Time & Attendance
By Jennifer Benz
Mar. 6, 2017
When you consider that most of us spend about one-third of our adult lives at work, it makes sense that the workplace can be the epicenter of healthy habits — for body, mind and wallet.
Many companies are taking this role seriously by treating their employees more like family members than workers. Like any caring, nurturing parent, employers are concerned about keeping their employees healthy, happy and in a position to be successful in the future.
This is a welcome evolution — from a laser focus on physical wellness toward a more holistic philosophy of “well-being” that addresses employees’ physical, emotional and financial needs.
This broadening definition of wellness comes with tremendous potential benefits, but also needs a different approach than the one-size-fits-all strategy that has often been applied to physical wellness.
Here are four ways to set your expanded wellness program up for success.
This means less of the one-size-fits-all programs of the past and more of the programs that allow employees to customize their own wellness package using various apps and tools, like fitness trackers, nutrition apps and financial management tools — and to get rewarded for their efforts.
Emotional well-being is a growing part of this holistic health approach. Sensing the level of stress that employees experience in both their personal and professional lives, companies have introduced mindfulness programs that emphasize meditation practice and relaxation strategies. Many are also taking a new look at their extended-leave policies, which encourage a healthy work-life balance, and work-culture campaigns, which can inspire and energize employees by highlighting their common concerns, goals and successes. Meanwhile, programs aimed at promoting financial wellness have become increasingly popular. The idea is that employees can be more engaged at work if they’re not stressed out about financial concerns.
All of these programs need context for why the company is investing (the benefit for the company), why employees should care (the benefit for the employees) and how new efforts connect to other programs.
By broadening the definition of wellness and creating a new well-being model, employers can find more meaningful ways to connect their employees with their benefits. Well-being programs that employees can tailor to meet their personal needs and preferences offer tremendous opportunities for employers to improve employee engagement and increase the overall value of their benefit offerings.
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