Did you know companies that invest in employees’ well-being see results as high as 600% ROI? That’s because for every $1 invested in employees’ well-being, medical and absenteeism costs go down.
The type of wellness programs that see these kinds of returns offer more than just a handful of perks. They target employees’ needs and systemic barriers, according to McLean & Company’s Create a Holistic Employee Well-being Program report.
To see unrivaled results, firms need to focus on embedding employee well-being in day-to-day operations, company culture and leadership. If leadership isn’t walking the “well-being” talk, program results will fall flat.
This would be a systemic barrier that prevents the company from being all in when it comes to employee well-being.
Companies need to stop looking at well-being as a stand-alone program and shift their approach by incorporating well-being into everything that affects employees.
To start building a holistic well-being program:
Analyze existing well-being initiatives
How are current well-being initiatives doing? Are they achieving the goals that were set? If not, look for systemic barriers that are preventing their success.
To help with this, setup up a well-being project team. One person can’t do it all. Having multiple people observing and strategizing helps identify holes and solutions for filling them. How you create your team is up to you. You may have the head of benefits lead it or have people from every department work together on it.
Create a list of desired initiatives
Once you have your full list of desired initiatives written down, whittle the list down as to which initiatives are the most feasible, and address systemic barriers. Assess how new initiatives will mesh with existing ones. If they’ll mesh nicely, keep them. If they need a little tweaking, modify them. And if they don’t mesh, remove them. Once you have a solid list, draft a business case for each item to review with senior leaders.
Prepare for implementation
The first thing you need to do is create a roadmap that details how the program will be implemented. That includes detailing how the initiatives will be communicated to your employees, how you’ll train managers/supervisors on them and how you’ll evaluate the initiatives?
The main communication goal is to contact all employees and make them aware of the well-being initiatives. Communications need to be timely, clear, honest and consistent. Consistency in communications is important. Make sure senior leaders and managers send the same message when it comes to the desired outcome of the program.
But to do that managers have to be trained. After all, they’re in a key position to monitor employees’ well-being and be role models for health and wellness. Unfortunately, only 30% of employees said they felt comfortable talking to their managers about mental health issues, according to a McKinsey report. And, here’s the sad part, only 9% of firms require their managers to go through training to help identify and support employees’ mental health, according to a study by WorldatWork.
Once the program is in place, assess its goals and metrics on a regular basis – bi-annually or annually – to track progress and identify any issues. And encourage management to use and promote the initiatives, because a well-being program won’t work without a supportive culture.