Recently, employers have begun to shift their benefits strategies from wellness to wellbeing. It is easy to understand how this change in ideology has gained so much momentum over the last decade, as several leading employers are reporting improved health, greater productivity and higher performance, along with decreased health care costs and a lower turnover rate. As more and more companies realize the importance of a holistic wellbeing strategy, it is just as imperative to make sure it is sustainable. CBIZ Wellbeing Solutions has examined best practices among leading employers in the U.S. to identify 5 keys that companies can incorporate into their wellbeing strategy to open the door to sustained, long-term, results.
1.) Align Wellbeing Strategy with Business Mission & Goals
As an employer, your people are your company’s greatest asset. Recognition of the link between employee wellbeing and organizational success should be reflected in your organization’s business mission, vision and goals. This will help make it clear to employees that employee wellbeing is a priority and integral to what you do. Sending this message of care and support amongst your workforce will produce increased business growth, profitable relationships with customers and improved productivity. Ideally, your wellbeing goals will be incorporated into your annual business objectives.
2.) Form a Solid, Fundamental and Dedicated Team
-Recruit Wellbeing Champions - Prime candidates for the role of wellbeing champion include employees that have success stories with their health, are enthusiastic about and/or embody wellbeing, and are eager to serve as ambassadors for the program. They serve to motivate and energize employees and help to localize the message of the culture so that it is not viewed as just a high-level leadership initiative, but rather something everyone in the company will be joining to make a positive change.
-Develop a Wellbeing Committee to support program efforts. The wellbeing committee is responsible for planning activities, promoting programs, communicating with management and employees, and serving as support for employees. Some companies even have a dedicated part-time or full-time wellbeing coordinator that takes on some of these responsibilities. A wellbeing committee should be diverse, with employees from multiple departments, locations and backgrounds represented.
3.) Integrate all Program Partnerships (Vendor, Carrier & Consultants)
Your wellbeing team may include vendor and carrier partners, outside wellbeing consultants and others. It is important to connect all of your partners for a unified, effective and sustainable program. Educate all vendors on your total wellbeing package and encourage cross referrals. An outside wellbeing consultant can be effective in helping to select, manage and coordinate vendor relations. Wellbeing consultants can also assist with measurement of your program and compliance with federal and state regulations, areas that vendors and carriers may not have much expertise.
4.) Create a Supportive Environment
This is critical to helping employees develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. For most people, a large portion of the day is spent in the workplace. Providing an environment that makes healthy choices easy is a very important avenue to wellbeing. Here are a few steps you can use to create a supportive environment:
-Offer healthy food choices in cafeterias and vending machines.
-Ensure the facilities are ergonomically sound and provide plenty of natural light and live plants.
-Create a culture that fosters socialization, teamwork and communication - employees who feel encouraged to share ideas and options are 3.5x more engaged in their work.
-Ensure that your policies are aligned with your culture of wellbeing - enact smoke-free facilities, healthy meeting guidelines and support for nursing mothers.
5.) Include the community
-Show that you value the relationships that matter most to your employees by including family, friends and colleagues and consider community resources available to your employees.
-Consider extending benefits and wellness activities to spouses and family members.
-Promote local volunteering and giving - this helps to build purpose for your employees and boosts company image at the same time. Try hosting regular volunteer days and use donation to your charity of choice as an incentive tied to a wellness program.
-Participate in a local farmers market or recreational sports league.
By utilizing these 5 keys, you unlock a sustained culture of wellbeing and feel inspired to get creative and innovative with your own company programs.