To attract and keep your top talent, it’s no secret that some of the leading employers offer a variety of healthy benefits – good pay, days off, learning opportunities and great culture. Speaking of healthy, now, companies are investing in health and wellness more than ever.
54% of employers in Malaysia have some sort of wellness programme in the workplace and you can’t blame them. Wellness programmes have the power to do many things which include promoting awareness, creating positive behavioural change, and addressing the rising healthcare costs – basically a win-win for both employers and employees.
Taking these initiatives isn’t an easy task, without proper planning and implementation, there is risk of major failure. One should never risk sacrificing programme sustainability and precious workplace morale just because you didn’t think things through properly.
So before launching your wellness programme, here are 5 things you should consider.
1. Why do you want to start a wellness programme and what do you want out of it?
This could be your first time even thinking of a wellness programme for your employees or looking at switching providers. This may seem like a no brainer but you would be surprised by how much this obvious question is often overlooked.
Most companies would say they are doing this to save money or even improve the health of their employees. While these are two of the primary outcomes, they shouldn’t really be the primary reasons as to why you are launching an employee wellness programme.
Like we say in Ikigai, find your purpose, know your why. Your programme’s purpose should come from the heart. Once you have your why, it will serve you as a path towards every element which will determine success along the way.
2. What do your employees know about their health?
Are you currently empowering your employees to take charge and ownership of their own health? Think of ways you can do that. Making things personal is a great step towards making your wellness programme a big hit – because it hits home (the body).
Personal health assessments that go beyond basic screenings is what we;re talking about. Employees should know their numbers and we’re not talking about the number on the weighing scale but their glucose levels, cholesterol levels and much much more.
A comprehensive blood report bridges the knowledge gap and the need for action or taking the next step. So imagine, you combine that knowledge with an extremely convenient and accessible action plan (psstt: you wellness plan). That, my friend, is supply and demand at the workplace.
3. What do you know about your employees’ health and what they’re interested in?
Knowing the aggregate report on your employee population’s health and engagement surveys will allow you to bring focus to your wellness programmes efforts and enable you to develop strategic support.
With this information, you can highlight which area requires attention making room for other areas you can focus on later.
Don’t just tackle the obvious, tackling the less talked about or noticed is the best way to succeed.
4. Do you have incentives along with your plan?
From gift cards to grand prizes, to discounts and penalties, there’s a wide range of options employers can actually choose from when it comes to wellness programme rewards.
Just make sure the rewards or penalties are proportionate to the programme. Also, try not to exclude those who can’t make it physically or on time and give them an alternative.
5. Do you have a supportive foundation and attractive strategies to market the Wellness Programme?
A supportive environment determines the level of success achieved through your programme. This includes written goals, communication strategy as well as measurement and evaluation programmes.
You would also want to look at what components and modalities you are looking for. What is the budget? Will this programme work for your demographics? Though these are important considerations, these questions often represent a more obvious approach to wellness programme purchasing.
It’s also vital for the Management of your company to drive the Wellness Programme, setting an example and being a role model in instilling the right values in health and wellness.
6. Do you have a sustainability plan?
Just like your business’ sustainability plan, you will need the same when it comes to running your Wellness Programme.
Oftentimes, wellness workshops are conducted on a one-off basis. Try focusing on building a wellness community and culture. Set a clear roadmap of how success will look like and appoint Wellness Ambassadors who already have the right mindset to lead your Wellness Programme.
Whether this is your first time launching an employee wellness programme or you’ve been in the wellness game for a bit, it’s never wrong to think big and dream even bigger about helping to improve the life of your employees.
These questions are a great start in identifying and establishing a wellness programme that both you and your employees can be enthusiastic and passionate about.