includes help with substance abuse and monitoring other unhealthy habits.
  3. Nourishing lunch and snacks menu in the cafeteria.
  4. Paramedical services that help in reducing stress and increasing productivity. 
  5. Yoga sessions. 
  6. Naps or quiet time. 

Wellness Programs and Employees’ Expectations 

Before you implement any workplace program that promotes good living in your organization, get a feeler from the workforce about their expectations. What are their expectations of the program?  Having a well-thought plan to include everyone in the program will go a long way, as there will always be a certain number of people who will be reluctant to take part. So how do you involve them in the program?

Generally, the employees are worried about completing the shift timings and hence they stay away from these programs. So if the employees know that they have the facility of flexible timings then they will take part in it. Employees react well to rewards and appreciation from the management so be generous with it.    

But can a balanced physical and mental disposition catalyze work-life balance in an employee’s life?  

And the answer is yes – a big yes. When organizations have work-life balance in place, programs that promote fitness and good living do take care of itself. You may ask how? Here’s an example of the David Suzuki Foundation that offers its employees numerous options to foster individual’ health and wellness: four-day workweek, shower facilities for employees who come walking or biking to the office. Their program is a success and employees love to work in that environs.  

So as a CHRO you can also work out a program that is cost friendly and yield similar results. Let’s find out some cost-effective programs for your organization.  

Cost-Friendly Wellness Programs For Your Employees 

These programs need not to over the top costly or requiring major haul in an organization. Here are some of the program ideas that are cost-friendly and will yield similar results.  

  1. Outdoor meetings 
  1. Quiet place to meditate and work 
  1. Pets friendly workplace  
  1. Nature walks 
  1. Nutritious snacks or lunch menu 

Being a workplace that takes care of its employees will help you succeed as an organization. Employees know what is best for them so a workplace where they are happy, stress-free and work without worrying about their health will definitely win hands down. And the result will be less absenteeism, more productivity at work, which means success for an organization.

What do you think CHROs – a typical win-win situation for both?  

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