According to recent published studies over 70% of all US employees report that their organizations are not doing enough to support employee total wellbeing. The result can have significant negative impact on employers who will experience increased turnover rates and suffer from negative social media reviews by former employees who were dissatisfied with their employer’s wellness efforts. Today’s workforce needs have evolved to value, in addition to traditional “compensation packages”, quality of life benefits that range from cultural competency and philanthropy to self-care and emotional wellbeing benefit programs.
Traditionally, US employers measured the state of ‘employee health’ based on very specific metrics, often obtained from health care claims and associated costs to treat and manage chronic health conditions among their populations. While quantitative biometric data (blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, etc.) are considered key indicators of physical health, by AMA standards, qualitative survey analyses reveals how mental health, cultural competency, diversity and inclusiveness are equally influential in driving a successful culture of employee wellness.
CoVid19 reinforces the importance of wellbeing and its impact on the work environment has created a new set of challenges for employers moving forward. Return on investment in employee wellness only speaks to population health trends as they related to claims data, however, an equally important factor driving employee satisfaction is how employers are measuring Value on Investment. US employer executive leadership teams should be asking how their employees “feel” about their work environment and the cultural sensitivity that exists in their organizations.
Successful corporate employee wellness programs consider the influence leadership has over employee engagement and participation. Leaders must empower their teams to embrace and adopt behaviors that encourage optimal living by delivering the resources necessary to confidently infuse healthy way of life concepts into the core values of its organizational structure. Is leadership exemplifying the belief that total wellbeing is at the core of building and sustaining a healthy, happy, productive workforce? Successful evolution toward organizational wellbeing culture sustainability begins by implementing wellness policies that address development, integration, promotion and management of streamlined concepts that emphasize the value, morale and overall wellbeing of its employee population.
"US employers measured the state of ‘employee health’ based on very specific metrics, often obtained from health care claims and associated costs to treat and manage chronic health conditions among their populations"
Some tips for developing a Leadership Strategy Guide to Total Wellbeing should include the following:
1. Maintain a strong leadership voice regarding the importance of wellbeing.
2. Demonstrate a shared and consistent “definition” of what is meant by “wellbeing”.
3. Keep the lines of communication with employees to better understand their wellness concerns.
4. Lead by example: create clear wellness cultural standards in the workplace.
5. Include family members through initiatives that also encourage wellbeing at home.
6. Evaluate the effectiveness of a wellness program through surveys and focus groups.
7. Include wellness as an essential component of employee reviews.
8. Develop a network of wellbeing champions and committees to collect and share best practices.
9. Make it easy for employees to engage in their own wellbeing.
Creating alignment beginning with leadership reinforcement in the belief that the organization’s mission is to recognize a wellbeing philosophy that improves the overall quality of life of its workforce will gain the trust of employees and result in greater job satisfaction, reduced health care claims and improved employee morale.