According to Payscale, a leading compensation platform, on average, people will spend approximately 13 years and two months of their lives at work. That means that employers have a lot of time to influence employee behavior, shape the way employees think and what they believe is possible and genuinely impact their lives and the lives of their families – all of these can be in a positive or a negative way.
There are certain key components employers should consider when building their wellbeing program. Each of these comes in different shapes and sizes and a different price points, but having programs in each of these areas can help employers create the synergy that’s needed to move their organization forward, no matter what industry they are in.
Career – Providing employees with career guidance demonstrates an employer’s commitment to their future. This should be more than just job training. Coaching should include; building a road map to help them to identify and pursue their career goals, instilling confidence in their abilities and learning critical skills needed to succeed in today’s work environment. Don’t be concerned, real career coaching should lead to initial higher attrition as employees who are bogging down your company (because they are not happy) will self-select out of the organization.
Financial Wellness – Employees work to earn money to live, helping employees achieve financial wellness is, in part, the responsibility of an employer. Services like debt management programs, interest free financing for medical or major life expenses (e.g., air conditioning units or refrigerators) are relatively inexpensive to the employer but can be life altering for the employee.
Fun – Employers who incorporate fun into every aspect of the employee’s day are more likely to be rewarded with more loyal employees. Employers who take it a step further and institute programs like vacation savings accounts, where employees (and even employers) contribute to an account to save for vacations and then purchase those vacations on a discount, create positive memories associated with the organization and those positive feelings produce more motivated employees.
Health – What used to be known as the apex of employee wellness programs is now just considered the ground floor. Employers, who are considering instituting wellbeing programs now must include basic components like chronic condition management, rewards and incentives, behavior modification programs (weight loss and tobacco cessation), biometric screenings and online assessments.
Leadership training – Employees who do not rate their direct supervisor highly are likely to leave an organization and many will negatively impact the organization before they leave. Training supervisors on how to communication, treat employees with dignity, respect and professionalism will reduce unwanted turnover. In addition, employers who consistently let employees know how their job effects the company and its clients can move the company forward quickly than those who keep everything hush-hush.
Emotional/spiritual wellness – Helping employees search for the deeper meaning in life and manage the everyday stressors of home and work will ultimately makes them happier and more satisfied in their professional and personal lives which will directly impacts the success as an organization.
Social Responsibility – Employees want to work for companies who are altruistic and want to give back to the communities in which they live and work. Programs that provide employees paid time off from work to volunteer and programs that directly collect funds to donate to charities create a connection for employees to the companies they work for which in turn boosts employee motivation, productivity, morale and overall job satisfaction.
Sustainability – Companies that are aware of their global footprint and want to minimize their environmental impact on the world around them for future generations are more inclined to attract employees whose values align. When people are passionate about a cause they are more willing to go above and beyond for the team and the cause.
At the end of the day, there are countless advantages to keeping employee healthy and happy however, instituting a corporate wellbeing program that encapsulates this is no longer just a luxury. Employers who actively look to create a holistic positive employee experience within their organization are much more likely to attract and retain the best employees, become the employer of choice and ultimately be rewarded by financial factors that directly impact the organization – for example, lower absenteeism, lower healthcare costs and higher profits. Wellbeing is really a case of survival of the fittest!
WHEN® Strategic Advisory Board Member,
LAURIE A BREDNICH | CEO of HR Company Store