ekincare has started the HR leadership series with a vision to foster knowledge from the veterans in the HR industry and focus on the best practices. The roundtable session conducted in Hyderabad was focused on the topic 'Using benefits to create a culture of well-being'. Here is a gist of the top debated points at the session.
The roundtable discussion started off with a key issue of how benefits should be customized as per employees’ needs. We have seen in numerous cases where a lot of money is spent and multiple health benefits are offered by the company but the programs still have a very low utilization rate, which is primarily because of personalization of benefits. An employee who is in his/her early 20s would rarely go for a health check-up and an employee in his/her 50s would hardly show interest in syncing their wearables and participating in a stepathon.
Ms. Nidhi Arora from S&P Global rightly pointed out that Millenial employees are at high risk for Cardio Vascular Diseases and some of the major causes of employees’ bad health are cafeteria food, high pressure in this highly competitive world, etc. Looking at all these issues, Nidhi said that the health & well-being of her employees would be her priority for 2020.
Addressing the core problem for most of the health benefits solutions, Mr. Pragathi Kumar Achanta, Director HR from AT&T gave a very simple solution to this. Any benefit which is accessible on mobile tends to have double the utilization. Another important point that he mentioned was that If you send your people to Practo for Doctor consultation, Healthi for health check-ups and another partner for Mental wellness, the utilization takes a hit. So, it’s extremely important to have all these benefits on a single mobile platform to have a seamless experience.
Ms. Aruna Preetham from CYIENT, has noticed a rise in Allergies among the employees. She also discussed some of the rising concerns among the young workforce who stay away from home. When an employee stays away from family and there is any medical emergency for one of their family members, the concentration level drops and as a result, there is high stress in the employee.
Eating junk food has increased dramatically over the past few years and the worst part is that the realization of this kind of lifestyle often happens late.
With the advancement in technology and analytics, how do I ensure that the entire company does not know that Monica from the Sales team is suffering from Depression or Raman from the IT team is suffering a high risk of cardiovascular disease? These are the questions that ring an alarm in the minds of the HRs. One simple way to tackle this is to display the aggregated population analytics of the employee health data and the actual data. In case there are very few employees in a region, for instance, a branch in south Bangalore has only 3 employees, then it becomes very difficult for someone to pinpoint the health conditions even though its shown in an aggregated manner. In such cases, even the aggregated data of employees should not be shown. Another important aspect to protect data privacy is to limit the number of vendors in the entire health benefits ecosystem.
Less number of players ensures greater privacy standards and improves convenience for an employee to avail health benefits.
Here’s a very interesting perspective shared by Ganesh Somisetti from XT Global. A lot of employee benefits surveys cover a multitude of issues but the inclusion of this one question transforms the way health is viewed from an organization’s perspective and there is a lot of debate happening on whether health should be one of the parameters in the KRA or not! Well, having these questions included in a benefits survey or as a part of KRA shows management’s commitment towards the health of employees which in-turn translates into more engaged and productive employees.
HR professionals are like a “spider” in the web of the organization. In addition to knowing all the operating procedures in a company, the HR professionals know employees' circumstances often better than management. So investing in the employee’s well-being is instrumental in creating a committed and performance-driven workforce, which is the ultimate competitive advantage.