Creating an Engaging Employee Wellness Program


With the current workforce shortage, developing an established employee wellness program has become a key factor in whether employees decide to join a team or if they should stay in their current position. In addition, a well-rounded wellness program can increase productivity, improve employee retention, and foster collaboration and company culture.


Beyond Physical Wellness


With virtual models becoming a common way for organizations to operate, leaders have gotten creative when approaching wellness benefits. Nowadays, wellness is more than encouraging physical fitness with a gym membership. Organizations are offering subscriptions to meditation apps, like Calm, 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 have become increasingly popular are home-office stipends and flexible schedules. Job satisfaction is directly related to your office space, and for remote employees, that means their home office space. If making adjustments to desk chairs, lighting, and other office supplies increases satisfaction, it will be a good investment. In addition, shifting to help make an employee’s home life a bit easier will help make considerable strides in engagement and overall wellness.


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 that 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. You may 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 of the 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 of the challenges by creating and completing employee surveys, analyzing results and creating a plan that will 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.


Resources

Employers Focus on Well-Being and Work/Life Balance as Employees Return (shrm.org) Calm Workplace Mental Health Survey

Collaborating with a Hybrid Workforce

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