Importance of employee wellness programs

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Have you ever wondered why that high payed employee left your organisation?

Yes

Are the components other than salary that make employees stick to an organisation ? Probably

Have you taken an holistic approach while designing the employee compensation and not just focussed on the humane less cash part ? NO

Then probably its time as a happiness officer/ Culture keeper/ HR manager to take a serious relook at the role of other non cash incentive programs that play a vital role in retaining and engaging employees.

Paradigmic shift in employee?—?Employer relationships/ Expectations.

Recruiting and retaining of good and resourceful employees is much important in today’s knowledge economy. A good single employee can change the very direction of the companies in the present tech era. Having said that, the employers need to understand the underlying motivation of the tech workforce.

Monetary compensation is vital part as it has been, it is now increasingly felt that the employees other needs are also to be taken care to keep them in peak of their productivity. Apportioning a part of their compensation for the programmes aimed at holistic wellness (Physical + Mental ) can go a longer way in creating happy work places.

There are certain other viewpoints

I provide a very hefty package to my associates.Cant they buy whatever they need ??

Any employee benefits apart form the monetary compensation is an added cost on the company. Do we really need them ??

Prima facie these may appear to be valid points.Going by this logic, the companies offering higher than median pay should have happy employees and minimal if not nil attritions. But the statistics point otherwise.

So it is imperative that an enriching employee wellness programme should be designed based on continuous feedback from all stakeholders. They should target the daily emotional health of the employees and keeping them happy for the growth of the organisation.

Structuring a happy workplace

Care must be taken to understand the specific need of the employees in accordance with the work nature, location of the job and the best practices. A continuous feedback mechanism should be in place to revisit the programmes in a periodic manner and understand if they still serve the purpose.

It is a common knowledge that companies like Google have put in place some impressive programmes but even smaller companies have also taken care to have wellness culture internally based on their capabilities and priorities. It has become a common practice now a days to have happiness officers who are entrusted with these responsibilities.

Irrespective of the nitty gritties of these types of programme, the following are the pillars under which these needs to be designed for an overall success of the programmes.

1. Enhancing familial and social bonding

2. Physical fitness/ wholesomeness

3. Caring/ Insync-ing with the surrounding and extended community

4. Financial security and freedom.

Numerous innovative programs can be designed with the options available in today's era with one of these pillars as basis.

Ongoing employee counselling should be a part of healthy workplace wherein every employee has avenues to realise that the employer actually cares for them and the care should be further substantiated with all the employee benefit programs that strengthens the bondage between the employee and the organisation.

Wellness programmes of some Interesting companies

“Those who build great companies understand that the ultimate throttle on growth for any great company is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is one thing above all others: the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.” —James C. Collins

There is always positive correlation between the success of any company and the way in which they treat their employees. Some companies seem to understand this philosophy so well and design their wellness program that helps the employees excel and thereby shooting themselves to the league of stars.

Ramco systems

Being a seasoned player in the ERP space, Ramco systems has transformed itself to match the vibrancy and the vigour of the cool startup Era. The transformation happening are capturen under #Lifeatramco which can be a beautiful case study for any company embarking at designing rockstar wellness programme. The gamut of initiatives are captured here , here and here

Freshdesk

This is another uber cool startup in the Chennai area, which awes the onlookers with its dashing workspaces, impressive culture and awesome workplace policies. The beauty about them is their employee wellness initiatives are organically interwoven to give employees the “Freshness” at work. Adding to the people friendly policies they have an awesome workspace which makes working there pure fun and matter of joy. Few quora answers here sums up everything you can experience in Freshdesk.

Where do we start ?

Now having read and understood about the Importance of employee wellness programmes, the following chart can guide the practitioners to design their own programmes.

Before closing, a few lines of wisdom :-p. With our lives getting interwoven with our works wherein personal and professional priorities often tend to compete for our attention, it is a responsibility of every employer to structure work spaces, nature and facilities available in alignnment with the life goals of the people who make up the organisation.

This alone will lead to synergy and help in creating strong and sustainable organizations.

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