Well-being. You’ve likely heard the term used in and out of the workplace for how to become “a heathier you.”
Many companies invest in corporate well-being with the aim of increasing productivity, driving talent acquisition, employee retention and lowering health claim costs.
These businesses aim to consciously foster a company culture that values the mental, physical and financial health of their employees in and out of the workplace, recognizing that “health” means something different to everyone.
So, in the race to attract and retain talent, how can you create a well-being program that sets you apart?
1. Shared and customized programming
Research published in Harvard Business Review that examines the effectiveness of well-being programs highlights that engagement with wellbeing programming increases when employees feel a sense of ownership.
These programs that are built and shaped by staff through focus group sessions and channels, such as an internal communication platform where employees can voice suggestions for types of activities and timing of events, perform the best.
With the understanding that “being healthy” means something different for everyone at different points in their lives, programs should take on a flexible quality while seeking to meet the needs expressed directly by employees, thereby offering them a unique sense of ownership of the program.
2. Follow-through on feedback
Several studies suggest that organizations with a culture of keeping one’s word are more profitable.Throughout the employee experience, sharing and engaging on feedback actively is encouraged.
Following through, whether that means evening cardio-yoga classes or fresh avocados, demonstrates the company values feedback and staff ideas.
If the request can’t be completed, it’s important to close the loop by offering insight and attempting to offer alternative solutions.
Replying to a seemingly small request highlights that even a fast-paced, rapidly growing organization listens, thereby cultivating a culture of trust.
3. Offer multiple touch points
Not everyone is interested in lunch and learns or yoga classes, for that matter.
While it’s good to offer traditional program components – nutrition classes, cooking demos, weekly walking club, weight loss challenges – staff shouldn’t need to sign up for a class to engage with the program’s tenets.
To avoid adding another “to-do” to an employee’s already-full plate, digital signage with weekly “Did you know…” health facts followed by calls to action, healthy catering suggestions and smaller snack self-serve cups helpfully nudge employees to adopt healthier behaviors.
While well-being professionals should maintain a business-centered mindset when designing and implementing a program, it’s important to maintain a high degree of flexibility and visibility to provide a customized program.
Actively soliciting employee feedback, following through on specific requests and offering employees various ways to engage with core well-being tenets support program sustainability and longevity.