Why Do Employee Health and Wellness Programs Need to Offer More Flexibility? 

Many companies provide employee health and wellness programs at work but how many companies succeed in getting good participation from employees is questionable.

Studies and surveys point out that some employees simply do not want to engage with what’s on offer from workplace wellbeing programs. This calls for a revisit of the wellness programs and the need for flexibility in the offered programs. 

There was a time when the scope of wellness programs included an average gym membership, but times have changed and the numerous wellness options available. Today, corporate health and wellness programs are not just a perk but are a form of preventative care that helps keep the employees fit and healthy for the long term. 

In this article, we look at why workplace wellness programs need to offer more flexibility to be viable for employees in the best way possible. This is an attempt to interest readers with what to include in the wellness programs. Before we go any further, let’s understand the definition of health & wellness programs. 

What are Employee Health and Wellness Programs? 

Employee health and wellness programs are part of employee benefits extended by the employer to the employee for ensuring their wellbeing. In the past, it was exclusively associated with bigger organizations. Today, every company offers some form of wellness programs to its employees to keep their employees in good cheer and spirit.

Overall, it is a mutually beneficial practice wherein the employer stands to gain by offering such benefits to their employees who potentially are the prime asset of the company. Before implementing a wellness program in the workplace, it is important to include some approaches to build flexibility.  

Employee Health and Wellness Programs

How to create flexibility in Employee Health and Wellness Programs? 

A Holistic Perspective to Wellness

Most companies offer wellness programs that are limited to physical health, but there is more to a person’s wellbeing. It includes emotional and mental wellbeing as well.

Hence companies must have a relook at their wellness programs from a holistic perspective that could include stress reduction programs (including financial stress), emotional health support, and even assistance with wellness activities for employees like exercising, eating and sleeping habits. 

Mental health issues have become fairly common in the workplace due to work-related stress and anxiety, and a holistic approach works best in such cases.

Employers need to offer not only employee assistance programs but also comprehensive support with even diet and nutrition.  All these are tied to the overall employee wellbeing. Since a substantial part of the employee’s life is spent with the employer, the company does have direct responsibility in safeguarding the overall wellbeing. 

Customized Employee Health and Wellness Programs

Companies that offer wellness programs most often provide a one-size-fits-all option, which does not work for today’s multi-generational workforce. This calls for companies to offer programs based on employee’s interests and preferences.

Create employee wellness programs in such a manner that they can accommodate expenses from fitness facilities to mental health counseling. By reimbursing the cost from a variety of wellness approaches, the company is truly allowing the employee to make their preferred choice without imposing. 

Include Alternate Practices in Living

The current generation is possibly the most connected to their devices and gadgets. It has created issues around stress and our inability to unplug from work. It has deteriorated the workplace health of employees.

This has led to a situation where companies have to re-think in terms of novel approaches to wellbeing, which is beyond the ambit of normal wellness programs.

This can include yoga, meditation, spiritual retreats, and so on. These not only provide a welcome break for workers but also rejuvenate them to bring “new” energy to their work front. 

While these may be unconventional from the point of view of many companies, they should look further than what meets the eye. These are in no way trips-in-indulgence rather, the efficacy of yoga, meditation, and spiritual retreats are backed by hard scientific research.

These give the employee a welcome break from the normal lifestyle to a more mellow approach to life which is enough to recharge the batteries. All-in-all, companies must actively encourage such alternate pursuits in well-being and earnestly reimburse costs of such pursuits as part of the health and wellness programs. 

Conclusion

According to the latest estimates, there is almost 60% non-participation in wellness programs offered by companies. A big reason for this is the reluctance of an organization to include variety into their workplace health and wellness programs.

All the steps mentioned above are mere pointers and effective wellness initiatives in the workplace to enhance the efficacy of employee health and wellness programs.

In reality, a company, when creating wellness programs, must actively solicit suggestions from their employees before the roll-out. Ultimately, a decentralized approach to such practices can ensure better participation from employees. This will practically ensure the benefits of wellness programs are reaching the right people.  

Onsurity’s Healthcare Plan

Onsurity has built a range of employee healthcare benefits programs with comprehensive health benefits and full flexibility.

Our unique healthcare membership gives MSMEs and startups access to useful added benefits like doctor teleconsultations and discounted medicine delivery. We have also added group health insurance for SMEs and startups, as a part of our membership plan, making it affordable at the same time.

Our business health plans are employee wellness programs, designed for the all-round wellbeing of your team. Click on the button below to get an instant quote and get employee healthcare benefits that everyone will love.