Today’s overwhelming focus on health and well-being remains on the physical aspect of wellness (i.e., exercise, nutrition, etc.), but there are other key elements that go into creating healthy employees and a healthy work culture. These more holistic factors need to be addressed in order to create lasting organizational change that will truly impact the business and performance outcomes.
During one of #CeridianINSIGHTS break-out sessions, Keith Peterson, VP of Marketing at Ceridian, shared current employee engagement research and trends around health and well-being. He offers six practical tips for addressing an employee’s full suite of well-being needs.
Well-being as a multi-dimensional and complex issue
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, well-being is defined as a state of being happy, healthy or successful. Industry sources, such as Aon Hewitt and Gallup, have loosely categorized well-being into four categories, including physical, emotional, financial and social. In looking across industry trends and reports, Peterson expanded that list to include the following six core elements that make up an employee’s well-being:
- Physical – this encompasses positive health and physical functioning; exercise, good nutrition
- Emotional – self-confidence, self-esteem, having a sense of meaning, purpose and emotional resilience
- Financial – having the ability to manage and control finances, making sound and balanced financial decisions
- Social – being surrounded by supportive and fulfilling relationships
- Occupational – gaining personal satisfaction through one’s work and having a positive attitude about work
- Spiritual – the feelings of being part of something bigger than oneself
6 imperatives for creating a culture of well-being
For companies looking to effect change in their workplace and create a culture that is more mindful of the whole person, they need to better understand how various factors outside of work influence things like productivity and engagement. Start creating a culture of health by following these six steps:
- Define the why – Before implementing any kind of wellness strategy, you need to step back and understand how, why and where wellness fits into your overall business strategy. Are you seeking to improve productivity, control costs, manage absences, or retain top performers? Whatever your goal, be sure to understand the “why” before taking steps to implement a plan.
- Assess your current state – Evaluate your current employee population, review your corporate philosophy, and be honest about what you are currently doing when it comes to employee well-being. Be truthful with yourself as you peel back the layers on your current programs or policies to better understand where you want to go.
- Determine your focus (short and long-term efforts) – Once you’ve assessed your current state, the next step is to make a plan. Identify who the stakeholders are and who will be on the internal team. Build a common language, set your priorities and develop your overarching strategy for short and long-term goals.
- Design the program – As you design your program to maximize resources, factor in key considerations, such as what motivational approach will work best with your employee population. Remind yourself of your goals and objectives as well as what results and impact you want to achieve. Be sure to also consider potential risks, resistance or conflict with existing policies that you may encounter.
- Communicate and manage the program – Consider how you will make the program accessible and attractive to employees. How will you launch the program and effectively communicate with your employees so they are engaged and want to participate? Be sure to make the program highly visible and, when possible, align with your internal brand or other benefits programs. Keep in mind that there will be employees at different stages of well-being, so it’s important to understand your employee population.
- Monitor results and impact – As you seek to understand the usage and effectiveness of your program, identify and establish procedures upfront for collecting and analyzing relevant data. For example, are engagement scores going up? Is absenteeism going down?
As you work to create a culture of well-being, keep these six tips in mind. By starting small or implementing a pilot program, you can take important steps towards creating a long-lasting culture of holistic well-being.