Over the past few years we have heard a lot about corporate wellness and employee wellbeing systems being introduced in offices. An ad-hoc Zumba activity to cover for fitness and one meditation session to say mental health matters. But how deeply are organizations concerned really and how seriously are they trying to implement employee wellbeing in their practices. In order to understand this, HealthWire spoke to some industry experts. We also tried to find out new policies, initiatives, and programmes that corporate houses are are implementing to make sure that their employees are as healthy as possible.
Here are excerpts:
Sheetal Kotian, Co-Creator & Executive Director, MyGALF.com
Work environment have transformed dramatically in recent years, requiring both businesses and employees to adapt to various “New Normal.” The focus is now on the ‘whole employee’ as a strategy to not only attract and retain talent, but also with a genuine intention to embed wellness into the business’s core fabric. With the advent of the term “Corporate Holistic Wellness,” a slew of new practises and programmes aimed at promoting a healthy mind and body have emerged.
Even in these “Return to Work” times, not only is hybrid and remote work now the norm, but the employee’s geographic radius in terms of businesses for which he can work has also expanded. These organizational level employee well-being programmes have a significant impact on driving socio-emotional connect among co-workers. They are also the measures that capture the financial, mental, and physical health of the employees to more accurately predict their performance and retention.
What does this mean for the average employee, though? What are the new policies, initiatives, and programmes that businesses are implementing to ensure that their employees are as healthy as possible?
Let’s explore reality possibilities not only from the perspective of a corporate wellness aggregator, but also from the perspective of corporate HR leaders who are putting them into practise.
Companies are now taking a more systematic approach to employee wellbeing, implementing programmes designed by platforms such as MyGALF, which provides integrated Wellness solutions. This is to assure a push toward systemic, conspicuous change in order to promote a healthy workforce, while also providing the needed support to the employees to not just achieve but also maintain the goals.
The first step in developing a successful wellness programme is ensuring a corporate wide sense of awareness. You can’t have a well-managed programme if personnel are unaware of its existence. Corporate wellness aggregators’ roles have never been more significant, as they assist organisations to not only facilitate awareness, but also incorporate multiple high-impact options that assure greater employee fit.
Options that are now the norm include:
- Higher focus on mental and emotional wellness due to higher stress and anxiety levels
- Online wellness sessions that encompass the entire spectrum of physical, mental, social, and financial wellbeing
- Wellness apps that provide gamification, instant rewards and a one stop solution feel
- On-site, on call fitness programs and offline wellness sessions incorporated within work force retreats
- Team challenges like Walkathon, step challenges or even short distance runs
- Healthy meal delivery service choices & inclusions of healthy snack availability
- Easy access to verified wellness and nutritional products through an online market place
- On demand medical health screenings or one on one consulting
These focused stages assist employees navigate the widespread issue of a lack of knowledgeable direction, which is the number one impediment to sustained consistency on their fitness path.
When creating and implementing a health and wellness strategy, bear in mind that it’s not just about the programme; it’s also about the individuals who utilise it. The program itself can be a huge driver of increased wellness, but implementing it in a manner that creates the two degree change is crucial for sustained, long term impact- an influence the employee carries with him regardless of the organization he is in.
Mr. Kapil Udaiwal, Chief Human Resource Officer, Ageas Federal Life Insurance
At Ageas Federal Life Insurance, we are driven by our organisational purpose which is to empower people to create the life and lifestyle of their choice. To truly lead a healthy lifestyle, we believe that we need to focus on holistic fitness – physical, mental and financial.
As a caring organisation, we keep our employees at the centre of all that we do and through our ‘Employee Well-being and Assistance Programme’, we have rolled-out programmes, policies and initiatives that focus on all three pillars.
Physical fitness is a priority for us as an organisation. Our employees and their families have access to a tele-medical service for free consultation when required. We also encourage them to get more active by training for and participating in our Company-sponsored marathons and runs which are held in cities across the country. Our tie-up with GALF helps our employees stay fit and active on a daily basis with yoga, Zumba, pilates and HIIT work-outs, as well as nutrition suggestions and stress management advice.
Focusing on one’s mental health is crucial during these challenging times and so we offer our employees confidential access to professional counsellors. Employees and their families can avail 24×7 phone counselling, free of cost, which helps them to cope with stress or anxiety, either on the professional or personal fronts.
Lastly, from a financial standpoint, we have introduced many employee policies and financial benefits and enhanced insurance coverage, which ensures employees and their families are adequately supported during any difficult moments of life.
Amit Grover, Director – Global Finance Shared Services, Avaya India Pvt. Ltd.
My views about the Corporate wellness practice are:
- Focus on all round wellness covering physical, emotional and financial aspects
- Treat the Program as a benefit and not as a perk
- Create a culture that celebrates wellness
We have been organizing Sports Tournaments, running & cycling events, dance classes, stress and financial management sessions for the wellbeing of our employees. There is “Avaya Rockers” team that drives such initiatives for our various office locations.
Mr Ramakrishna, Chief Human Resource Officer at Home First Finance Company said that employee wellbeing is at the core of the people strategy for their company. Being part of the essential services segment, the return to office had started much earlier. There have been series of interventions that have been taken for colleagues at every stage including, RTPCR Testing, Vaccination drives, Mental wellness assistance, Holistic wellness sessions, Employees felicitation drive , and Fitness challenges like Walkathon are underway. The crucial bit to understand and appreciate is that everyone has gone through a lot during the last 2 years and there is a need to rejuvenate employees physically and mentally. Hence there should be a choice and option for everyone to feel welcomed and well supported. At HomeFirst our pursuit is always to offer a best in class experience.