– Monica Laury
Having a happy and healthy workforce can sometimes take a back seat to more pressing endeavors occurring within modern organizations. With the accessibility of modern technology-based tools, employers are finding it easier than ever to manage employee wellness in order to keep their valued professionals feeling able to perform their daily tasks with minimal stress. Below are a few steps to take to ensure employee wellness is being managed effectively and remain in-tune with employee demands to operate at full potential.
Devise a Strategy
Having a strategy in place for an employee wellness program is key to establishing goals and setting high standards. Studies show that 94% workers feel stressed at work, with a third of these individuals reporting high to unsustainably high levels of stress. Gain insight from employees on how their professional daily tasks, routines, and scheduling play a role in their physical and mental health. This can supply deeper, more personal information to be applied within a finalized wellness program and ensure it doesn’t just scratch the surface of employee needs. Determine how they create work-life balance or if they feel there is a lack of work-life balance initiatives currently in place. Take it a step further and inquire about what they would like to see and gain from a new wellness program. This helps to mine for pain points and address all areas of improvement in the new plan and design a more employee-focused program.
Once research is complete, pull together a team that provides focused efforts on the wellness program. This team can be informal or formal, and should include HR professionals to align company goals and objectives with the prospective wellness options. Enlist help from all levels of the organization as well to ensure the plan takes different role responsibilities and stress levels into consideration. Take physical and mental wellness into account to create a comprehensive strategy when in the design process. Evaluate the overall effectiveness of the wellness program after a pilot roll out, monitor changes, and make modifications to further shape the program until it meets company culture missions and goals.
Implement Proper Internal Tools & Benefits
A strategy needs the right tools to back it up. Communication channels like open forums, chat applications, social media, and intranet systems aid in building motivation and internal community, which improves overall morale. These channels act as a tracker for personal wellness goals which allows employees to share wellness benchmarks with their peers and support each other’s wellness journeys. These tools also supply real-time feedback and input to help employees remain up-to-date on new wellness initiatives and events.
Internal operations software is important to help manage all wellness programs and keep everyone on track towards their goals. HCM platforms with work-life solutions software, for example, allow HR professionals to integrate wellness programs into automated tools, and makes wellness initiatives visible to all members of an organization. They also typically include wellness incentive programs right within the platform, which gives added incentive to get employees moving towards physical and mental wellness goals. It acts as another company-wide communication channel as well to possibly make new programs more competitive and increase engagement.
Stepping away from tech-based tools and into strategy-based initiatives, remote and flex hours are also a great tool to reduce stress and promote work life balance. Flexible schedules for busy employees and their families enable work to be completed from home, which produces multiple competitive benefits. When ill, employees can stay home to prevent the spreading of illness, keeping a healthy office environment. It also helps them manage their personal commitments and maybe even find more time to tackle the gym. Offer membership discounts or design an internal gym space to make it more accessible for personnel to improve their physical well-being. Mental health benefits are also viable, providing support for those who need it. Company events like runs or luncheons are also a great way to build a community centric culture and strong internal relationships. Use them as a way to celebrate achievements and perform check-ins as a fun, informal way to boost motivation.
Set an Example and Promote Motivational Initiatives
In order for a program to be successful, leaders need to set an example for employees. Leaders who promote and support wellness create higher levels of engagement and inspire those around them to feel comfortable enough to make personal changes in and outside of the workplace. It can be intimidating to take on a new wellness challenge, but having an inspirational figure to set an example for the organization can be the extra push needed to inspire steps towards workday wellness. Leaders should communicate their goals and achievements transparently and interact with those involved in the newly organized wellness program to become part of the conversation. Check out this article to find out more ways leaders can support their staff’s work-life balance.
Leaders should also take part in managing the new program, offering insights and budgeting standards to make the program run smoothly. Taking care of the granular details allows team members to remain focused on the bigger picture. Teams should consult leaders on ways to mesh company missions with a new program as well to better plot projected company goals.
Monitor Closely and Seek Feedback
Monitor the effects of wellness programs on pilot groups as well as post-pilots to continuously improve and ensure employees are happy and healthy. Managing a wellness program is a continuous job, so be sure to send out feedback surveys on a quarterly basis to gain consistent insight into areas of success and improvement. Leaders should seek to talk to employees in-person to gain a more personal understanding of how the wellness program is working, as well as monitor using automated data collection. This helps to determine engagement levels on the newly implemented tech-based wellness tools predominantly. Keep conversations open and part of the overall company culture to create a supportive environment that makes employees feel their best inside and outside of the workplace.
Organizational Tools that Keep Employees Motivated and Engaged
Milanote is a unique easily accessible tool for organizing a team’s creative projects into beautiful visual boards. It was conceived and created to replicate the feeling of working on a wall in a creative studio – visual, tactile and sometimes a bit messy – Milanote seems to be a great fit for freelancers in both the marketing and design spaces. Milanote has heaps of built-in templates to help your team get started with a variety of different projects, from creating a mood-board to set out the visual direction for a project, to writing that perfect creative brief. Its sharing features make it a great option for those who regularly provide work to clients for feedback.
Milanote has a Basic Plan that is available for free with no time-limit, so it can be easily downloaded and used by any number of employees or teams. Have fun!