- New research by Grokker advises how to redefine workplace wellness to future-proof your business.
- Employee buy-in and participation is key to successful wellness programs, but experts warn this doesn’t come naturally.
- According to Grokker, companies should look for these 5 pillars to create attractive workplace wellness benefits, and help employees meet their goals.
The wellness movement has brought to light the deep connection between individual health and business productivity and growth. Research has found that well-run, targeted workplace wellness programs can improve employee health, productivity, talent attraction and retention, and improve a business’s overall performance.
From 2013 to 2017, the wellness economy grew from $3.4 trillion to $4.2 trillion and, throughout this period, the definition of wellness has dramatically changed, particularly as it relates to the workplace. Employee expectations of wellness programs have changed; the modern workforce expects workplace wellness programs that are multidimensional and all-encompassing.
Suggested Reading: “How to Address the 7 Dimensions of Wellness in the Workplace”
Grokker’s “Wellbeing In The Modern Workplace: Your Buyers Guide to the New Generation of Employee Wellbeing Solutions” states that “as employers and employees have connected the dots between health and job performance (not to mention healthcare costs), workforce programs are undergoing a massive reboot to do more than help employees manage health risk.”
Today’s wellness programs, unlike those in the 70s and 80s, aren’t simply focused on tobacco bans, gym subsidies, and healthy snacks. Rather, today these programs must address employees’ overarching health needs, ranging from financial wellbeing to mental health.
Workplace wellness programs are now playing a key role in providing employees what they want from a company: purpose, belonging, and balance.
Quick Workplace Wellness Facts & Figures
- The workplace wellbeing market is expected to hit $11.3 billion by 2021
- More than 40% of all workers face high stress in their jobs
- Costs of lost productivity are 2.3x higher than medical and pharmacy costs
- Presenteeism costs have reached an average of $6,721 per employee, per year
- 2/3 of organizations say wellbeing programs are a critical part of their employment brand and culture.
The 5 Pillars of an Effective Employee Wellbeing Solution
According to Grokker, companies should look for these 5 pillars to create attractive workplace wellness benefits and programs and help employees meet their goals.
“Employee buy-in and participation is the key to unlocking a successful program, and it often doesn’t come naturally.”
A one-size-fits-all approach to wellness won’t deliver the expected results. Each individual has different wellness needs and goals, and company programs should reflect this in order to support individual journeys to wellness. For example, an employee might be interested in a stress relief program, while another might be more willing to participate in a therapeutic yoga class.
According to Grokker, “employees want an end-to-end personalized experience”. To create this, companies need to provide them with content that can be delivered whenever and wherever they want it, offer incentives and challenges to encourage participation, and provide easy-to-navigate digital tools that provide feedback that’s relevant to each user.
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2. Digital Content
In Grokker’s words, this should be a “comprehensive library to engage a global workforce.” Other than it being digital, the content must be varied, covering topics from nutrition and exercise to financial wellness and mindfulness.
Your content and programs should be as diverse as your employees’ needs.
There are four main reasons why content should be digital:
- So that it can be consumed anytime
- So that it can be consumed from a computer, smartphone, or tablet
- So that it can reach a dispersed workforce
- So that people engage with it, “people love content that’s as easy-to-use and digest as the shows sitting in their Netflix queue.”
Without community, your workplace wellness program is likely to lack engagement and participation. “Self-doubt and internal criticism can derail an employee’s best intentions when they don’t have a trusted source of feedback and encouragement to help them along the way.”
Workplace wellness programs should provide employees with access to an online and offline community, giving them the choice to be as social or anonymous as they want to be. When creating an online community, make sure that you provide a social feed that:
- Allows individuals to share their successes
- Allows them to cheer on connections
- Provides them with access to experts
- Provides them with access to wellness challenges.
If participation and engagement are key to the success of a wellness program, then companies must find creative ways to motivate people in the hopes of increasing participation, maintaining interest, and keeping the programs fun.
Given that most people struggle with self-motivation and following through with programs, your wellness initiatives should make it easy for people to take that first step. It should also be “flexible to support a wide variety of interests, and include motivational elements that encourage participation all along the way.”
Grokker suggests offering activities that are fun, unintimidating, and rewarding. Some examples include lunch and learns, webinars, on-site classes, and seasonal themed events.
5. Tracking and Reporting
Without tracking and reporting tools, you won’t be able to measure the success of your company’s wellness programs. Other than tracking success, these types of tools can help improve and tailor your workplace wellness offerings based on real time data and insights.
“With the right tools, your data will help enable more personalized and effective program content, incentives, and uncover insights into what makes your employees ‘tick’ so you can make improvements over time.”
Some key elements of effective tracking and reporting platforms:
- Real time dashboards
- Privacy best-practices
- Integration with wearable devices
- Data visualization and insights.