Have you been charged with introducing an employee wellness program, but have been given limited resources to do so? Are you struggling to find ways to enhance employee wellness while balancing the books? Although many organizations appreciate the value of employee wellness, post-GFC and with many competing demands for resources, employee wellness is often almost an afterthought. However, with a little imagination and a company intranet, it is possible to have a meaningful employee wellness program without breaking the bank.
Importance Of Employee Wellness
Including employee wellness in an employee benefits package is increasingly seen as part of being a responsible employer. There’s no doubt that bad health is bad for business with absenteeism, sickness, and loss of production being the consequences. It has been estimated that absenteeism costs employers $225.8 billion annually in the United States or $1,685 per employee.
So investing in employee wellness is well worth doing from a business point of view. However, with many competing demands for corporate budgets, employee wellness initiatives are often under-resourced. How then can you make a difference on employee wellness with a limited budget? The solution could well be the creative use of the company intranet portal.
Corporate Wellness Programs And The Intranet
The intranet is an obvious repository for a corporate wellness program. You can include helpful information on exercise, diet, local resources, health questionnaires and so on. You can then tick the employee wellness box and move on because the job’s done, right? Well, yes and no. Clearly, those things are important and will feature in your wellness program, but is it enough to make a difference? How else can you use the intranet to make sure that your wellness program is having a real impact? And how can you achieve this with a limited budget? That’s where creativity and imagination comes in.
Making A Difference With The Intranet Portal
Highlight Its Importance
Corporate wellness programs are unsustainable in the long term without the commitment of senior management. Staff need to know that it’s a priority for senior management and is valued within the organization.
Use the intranet’s hot news buttons or news feeds to highlight key employee wellness information on a regular basis: weekly or
monthly. So whether it’s to remind everyone of the lunchtime walking group or to let staff know about the new yoga class in town, the hot news button will ensure that employee wellness initiatives are given a very visible priority. Why not even have a health tip of the day or week on the intranet home page?
Make It Relevant
General information about health and wellness will not hit the mark as much as targeted information that is directly relevant to staff. Occupational safety and health requirements will be the starting point for identifying team and job-related employee wellness initiatives. So when that individual staff member logs on to the intranet wellness portal, they see information that is specific to their team and role. For example, staff members that regularly work outdoors may see information about protecting themselves from the sun and the importance of keeping hydrated. They may even be invited to have a mole check with a local specialist. Or staff that spend large amounts of time in a car driving as part of their jobs will see information about the need for regular breaks, the dangers of being sedentary and so on. And they may be invited to have regular eye checks with a local optician.
Make It Interactive
Make your intranet portal engaging so that staff members are not just being passive receivers of information. Mix it up and use a variety of methods. Webinars or video tutorials are a refreshing way to transfer information and knowledge. YouTube has a wealth of resources that can be utilized, so it doesn’t have to be an overly expensive exercise.
Quizzes, surveys and opinion polls are also great interactive tools available on the intranet. An employee wellness blog that staff members can contribute to and comment on is another good idea. Staff can use it to exchange tips and experiences on different wellness and health topics, or to review local exercise classes or swap their favorite healthy recipes. And the active participation of senior managers in the blog will serve to reinforce the message that employee wellness is important to the organization.
Review And Refresh
Review the content on a regular basis to make sure that it is still current. There’s nothing worse for an employee than logging on to find out about the company-sponsored half marathon, only for them to discover that the information hasn’t been updated since last year’s one. Or, an individual wanting to join the office lunchtime walking group finds out that the listed staff contact left the organization six months ago.
Information that is static or out of date will be quickly spotted by staff who may well then become dismissive of the whole resource. So having taken the time and effort to set up an employee wellness portal on the intranet, it’s vital that there are regular review mechanisms in place and that you are on the lookout for new information, resources or ideas that can be regularly added.
Employee Wellness: Getting The Message Across On The Intranet
The company intranet portal can play a big role in promoting and encouraging employee wellness. Making it integral to all company activities will help to stretch the wellness budget and will underscore its importance. The company calendar on the intranet, as well as highlighting key corporate events and deadlines, could also include sports and exercise events such as a family fun run or walk. Why not get behind a national campaign such as the recent Cancer Society of New Zealand’s junk-free June where individuals pledged to stop eating junk food for a whole month. The money they saved was donated to the Cancer Society. This kind of initiative is a great way to promote employee health and wellness and support a good cause at the same time.
Promoting employee wellness can be achieved on a tight budget with a company intranet and a little imagination. Contact MyHub for a free consultation on how a company intranet can promote employee wellness in your business.