Employee wellness programs are aimed at helping employees manage health care costs and provide them with preventative measures and wellness benefits. These programs offer employees tools and means to take care of themselves. Employers use these tools for promoting a healthy work environment that benefits the organization in the long run. It is a part of Corporate Social Responsibility and reduces office stress among employees.
There are many things included in the wellness program, for example, fitness activities, stress-releasing activities, social events, health benefits and insurance, team building activities, mentorship programs, etc.
HR plays a key role in setting up and successfully managing an employee wellness program. Here are some expert tips to help your HR department manage a wellness program smoothly:
1. Conduct Organizational Assessments
The health concerns of the employees should be directly observed and improvements should be made based on that information. This helps employers design efficient wellness programs and serve the needs of the employees better. This information can be attained through surveys like:
- Health risk assessment
- Organizational assessments
- Employee interests and needs surveys
- Conduct environmental audits in the workplace
Obtaining the right information will help create an effective wellness program that perfectly caters to the needs of the employees and is beneficial to both the employees and the employer.
2. Set Clear Goals And Objectives
It’s really important to create objectives and set clear goals when defining any kind of policies within the workplace. This is why conducting surveys and assessments are important because the information obtained from them is used to define goals and policies. The key goal here is to improve the health of the employees and reduce the costs of healthcare.
Another important goal is to reduce employee burnout and create a manageable workload for them. This reflects on how much the employers are concerned about the employees, and leads to a higher employee satisfaction rate. So setting clear goals makes things manageable and achievable in a more efficient way.
Setting a budget is another important aspect of setting up a wellness program. It’s crucial to carefully consider the cost of the marketing, program design, components, and incentives and review the resources for the budget. Here are some funding options employers can look into:
- Ask the employees if they are willing to contribute to the program and pay for some activities.
- Find a suitable health insurance company.
- Participate in employee wellness research programs
- Find free community resources
- Conduct fundraisers
- Look for low-cost activities on the company budget
4. Communicate Policies
Communicating the wellness program to the employees includes the policy statement, organization’s vision, level of involvement, and all the rewards and incentives that come with the program. The best way to communicate the wellness program to the employees is using an employee handbook manual that consists of all other company policies and important information. HR can look into electronic employee handbooks that will be beneficial in the long run because they can be updated at any point and distributed digitally, which saves time and costs.
5. Conduct Feedback
Evaluating the success of the program among the employees is important for making improvements and changes as needed. HR can conduct surveys or one-on-one interviews to take the feedback of the employees regarding the wellness program and evaluate its effectiveness. It’s a way to measure the Return On Investment (ROI) and evaluating the program is crucial to the management of the program and for future endeavors.
Employers can use different means to invest towards the health of the employees like setting up rewards and incentives for reducing unhealthy behavior and increasing participation in health-building activities. Investing in the wellness of the employees is important not only because it’s a moral responsibility of the employer, but also because it is beneficial towards the success of the company!