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Many studies have reported that remote working employees are running overtime during the pandemic, which has impacted their work-life balance. The uncertainty and anxiety about the pandemic, along with the hectic work and responsibilities has impacted holistic employee wellbeing in many ways. This has also affected employee productivity and business growth, which probably has already taken a toll due to the falling economy.

There is a sea of evidence proving that well-planned holistic employee wellbeing programs and other such initiatives can boost employee engagement, better workplace culture, lower absenteeism rates, and builds a happy, healthy, and productive workforce.

Although holistic employee wellbeing programs were in the corporate wellness market for long, the recent pandemic has emphasized its importance. Since the employee health and wellness needs are different for each company and individual, the corporate wellness programs must be customized. When created to meet the specific employee wellness needs, the corporate wellness programs can help in achieving the desired wellness and business goals.

Although the one-size-fits-all approach may not work for the corporate wellness programs, there are a few common wellness factors that must be addressed by all employees, especially now to help them overcome the impact of the pandemic.

Here are the 6 key holistic employee wellbeing areas that must be focused on for complete workplace wellness –

1. Employee Mental Wellbeing

There is ample evidence proving the impact of the pandemic on employee mental wellness. A JAMA report revealed a 19% increase in depression symptoms after March 2020, when the pandemic was at its peak. Another study showed that 35% of employees were demotivated and felt overwhelmed due to the lack of work-life balance. Also, the social stigma around employee mental wellness and health issues has many of them not opening up about their conditions to their managers or co-workers.

Employers can address employee mental wellbeing by –

  • Being approachable to have conversations about employee mental wellbeing and encourage seeking advice
  • Normalize discussions and other communications about mental health issues and their treatment
  • Offer corporate wellness programs with mental wellness challenges ideas and other emotional wellbeing initiatives
  • Provide employee assistance programs with expert counseling and therapy sessions
  • Conduct training sessions for team leads and managers to deal with employees with mental health conditions

2. Employee Physical Health

Since a majority of employees are working remotely, employee physical health and wellness has also been affected along with mental wellbeing. Studies have proven the negative impact of the pandemic on employee physical health. While the absence of commute and lunch break walks are adding to the lack of physical activity, the fear about workplace safety is stopping many from returning to the workplace. Also, the anxiety and easy availability of unhealthy food at home makes it easy to binge eat. The health benefits of nutrition, exercise, and adequate physical activity are infinite, and the lack of it is bound to affect employee wellbeing in many ways.

Employers must address employee physical health and wellness by –

  • Implementing corporate wellness programs with wellness challenges ideas that promote healthy eating, exercise, physical activity, and better sleep
  • Educate employees about the importance of a balanced nutritious diet, adequate physical activity, and good sleep
  • Promote sharing recipes, healthy tips, and conduct virtual potluck lunches to encourage healthy eating
  • Offer wearables, gym membership, or other exercise equipment as incentives to encourage at least 150 minutes of weekly physical activity
  • Conduct online yoga or exercise sessions, step challenges, or team challenges to encourage physical activity
  • Include a sleep tracker to the wellness program platform or corporate wellness app and offer better sleep wellness challenges

3. Employee Financial Wellbeing

Employee financial wellbeing plays a major role in achieving and maintaining holistic health, and the pandemic emphasized its importance like never before. The job loss, economic crash, and financial crisis have added to the mental stress and worries. Even people who saved enough for their retirement had to face issues and set down to credit cards, loans, and overdrafts. The financial stress impacted employee mental health, increased absenteeism rates, higher healthcare costs, and reduced workplace productivity.

Employers can address employee financial wellbeing by –

  • Implementing financial wellness programs to improve spending and budgeting habits
  • Offer a corporate wellness platform with educational resources and tools to understand the current financial health
  • The employee wellbeing platform can also provide calculators and references to make better financial decisions
  • Conducting counseling and consultation sessions with financial experts
  • Offering employee benefits and perks like HSA, FSA, 401(K) plans, and cash rewards, etc.

4. Communication & Employee Feedback

To achieve all the desired business goals, holistic employee wellbeing must become a part of the workplace culture. While managers and leaders set the tone to run the business and organize all the initiatives, they must also have a smooth communication channel with the workforce to ensure employee engagement. A Work Human study showed that 49% of their survey respondents did not even get ‘Thank You’ from their managers, which made them feel undervalued. When employees feel heard, appreciated, and satisfied that their opinion matters to the employers, it will boost loyalty, employee engagement, and retention.  

  • Employers can develop their communication practices with their employees by – 
  • Conduct one-on-one monthly/quarterly performance meetings to discuss employee experience
  • Seek anonymous employee feedback through employee engagement surveys, pulse surveys, polls, etc.
  • Implement the needed online tools through the corporate wellness platform or other ways to measure employee engagement and satisfaction
  • Include the workforce while making important decisions for the company and seek their ideas about the workflow
  • Recognize and appreciate their accomplishments and rewards with incentives to motivate and empower them

5. Employee Occupational Wellbeing

Nurturing employee talent can help in business growth and bring home a greater ROI. Employees who are low in their career wellbeing are more likely to be unproductive and unhappy at work. Studies show that almost 60% of employees agreed that their employer was not supportive of career development, which could reflect higher employee turnover rates.

Employers can address occupational and career wellbeing by –

  • Discussing salary goals and promotions with the workforce
  • Helping employees set long-term and short-term career goals
  • Identifying individual skills and providing the needed resources to achieve those goals
  • Conduct online workshops or webinars to educate employees about their career progression
  • Mentoring employees about leadership skills, self-awareness, and confidence

6. Other Employee Wellbeing Initiatives

Along with the above holistic employee wellbeing aspects, there are a few more pointers that employers must consider for the holistic wellness of the workforce.

  • Flexible work schedules for work-life balance
  • Paid Maternity/Paternity leaves
  • Paid time-off to reduce workplace burnout issues
  • Set up volunteering events and activities to relieve stress and for mental wellness

Employee wellbeing has become the foremost focus for many organizations, and employers are putting in relatively more effort to ensure workplace wellness and employee productivity. Well-designed corporate wellness programs that focus on the different holistic employee wellbeing areas can help in building a healthy workplace culture, boost employee engagement, and improve employee productivity. With a robust wellness program platform to deliver the corporate wellness programs and their modules, employers can assure employee wellbeing and workplace wellness.

Post Author: Admin