The approach to employee health and happiness has been evolving over the years. The scope now is beyond health insurance and token gym memberships.
Workplace wellness now involves health screenings, organizing health campaigns, contests, challenges, healthy lunch options, raising health awareness among employees, providing onsite and offsite resources, access to counseling, etc.
With such diverse wellness initiatives for the workforce, which is the biggest asset to a company, an HR’s role in workplace wellness programs has also changed and evolved.
If you are an HR, it is your job to ensure that the management’s goals and the employees’ expectations regarding wellness programs meet at a common point.
The Various Roles of HR in Workplace Wellness Programs
As an HR manager, you need to take an active role in implementing your company’s workplace wellness programs. Here is what you can do:
- Prescribing the need for an employee wellness program at your workplace
- Analyzing the different types of wellness programs and finding the best fit
- Communicating with employees regarding these programs and encouraging their participation
- Recommending any necessary changes in wellness programs
- Evaluating the success of workplace wellness programs in improving employee health
Let us discuss these pointers in brief detail
1. Prescribing wellness programs in the first place
An HR manager needs to keep the best interest of the workforce in mind. Thus, the very first role of HR in workplace wellness programs is advocating one to the employers of a company.
Having a wellness program in place should be compulsory for every company. Nowadays, healthcare is expensive. As such, it is smart to have a preventive measure in effect. Wellness programs, when chosen wisely, can bring tremendous change to your employees’ health and well-being.
If your company does not yet have an employee wellness strategy in place, talk to the employers about it. Encourage them to invest in a relevant wellness program. Back your proposal with stats and figures from research.
2. Analyzing the different types of wellness programs
Workplace wellness programs come in different varieties, and each target various aspects of employees’ health. Some wellness programs might address obesity, chronic conditions, high cholesterol, and smoking problems.
Others might be organizing annual health risk assessments, providing access to informative resources, organizing marathons or health campaigns, encouraging virtual wellness activities for remote employees, etc.
What a particular wellness program must entail depends on employees’ needs and demands, the cost to the company, and benefits to the workplace culture.
HR managers should analyze which components or types of wellness programs would best suit the company, keeping in mind the aforementioned factors.
3. Understanding the needs and demands of the employees
A wellness strategy that does not work towards improving employee health, employee engagement, and productivity will be wasted.
So, a strategy to be effective should naturally cater to a company’s employees’ needs and demands.
Thus, one of the most crucial aspects of HR’s role in workplace wellness programs is to know what these specific needs are.
Conducting a health risk assessment will help figure out what health issues management should address. You can also talk to the employees to understand what motivates them, which incentives can better their work performance.
If you are an HR, you should take the lead on these things.
4. Acting as the coordinator and communicator
HR can act as the coordinator and communicator between the administration and the employees. They can communicate the wellness strategies and plans that the employers have to the company staff.
HRs can also reach out to health professionals, fitness experts, and nutritionists, who are an integral part of any wellness program. They can schedule their meetings and sessions with the employers and employees, both onsite and offsite.
5. Collecting feedback from employees for improvement
Implementing a wellness program at the workplace is not where all efforts should end. After a while, it is essential to check if the measures can generate positive results. Positive results include reduced absenteeism and sick leaves, improved work performance, increased productivity, healthy professional relationships, etc.
An apt way to measure the effectiveness of a wellness program is by collecting feedback from employees themselves. Feedback can help employers rethink their strategies and gauge the success of the program.
HR can initiate periodic feedback taking processes where employees can rate their experiences with the wellness program and offer any crucial suggestions they have in mind.
Based on the feedback, HR can recommend any necessary changes and updates in its wellness program.
In the absence of an effective wellness strategy in place, hacking employee growth, performance, productivity, and happiness is challenging and tricky.
Aiding employers in the process of ensuring employee happiness and performance is a crucial role for any HR professionals.
Without HR managers’ continuous and sincere efforts, implementing and updating a company’s employee wellness program is just not possible.
Are you an HR professional? How do you plan to contribute to this process?
Tell us in the comments below!