Making corporate wellness programs work
With almost 8 out of 10 corporate employees indicating that health remains their topmost priority in life, organizations have also made it a vital component of employee engagement and employee retention initiatives. And although organizations do not worry about spending time, money and resources on health, they certainly have become more sensitive towards making the investments count and maximizing returns on their investments.
In this competitive business environment, it is vital that corporate wellness programs are in sound financial health to ensure the overall corporate health of the organization remains stable.
The What and Why of Corporate Wellness
Firstly, it is essential to underline the importance of corporate wellness programs because there is a big chunk of the population, and therefore, the workforce that remains at the risk of chronic health issues. And this can result in substantial (both tangible and intangible) loss to the organizations. Studies indicate that the losses could be in the region of over US $237 billion.
Also, from an employee perspective increasing costs of healthcare can place an undue amount of strain both on the financial as well as the emotional well-being of families. Thus, corporate wellness programs help both the employee and the organization to guard against both financial losses and excessive stress.
The Key problems in implementing wellness programs
Now coming to addressing some of the fundamental reasons behind well-intended corporate wellness programs, we have identified three key areas – systemic issues, accountability issues, and logistical issues.
Systemic Issues - Firstly, when we look at the system issues, we find that lack of vendor options, lack of expertise for certain areas, and an overall holistic perspective can hamper corporate wellness programs to a great degree. Unless, the corporate wellness program, takes a comprehensive and exhaustive approach it may be difficult to have a fully successful program.
Accountability - Secondly, in terms of accountability, largely corporate wellness programs do not have measurable parameters to ascertain their success. The lack of measurability or tangible accountability leaves them unhinged, and thereby difficult to improve. Organizations ought to measure, ascertain viability and success before either expanding their investments or retracting them.
Logistical Challenges - Finally, logistical challenges also remain at the heart of failed corporate wellness programs. Especially for large multinational organizations with global footprints, this may be difficult to handle and implement. And yet without being a comprehensive, all-inclusive, multi-location program – it may be difficult for a corporate wellness program to have a resounding organization-wide success.
So, how to overcome these challenges and actually make corporate wellness programs successful is a question most organizations grapple with!
Creating awareness, having an integrated approach and ensuring that the goals & results of the program are tangible enough to measure are the foremost criteria for any corporate wellness program. This ensures that the employees far away from the central location of the organization have the same access, and employees with varied needs to not need multiple platforms.
This creates an organizational harmony – such that all employees within the organization have access to the same set of corporate wellness initiatives without actually missing out on what is their niche requirement.
For organizations as well, it is easy to measure and thereby adjust programs when every employee is on board on the same platform.