Published On: Thursday, 30 November 2017
How to Implement Employee Wellness Programs
- Marcia Hammonds, CPHR, is a Senior HR Consultant with Chemistry Consulting Group.
In spite of an increased focus on the overall health and wellness of employees, many efforts in this area remain concentrated on safety and security issues or traditional health concerns such as employee dental and drug plans.
While these are all important aspects of your team’s health and well-being, there are other areas that may not be addressed by basic healthcare or safety, and with some innovative thinking and a minimal amount of investment you can significantly impact culture, employee engagement and attendance.
As the personal and professional lives of our employees continue to intertwine and provide increased pressures and demands from all areas, it becomes more important for employers to be aware of the ways they can support not only the physical side of employee good health, but also the emotional and social aspects. A formal focus on and implementation of employee “wellness” is a way of doing just that.
The specifics of how your organization’s Wellness Program is developed, implemented and promoted should be unique and reflective of your culture. “Rome was not built in a day” and neither is an effective Wellness Program.
Instead, laying out a road-map that includes short and long-term initiatives, ongoing activities and incentives, and formal supports (e.g., Employee Assistance Program) that will build momentum and integrate a feeling of wellness into the cultural fabric of your organization is the key to sustainability and success.
Additionally, the input of employees is vital to building a wellness program that addresses the needs, priorities and interests of those who will participate, including the dependents of your employees.
To that end, surveying team members to understand what they would like to have included in a wellness program is time well-served. Furthermore, employees remain vital to the process of keeping things on-track, supporting initiatives and addressing ongoing and/or changing wellness needs and concerns, and as such, the development of a Wellness Committee is a necessary component of any wellness program.
Although requiring the support and buy-in of senior leadership, this Committee will function most effectively as an employee-driven group with a significant amount of autonomy to make decisions and drive outcomes.
Awareness and improvements in overall health and wellness will only serve to benefit employees – and, in turn, the organization. Why not start working on putting together something that works for you and your employees? You will not be disappointed in the results – and neither will your team.