The business environment is becoming more competitive. It’s not only tough to stay in business, but there’s more competition at the top of your industry, not to mention, more pressure to hire and retain good employees who will help your business remain competitive. So it’s no wonder that businesses look at ways to improve employee engagement, productivity and loyalty by providing a myriad of additional benefits. However, Thomsons Online Benefits identified that one of many significant challenges these businesses face is developing an effective employee wellness and benefits strategy surrounding costs and administrative complexity. There’s also a tendency, by businesses, to overlook the resources they already have available, including the company’s intranet which provides a central location that all employees can access, helping to reduce costs and administration.
Rewarding With A Wellness Program
When your employees are happy and feel valued they will generally work harder and be more engaged. If you can offer them health and wellness programmes that are focused on improving their overall health, as opposed to simply offering health care, you are able to decrease healthcare spending that might otherwise be affecting your company’s bottom line. It is well known that exercise is good for the body and can have positive effects on your mental wellbeing; relieving stress, improving memory, helping you sleep better, and boosting overall mood. If you think about it, your fittest and healthiest employees are likely to be the most productive, absent less often, more loyal and have greater job satisfaction. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor recently passed one of the biggest healthcare legislations in decades, the Affordable Care Act, which specifically addresses policies and incentives around wellness programs with the aim to “not only to improve the health of Americans but also to help control health care spending.”
According to a RAND Corporation study, every $1 invested in overall wellness efforts yields a $1.50 return on investment. The ROI increases to $3.80 for every $1 invested when the wellness initiatives focus on chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. This just goes to show that investing in a wellness program is not only rewarding your staff but also rewarding your business.
Implementing Your Employee Wellness Plan
It’s easy to say, ‘HR will deal with it as it’s their job to retain employees’, yet it can be time-intensive, and often costly, for members of your HR team to focus on a wellness program for each and every one of your staff. It’s worth looking at the tools at your fingertips, such as the intranet to help your HR team integrate the wellness program into the day-to-day activities of your business.
Wellness Is Your Business
Use your intranet as a platform to not only tell your staff about your wellness program but to show them what you are doing. Employees tend not to embrace an initiative if they feel that it is just something that the company wants to tick off their list and be seen to be doing. In order to be a company that really cares about their employees and their wellness, it is important to make the wellness program a core focus. Having something on the front page of the intranet, so that it captures your employee’s attention from the moment they log in, is one way of doing this.
Lead By Example
It’s all very well saying ‘we are a health-conscious company’ but what are you doing to support that statement? It’s important here to lead from the top, take photos, share your stories, and inspire ‘wellness ambassadors’ throughout your company who can rally their colleagues. Leading by example can be one of the best ways to improve employee engagement because it shows that the wellness program is important to people throughout the organization. It can also humanize your executive board if they are otherwise not very visible within the company.
Keep It Simple
Ideally, your employees come to work because they love what they do. But it’s very unlikely that that is the case for all your employees. When implementing a strategy or program, make it easy for your employees to engage with and participate in.
Having it in a central location does exactly this; it doesn’t interfere with their day-to-day activities but is visible and easy to access if and when your employees want to.
Making your intranet simple and easy to navigate is key to encouraging engagement. If you can, carry this simplicity through to your wellness program. Then make sure that it is accessible on your home page or easily searchable to encourage more engagement.
What is the point of your wellness plan? Do you want to improve employee engagement? Or do you want to be creating a healthier workplace to reduce sick leave? Keep in mind whatever you are looking to achieve and, from there, communication is the key to success. It’s also worth finding out how your employees actually interact with the intranet. Do they mostly use it for training purposes or to find out what is happening in and around the company? However your employees use it, this is how your wellness program should operate in this space.
Get Your Staff Involved
Giving your employees the opportunity to contribute to your intranet and your wellness program can help with engagement and keep things fresh. Let them create videos, tell their stories or challenge other teams to wellness challenges. While it is not quite the same, think about the ‘running man challenge’, which went viral and engaged a number of businesses and organizations around the world. If you can encourage your employees to do something similar internally, it can encourage some friendly competition and foster further engagement.
Make It Fun
Your intranet should be used as a social community that enhances your company culture. As such, it should represent the community your company has created. Finding out what your employees enjoy doing outside of work hours can give you an idea of what kinds of activities they will participate in.
Adding an element of competition and comradery will not only strengthen your employee’s engagement with the company but also improve their engagement with other strategies and programs you implement.
Your intranet can be one of your greatest touchpoints for engaging with your employees. Whether your goal is to increase wellness, promote employee benefits, increase productivity, improve internal communication or organize files for easy access, intranet software can accomplish all of these goals. It’s then just about how you engage with your employees on this software. Making your wellness program simple, fun and social – with interaction on all levels of your business – are all ways to show that your business does care about its employees and their wellness and that the wellness program isn’t just another box ticked to make your business competitive.
If you are not currently using an intranet or have one that can’t support your wellness program, talk to the experts at MyHub Intranet Solutions Limited. Contact us to for a free demo and trial.