Still thinking about whether to bring a wellness program into your workplace?
Consider this, then: Nearly 80% of employers surveyed by Virgin Pulse, a wellness platform company, consider employee well-being a key component of company strategy.
Virgin Pulse’s 2017 State of the Industry report also found that 87% of employers have already invested, or plan to invest, in some type of employee well-being initiative.
Not surprisingly, 97% agree with the statement that worker well-being positively influences engagement. Higher engagement, of course, yields improvements in productivity.
Would anyone disagree with that? I doubt it.
“In general, employees feel engaged when they are invested in their company’s future and culture, feel like their jobs give them a sense of purpose and have great relationships with their co-workers, “ the survey authors wrote. “Health and wellbeing – physical, mental, financial and emotional – also affect employee engagement, and the majority of organizations realize that connection.”
Yet while more business leaders than ever seem to recognize the link between employee well-being and performance, there’s a problem.
Just 10% of respondents have integrated wellness programs in place that link to organizational strategy.
In other words, corporate wellness programs have a long way to go.
So, what’s the hold-up? Here’s how Virgin Pulse put it:
“For many, the current workplace culture is resistant to change, while others struggle to boost adoption or participation in initiatives designed to increase employee engagement. Some don’t yet have senior leadership buy-in, while others don’t have the budget they need.”
The No. 1 problem, not surprisingly, is a culture that resists change, with nearly half (48%) of the respondents citing it as the top challenge.
What else is new, right?
Budget restraints may never go away as a roadblock. When it comes to participation, however, the research shows that incentivizing employees to join engagement programs really does helps.
Fortunately, incentive programs today are trending more toward carrot rather than stick, as organizations find that rewards drive participation more than punishments do.
Finding a way to change the culture, however, is the place to start and I’ll address ways to do that in future postings.
In the meantime, take heart in the fact that almost a third of the respondents told Virgin Pulse their organization’s mission and values statements have not been updated in the past five years. So once again, you’re far from being alone in neglecting the question of your corporate culture.
One more important note: simply having a program or initiative in place won’t magically make everything better.
For wellness programs to move the needle and deliver results, you’ll need to assess them regularly to ensure they meet goals and are effectively driving employee engagement.
Scott Kennedy, president and COO of CCIG, has more than 30 years of insurance and risk management experience.Back to Resources