Getting Employee Wellness Right Matters
Prioritising employee well-being trumps “getting them to stay.”
With The Great Resignation impacting countries worldwide, more and more organisations are struggling to hire and retain top talent. Even during the pandemic, employers realised that employees want more out of their jobs (and lives) than a fat paycheck and so-called job security. Post-pandemic, the situation has escalated further globally.
A key finding of consultancy firm PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey of more than 52,000 workers in 44 countries and territories, conducted in March this year, is that one in five workers globally is planning to quit in 2022. The survey found that financial compensation is insufficient to retain talent, who cited intangible factors related to meaning, PwC said, adding that job fulfilment and the ability to be one’s true self at work were ranked second and third among employees considering a job change.
Therefore, resolving the talent drain problem is proving difficult for CHROs in many organisations. However, while some organisations continue to flounder in this respect, others have managed to win and retain talent by prioritising their employees’ wellness and overall well-being.
Companies who are doing it right
The following organisations are well-known brands that are recognised globally not just for their innovation and business success but also for HR best practices, including exemplary and employee-centric corporate wellness programmes:
The only company in this list that financially incentivises its employees to make healthier choices, IBM provides its employees with four different 12-week programmes encompassing diet and nutrition, children and family health, physical fitness and personal vitality.
According to online sources, IBM’s corporate wellness programme is entirely online, with 80% of their 432,000 employees signing up for at least one programme yearly. While nearly half of these employees complete a programme, IBM has saved roughly USD 190 million in two years by improving employee well-being and productivity and reducing healthcare claims.
The only non-tech company on this list, EY, has a track record of providing its employees with a clear path to getting help. Their integrated employee assistance and life management services programme has been a staple of the company’s employees and their families for more than 40 years, according to online sources.
The company has gone out of its way to make it easy for employees to access support and help when needed. Using a 24-hour hotline and website, EY employees can access counselling services, health and well-being solutions, child and elder care resources, daily life and home services, dependent care and personal travel.
While it is standard practice by most organisations to offer their employees an annual paid vacation package, many still overload their employees with work when they return to work after going on vacation. This is counterproductive because it makes employees feel reluctant to take time off from work and less relaxed when they are on vacation, knowing what they have to return to when their vacation is over.
Red Hat has cleverly solved this problem by offering their employees Recharge Days. Such days are special quarterly days off that allow employees time to unplug, rest and recharge. This means that employees can “switch off” and return to work with no meetings and emails awaiting them. In other words, they do not have to “catch up on lost work time” or “make up” for the days they do not have to work.
According to various online sources, Google’s campus offers a comprehensive wellness programme featuring onsite healthcare services, including physician, chiropractic, physical therapy, and massage services, as well as access to fitness centres, classes and community bikes.
Employees can learn new skills by taking cooking classes, coding programmes, or guitar lessons, to name a few. The organisation’s campus cafés and micro kitchens are abundant with nutritious meals and snacks.
The search engine giant also offers its employees access to financial advisors and financial planning services. Employees are also given flexible hours, vacation time and volunteer time. All these go a long way in helping Googlers live a balanced, healthy life during and outside work.
Software and tech heavyweight Microsoft offers education and training for quitting smoking, weight management and fitness. Moreover, the company funds gym memberships and fitness-related purchases while providing its employees free Zumba classes. Its headquarters has onsite walking and running tracks with basketball, volleyball and baseball courts.
Microsoft also organises health screening events for employees and their spouses for common ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure, as well as mammograms and flu shots. The Microsoft campus also offers onsite clinics, optometrists and pharmacists.
The Microsoft CARES employee assistance programme provides free personal and family counselling, stress management, and child and elder care resources. Microsoft also has a mentorship programme, employee source groups, networks, and social groups to build community and a sense of connectedness among its employees.
The right approach is the solution
Now that you know what some organisations are doing right, how do you go about offering wellness programmes as an incentive to attract or retain talent within your organisation? Yes, while you may not have a massive budget or capacity for large-scale programmes, implementing a reasonably robust (and practical) wellness programme for the benefit of your employees is entirely achievable.
According to Grand View Research, the global corporate wellness market was valued at USD 52.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.0% from 2021 to 2028. Companies are beginning to see that employee well-being should be an organisational priority for business success and are willing to invest in corporate wellness programmes.
This does not mean that a corporate wellness programme will be the magic solution to your talent problems; rather, it is intended to be a way of caring for your existing employees, to spread positive word-of-mouth about your organisation, as opposed to creating a way to “make them stay”.
A 2016 survey by the American Psychological Association found that 89% of employees at companies that support well-being initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work. 91% of these employees found themselves motivated to do their best on the job; as a result, the APA said.
This is precisely how CHROs should approach corporate wellness programmes: the goal is to make employees feel fulfilled and valued. This indirectly leads to greater job satisfaction and fulfilment, which translates to improved productivity and performance on the job.
To further drive home this point, let us look at the highlights from a study spanning ten years conducted by Morneau Shepell and the Employee Assistance Professionals Association in 2020:
- After receiving EAP counselling, the percentage of employees who were not engaged at work dropped from 32% to 23%.
- The percentage of employees who missed half a day or more of work dropped from 29% to 13% post-counselling.
- Businesses reported cost savings from USD 2,000 to USD 3,500 per employee from reduced presenteeism (87%) and absenteeism (13%).
Furthermore, a study by the Global Wellness Institute found that employees reported higher levels of engagement if they worked in businesses with well-being programmes. Companies with more engaged employees reported 21% higher productivity and 22% higher profitability than their counterparts.
How to do right by your employees
You know, implementing a corporate well-being programme is essential. But how do you go about it if you have limited means?
We strongly recommend outsourcing the provision of health and well-being services. While some organisations have initiatives spearheaded by their HR departments, in most cases, health and well-being programmes are additional burdens tacked on to their existing roles and may fail due to overwhelming and neglect.
Well-meaning HR staff need long-term momentum to deploy and support a successful well-being programme that would be best left to those who already hold the relevant training and certifications.
At Naluri, we have the expertise and resources to promote, launch and support the long-term engagement of your company’s wellness programme. Our customisable corporate wellness solutions look after your employees’ physical and mental health needs, regardless of their risk levels.
Some numbers to keep in mind when contemplating our corporate wellness solutions:
- Our programmes deliver 4X return on investment in as little as six months.
- 60% of our participants achieve clinically significant health outcomes that reduce risk factors for chronic conditions.
- Our participants experience between 20% and 50% reduction in risk factors for chronic conditions.
- We provide proactive employee recruitment, enrollment and rollout to increase programme adherence by 200%.
Our programmes do not just “patch” and “medicate” physical and mental health conditions; instead, we prioritise prevention, wellness and well-being and encourage employers to do this too. Our fully integrated digital wellness solutions can help your employees prevent or manage the following conditions:
- Obesity and Diabetes
- Depression and Anxiety
- Hypertension and Heart Disease
- Stress and Resilience
- Advanced Chronic Conditions
Our solutions can help you craft a corporate wellness programme that features end-to-end multidisciplinary support with clinically proven digital tools to empower real change among your employees. By supporting your employees through prevention and treatment, our corporate wellness programmes have repeatedly produced clinical health outcomes in just 16 weeks.
Among the features we offer your employees that give added value are:
- Integration with connected devices
- Team-wide and personal challenges
- A dedicated 24-hour text and careline
- An exclusive health and wellness resource library
Some of the ways our solutions empower change are as follows:
- Increased employee engagement, productivity and resilience.
- Decreased employee absenteeism and presenteeism.
- Contained healthcare expenditure.
To discuss your organisation’s unique needs and pain points, reach out to the Naluri team. The company’s corporate health and well-being ecosystem includes various services to suit different needs.
- Written by:
- Sharmila Ganapathy
- 15 September 2022