How can your employee wellness program be more holistic?

Corporate wellness is all the rage right now. Whether it’s offering healthy snacks in the breakroom or running marathons as a team, organizations are clamouring to find ways of improving the health of their employees. And for good reason. Healthy employees are less likely to take sick days and more likely to be focused and engaged in their work. Even the simplest of wellness programs can boost productivity company-wide, making employees more fulfilled in their jobs and organizations more profitable.

While these initiatives are invaluable, however, they sometimes fall short in their ability to create a sustainable behavior change. Old habits die hard, as they say, and part of the reason is the shift that happens when employees go home from work. No matter how engaging your wellness program is, it’s difficult to affect lasting change if your staff can’t keep up with it when they’re off the clock. To prevent them from falling off the wagon, try the following:

  • Encourage off-work participation. Positive behavioral change doesn’t happen overnight, let alone over an eight-hour shift. Instead of restricting use to work hours, let your staff know they can — and should — make use of the program whenever they need to.
  • Make access effortless. The simpler your program is to access, the more people will use it. The easiest way to ensure this is by offering digital resources your staff can access anytime, anywhere.
  • Promote holistic behavioral change. Forward-thinking employers recognize that physical wellness is only a portion of the well-being equation. In order for employees to thrive, they need to be able to improve all aspects of their health. Make sure that in addition to traditional health resources, they can also find help for issues concerning mental health, personal finance, relationships, etc.
  • Invite employees to involve their loved ones. Having a solid support network is imperative for creating sustainable change; and your employees are often the caretakers for others, which can affect their productivity at work.  Your employees will benefit greatly from being able to pursue their wellness goals both at work with their colleagues and at home with their families.

How supporting your employees’ families can help your business

At LifeSpeak, we believe in total well-being. That means in order to sustainably boost employee engagement and well-being, employers should help their staff address all aspects of their health: physical, mental, emotional, financial, professional, and so forth. When one of these areas suffers, the stability of the rest is jeopardized. Moreover, employees don’t live in isolated bubbles; their well-being is affected by the people around them and the interactions they have on a daily basis.

Let’s say your head of accounting has become a big fan of walking meetings because of your wellness initiative. Her colleagues have access to the same resources and also understand the importance of staying active throughout the day, so it’s easy for her to keep up her healthy walking habit. However, when she goes home all her family wants to do is sit around and watch tv. Sure, she could beg and plead with them to get up and go outside, but a more effective approach would be for her to share what she’s learned about the benefits of exercise and the dangers of being sedentary. This can be applied to any number of situations, including an employee whose cousin is coping with depression, or a staff member whose siblings have become primary caregivers to an aging parent.

Being able to share these resources with the people who need it most better empowers your employees to tackle the issues they and their loved ones are facing. This in turn helps them become more focused and productive at work, and live more fulfilling lives.

It doesn’t have to be expensive

By now, you must be thinking about how much a program like this might cost. Wellness programs can sometimes be pricey — especially for larger organizations with staff members spread over wide geographical distances. The good news is there’s a very cost-effective way to help employees and their families improve their health: using resources that scale.

Programs that scale well cost far less to distribute to users than programs that don’t. For example, it’s more efficient to send 1,000 people a link to a video than a physical book. If you opt for digital files like videos, podcasts, and downloadable PDFs, your employees can easily share your wellness resources with their loved ones without incurring significant additional cost.

It’s important to remember that healthy and happy employees really do save organizations money in the long run, so the expenditure is absolutely worth it. As previously mentioned, they use fewer sick days and leaves of absence, and are more enthusiastic and productive at work. The funds you put into your wellness program are ultimately an investment in each individual’s potential and the success of your business.

LifeSpeak covers staff members and their loved ones

If you’re looking to extend your well-being program to your employees’ families, we have the perfect solution. Our platform is packed with 1,500+ expert-led digital resources that help users address a range of important topics, such as mental and physical health, relationships, financial stability, communications, relationships, and professional development, all of which can be shared with just the click of a button. To find out more, book a free demo today.


Also published on Medium.