It’s 2020, and the employee wellness industry is growing. Employers and HR managers have long realized that investing in these programs has long-term advantages for all employees, even if not all of them opt in to optional employee wellness initiatives. Everyone, from entry-level employees to c-suite executives, benefits when they feel more comfortable at work. And these days, wellness programs address a multitude of ways to help employees be more comfortable in their lives. Programs don’t just target physical health anymore.
Because of this rapid expansion of the employee wellness industry, there are more options out there for HR managers to consider when choosing the right program for employees. Here are a few things to keep in mind while developing wellness plans for the year ahead.
Use Technology to Promote Healthy Behaviors
Most organizations break into three types of employees when it comes to wellness. Usually, about 15% to 20% are considered health strivers. They’re the people who show up for traditional workplace well-being groups like office yoga or a group jogging session. Another 15% to 20% are health skeptics, who usually cost employers the most because of their health issues, but rarely show up for wellness programs. Health seekers make up the majority of typical office workers. They’re the ones who want to build healthier habits into their daily lives, but work and other issues interfere. HR managers can use technology to shift the habits of the health skeptics and seekers.
Programs with apps can make it easier to promote participation on employees’ individual schedules. Health seekers may not have a schedule that fits set classes like office yoga or a running group. But an app can help them track their progress when they exercise on their own time and can keep them engaged with independently monitored group competitions or goals. Apps can also help the health skeptics monitor and manage their existing conditions like diabetes. When you explore available programs, make sure to look at how they aim to engage each of the three types, not just the health strivers.
A Mental Health Focus
Mental wellness has become a more prominent focus in recent years. This is, in part, because people have finally realized the ways these issues disrupt workplaces and spread unhappiness. There are plenty of issues affecting office workers’ mental health that can be dealt with using employee wellness systems.
One example is sleep deprivation. Each person has different sleep needs but if they’re not met, it can affect their performance at work. Getting enough sleep can be difficult for many employees, but by starting conversations with employees through anonymous surveys or one-on-one discussions, you can start to get at solutions you can include in your employee wellness programs. You may find employees who have trouble sleeping due to stress could benefit from stress-relieving options in your wellness program.
Employee Health and Safety
For all workplaces, even offices, safety should be at the forefront. You know that. It’s hard to be reasonably happy with your job if your safety isn’t accounted for in the workplace. But pairing worker health with safety is becoming more crucial than ever. Employers’ responsibilities extend beyond simply putting up caution signs after a floor’s been mopped. Make sure you have proper lighting, especially in parking lots for when employees (especially female workers) work outside daylight hours. You need to make sure you have tested and reliable processes in place for addressing employee concerns, whether it’s a disability-inaccessible hallway or incidents of harassment. Any wellness program you invest in should blend with existing efforts to create and maintain a safe work environment.
Decide and Communicate the Details of Your Wellness Program
Employees are demanding more resources to get and stay healthy in all aspects of their lives, from weight and nutrition to mental health. Today’s wellness programs most often include smoking cessation, exercise and weight-loss programs ranging widely in creativity and comprehensiveness. Employers and HR managers have a multitude of options for employee wellness programs, which can be increasingly tailored to their employees’ needs.
It’s also getting easier to tailor how you communicate the details of your chosen programs with employees. To learn more about that side of the process, contact Flimp and ask about employee health and wellness campaigns.