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Creating an Engaging Employee Wellness Program

Organizations are welcoming 2023 with a renewed focus on their employee’s overall well-being. The need to bring together productivity and humanity is an HR trend that we are thrilled to see. In addition, employees are looking for a more holistic approach to their well-being.

Beyond Physical Wellness

With virtual and hybrid models being common ways organizations operate, leaders must focus on being creative when approaching wellness benefits. Wellness is more than encouraging physical fitness with a gym membership. Understanding that taking care of the mind is as important as taking care of the body, organizations are offering subscriptions to meditation apps like Calm and Headspace, or online therapy sessions like Talkspace and BetterHelp. According to a Calm for Business survey, “76% say that mental health benefits were critical to them when evaluating a new job.” This statistic shows how important it is to offer and showcase balanced health benefits when recruiting.

Other ways of addressing wellness that has become increasingly popular are home-office stipends, flexible schedules, and a focus on professional development. Job satisfaction is directly related to your environment and whether you can see a path for growth. Offering courses on both technical skills for their jobs and soft skills like emotional intelligence and relationship building will help with organizational growth and development.

Many companies are also incorporating “pencils down” or wellness days into their programs, one day off a month that employees can use to do something fun for themselves. This wellness day initiative gives employees who may not be inclined to take their PTO days regularly a way to unwind and prevent burnout. These designated days also help employees feel they can truly be off, as there should be no emails and calls on those days, so catching up on rest should be much easier.

Engaging Employees Virtually

When most people worked in-office, it was easier to hold wellness events in person, such as wellness lunch and learn sessions, clean eating challenges, drinking water challenges, etc. Now that the overall environment is increasingly virtual, there are ways to engage your teams in wellness through digital platforms. For example, many organizations offer the option of a team workout through Zoom or a step challenge through an app downloaded onto your phone. For hybrid teams, offer in-person sessions along with virtual options. Incorporating activities such as digital scavenger hunts or trivia games could help cultivate connection and collaboration even in a virtual world.

Paying for wellness resources, apps, and continuing education on the importance of mental health can also be beneficial in a remote setting. Also, consider providing remote employees with a gift card to a food delivery service during a meeting or webinar to show your appreciation and make the event feel a little more special.

Some hurdles when implementing a wellness program are ensuring that the wellness initiatives you are providing are what your employees are looking for, determining the budget that will work for the organization, and ensuring that there is enough communication surrounding the new initiatives or benefits. To conclude, we have been helping our clients navigate some challenges by creating and completing employee surveys, analyzing results, and creating a plan to meet the organization's needs.

Organizations must understand that wellness is an ever-evolving benefit that makes one of the biggest impacts on the overall employee experience. Contact Kiwi Partners HR Services to expand your wellness offerings.




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