In 2019 we are hoping for employee wellbeing to continue to grow and for more employers to look after their employees by understanding that it’s the best way for them look after you… We’ve saying this for ages, it just makes sense and something you or your boss must get… If your employees are happy and healthy they’ll be more productive and more likely to stay with the company longer.
We’re now going to use this time to offer you/your employer an insight to what 2019 looks like in the way of corporate wellbeing. It we cover how best to use wellness programmes while ensuring working well with your employees to reach your targets. We shall. also be covering:
- Wellness programmes strategy
- What we mean by ‘Wellness’
- Technology and personalisation
It’s not a new concept, and many execs may understand the concept of wellbeing and maybe even its importance, however, many are still caught up with the ingrained systematic models preventing the true benefits wellness programmes can have on companies. Having wellness within your company should be a priority, and thankfully, it is in many organisations and becoming ingrained within their cultures. It is these companies that are seeing an increase in productivity, a decrease in absenteeism and assisting in strengthening the corporations within their respective markets. Mind Work are pleased to see the growth on investment in corporate wellness but would like to see the implementation more thought-out with clear goals in mind.
Ideas about wellbeing are changing in many areas of the world. People are less cynical and skeptical about how things such as mindfulness and meditation can impact general wellbeing, and there is a growing demand for health and wellness support from employers. This includes corporate fitness centres, nutrition programmes and coaching programmes. The mindset shift is proved when companies remove programmes and there’s an outcry from staff.
Change in corporate culture
There is increased diversification with different programmes being offered. We’re transitioning from talking about wellness in a traditional sense — eating right, exercising more and making sure you’re taking necessary medication — to looking at holistic health and the trend towards talking about wellbeing as wellness.
Mind Work’s programmes approach health from a mind, body and spirit perspective. Within this, it’s not just exercise, nutrition and medication — the physical side — but also behavioural health, social connectedness, sense of purpose, character strength, meditation and mindfulness. We’re using these components that comprise wellbeing to make sure that we offer solutions that will help individuals achieve a better state of wellbeing.
Employers are starting to embrace this as well — going beyond traditional corporate wellness programmes to address emotional health, from both work and personal perspectives, and the need for social connections.
How do you measure success?
Although we are heavily focused, and ambassadors of human interaction with our programmes, we have developed software that allows teams/employers to track mood alongside productivity in real-time.
Up-front analysis of an individual’s needs is essential: defining personalised care at the right time. The second element is measuring whether they are achieving their health goals, being more productive at work and are less absent. Is the employer seeing lower turnover of employees, are they seeing better performance as a result?
This is the way the industry is moving as a whole: looking at individuals holistically and providing well-being solutions that meet them where they want it, when they want it.
Corporations large and small should be looking at their demographic to understand where there are areas of risk. This needs to go beyond eating right and exercising, to include ‘do you have a part of your population that can’t pay their bills?’, ‘do you have a part of the population that’s unhappy at work or is really struggling in the workplace or at home?’. Work to understand their character — strains, strengths and traits. Are these people in the right jobs based on who they are? Is their personality a good fit for where they are? Are they struggling with their boss or co-workers?
Understanding a lot of these will involve a shift for many corporations and they will need support in this. They’ll also need help deciding what to do with this data, how to build the best health and well-being packages for each person.
Technology and personalisation
There is an increasing demand for personalisation in many industries and digital tools are helping to deliver it — and at scale.
Currently, corporate wellness can be personalised to the level of specific groups rather than individuals. Many people think personalisation means ‘individual’ — ‘me and my specific needs’. And while we use a lot of data and insights – your age, basic health details, even personality information about what makes you happy or sad — this is only used to define which wellness programme is best suited to you. This means individuals are enrolled in a wellness programme with like-minded others and those with similar well-being issues. However, as we discover more with data and build out solutions we will have programmes that have more and more bespoke aspects — tailored to individuals.
There are so many new digital wellness and well-being tools on the market, but the key is that, for them to work, they need to be entertaining, interactive and engaging — and they need to mean something to the individual.
The other keystone to wellness tech is consolidation. There are so many apps and services and sites for every different need, person and condition — it’s overwhelming. How does a person know what’s good or bad, or what they need for their current state of health? Health care companies need to better help members navigate the options and help employers choose and implement the right tools for their members.
We work with our clients and their teams to ensure that the services we offer are for them and coincide with the main objectives.
Investment in corporate wellness is shifting. More corporations are supporting wellness programmes, adding them as part of their benefits — including components of wellbeing and incentives programmes
For the corporations already offering wellbeing initiatives and programmes, it is unclear whether a significant amount is increasing their funding of these programmes. But they are definitely shifting their budgets into different areas of corporate wellness and expanding their offerings. This is often to offer a more diverse range of programmes — often based on learnings from previous programmes.
How much should companies invest in wellness programmes? While firms can’t do enough to support employees to make sure they’re living as healthily as they possibly can, there is always going to be an employer benefits ceiling as far as budget allocation is concerned. And so, it’s important not to waste the budget. Companies should seek to learn and improve their programmes to support the best health outcomes for their employees that, in turn, boost productivity and profitability.
As mentioned previously in this post, the adoption of corporate wellness is growing but there remain challenges.
One challenge is how we prove success. The outcomes from programmes and tools are long-term — life-long — so it’s very hard to measure whether one specific programme or group of programmes has been successful from a health and health care standpoint.
Companies want to know: ‘Is this mindfulness programme actually reducing my costs?’ In short YES. If you’re the type to understand that instant gratification isn’t the best approach for your long-term plans.
1 Artiga & Hinton, 2018
2 Shankya, H., & Christakis, N. A. (2017, February 1). Association of Facebook Use With Compromised Well-Being: A Longitudinal Study. Retrieved from American Journal of Epidemiology: https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/185/3/203/2915143
3 Killingsworth, M., & Gilbert, D. T. (2010). A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind. Retrieved from American Association for the Advancement of Science.: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/330/6006/932