Tag Archives: Employee Engagement

Three Tips for How Corporations Can Invest in Employee Wellness Programs Amidst Recession Concerns and Budget Cuts

It’s been a challenging time in the workplace. With ongoing concerns about a looming recession, layoffs and budget cuts, employees and employers alike have been under a great deal of pressure and stress. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, 77% of workers surveyed expressed experiencing work-related stress. And while companies may naturally think it’s best to cut out employee wellness programs during these challenging economic times, it could be detrimental to employees and organizations as a whole.

As we’re nearing the end of the year, now is the time to prioritize employee wellbeing, mental health, physical health, happiness, connection and engagement. Times of uncertainty are when they need this type of support the most. Following are three tips for how corporations can invest in employee wellness programs amidst recession concerns and budget cuts. These tips don’t necessarily cost more money, but rather focus on shifting culture, budgets, priorities and approaches to work.

1. Focus on a company culture reboot:  Company culture is critical in creating a sense of wellbeing in the workplace. It truly starts from the top down. Encourage leaders and managers to have open lines of communication with their employees, including regular personal and professional check-ins with their direct reports. Asking employees how they’re feeling, how their families are doing and how things are going with their jobs and careers can make them feel respected and well-regarded.

Also, ensure managers are encouraging employees to take care of their physical and mental health through regular exercise, proper nutrition, adequate sleep and creating work-life balance boundaries in their schedule. Provide resources in the workplace to encourage these healthy behaviors and demonstrate them as leaders within the organization. Be sensitive to what time of day (or night) emails are being sent out, whether deadlines are realistic and feasible and discerning which meetings are necessary and productive and which ones aren’t.

Focus on team-building, strengths, connection and fun as well. The more employees can feel connected and that they’re a part of a mission bigger than themselves, the better. Allowing them to utilize their strengths to add value to their teams and ensuring they’re having fun, can make a positive impact as well.

2. Shift budgets to reflect priorities:  When a recession looms, companies immediately think about downsizing and cutting costs. However, not every cost can or needs to be completely cut if it can be redirected and invested towards long-term productivity, growth and strong performance. People are the biggest assets a company has, therefore, investing in them can go a long way in successful outcomes, even in the midst of challenging economic times. Therefore, think about where spend could be redirected into employee wellness programs. Are there administrative costs that aren’t serving the company well anymore? Are there partnerships that no longer make sense? Are certain marketing activities no longer generating an ROI?

These costs don’t necessarily have to be cut completely. Perhaps they can be reduced and some of those costs can also be shifted to employee needs. Ultimately, this is a customized decision that each organization will need to make. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to evaluate the bigger picture in addition to the specific financial details, and determine what will make the most sense.

Another option is to pilot a shift in budget into an employee wellness program to see how it works. Ideally test it out for three to six months and then go from there. Oftentimes, working with an employee wellness vendor can be more cost and time effective than doing it in-house because you don’t have to pay an annual salary and benefits and add more work to an employee’s already busy plate. For this reason, consider working with a wellness vendor to help create the most efficient and effective program possible, which is also designed to integrate with the company culture and address individualized employee needs.

While this may be a new approach for many organizations, it’s an important one to consider.

3. Integrate hybrid approaches to both work and wellness:  Now that the world has mostly taken a hybrid approach to life, also taking a hybrid approach to both work and wellness is a smart move. It’s important to embrace the new normal and figure out how best to operate within in. Part of placing employee wellbeing at the center of a hybrid approach is working with them to create flexible and reasonable working arrangements that help meet company goals, offer opportunities for collaboration, team-building and camaraderie and also consider the needs of employees.

Whether it’s meeting in person for executive summits, offsites, team meetings or other important events, being clear on when it’s most beneficial for employees to be physically present in the office or elsewhere is important. However, mandating employees be in the office for a certain number of hours each day and days per week can cause stress and anxiety and decrease productivity rather than increase it. Allowing employees to work remotely in ways that work best for them, while also still communicating when it’s most critical to be in person, can build trust and loyalty and bring out the best in them. They’ll be able to better balance their careers with their families, as well as their personal and professional commitments. This approach could also allow companies to reduce some of their commercial real estate costs in certain areas.

The same approach applies for wellness programs. Having a hybrid offering of both onsite and virtual fitness and yoga classes, as well as coaching and workshops on nutrition, mindfulness, mental health, financial wellness and more, can provide an opportunity to meet employees where they are. Taking this flexible approach could increase employee engagement, both in their work and the wellness programs offered to them. And having a mix of virtual and in-person wellness offerings could also provide companies with some cost savings, given virtual options may have fewer overhead costs. Leveraging AI technologies in the employee wellness arena can also help with cost efficiencies.

Overall, regardless of what’s happening in the economy, develop a culture built on hard work, productivity, trust, collaboration, communication, connection, wellbeing, fun and balance. Rethink budgets to support company priorities and take a hybrid approach to best meet employee and company needs.


Corporate Wellness Programs Need an Overhaul — Starting with These 3 Components

In the past, having an employee wellness program was a nice perk for companies to offer. But as we enter the third year of the pandemic, mental and physical health are stretched thin. Amid the Great Resignation, having a comprehensive employee wellness program has now become essential in attracting and retaining top talent. Now more than ever, companies need to create more effective wellness programs, as employees need these wellness programs in order to be resilient and still succeed during these difficult times.

According to a 2020 survey conducted by Deloitte, 80% of 9,000 surveyed respondents identified well-being as being important or very important to the overall success of their organization. Employees are some of the greatest assets an organization can have, and designing a workplace culture along with programs that keep them healthy, happy, productive and engaged, is critical for meeting company goals and objectives. Employees need to consistently feel their best in order to consistently perform at their best.

As we progress through the pandemic and experience continued uncertainty as to what the future holds, it’s critical for employee wellness programs to be prioritized and also evolve and grow according to the latest world developments, workplace trends and ever-changing employee needs. Providing employees with timely and useful well-being tools can strengthen their connection and loyalty to the company over time.

Here are three essential components every corporate wellness program should have in order to be successful.

To read the full article in Success Magazine, click here.

Five Reasons Why Having an Employee Wellness Program Is Now Essential

According to The Future Workplace 2021 HR Sentiment survey and Forbes, 68% of HR leaders gave employee mental health and wellbeing a top priority rating. This survey also revealed that the corporate wellbeing market is expected to reach approximately $20.4 billion in the U.S.  and is predicted to reach $87.4 billion over the next four years.

Based on these findings, investing in an employee wellness program is now essential for most, if not all, organizations. Below are five important reasons why.

To read the full article in CEO World, click here.