Healthcare HR’s Role in Employee Wellness Programs
One of the best ways to attract and retain quality talent is to not only offer competitive healthcare benefits but is to also provide an appealing wellness program. In fact, younger generations, Millennials and Gen Z, both express high interest in employer-provided wellness programs—58 percent and 54 percent, respectively, states global career expert Dana Manciagli.
Many companies are expanding their benefits programs to include all aspects of employees’ well-being—not just physical health—such as flexible work policies and paid-time-off (PTO) days for volunteer work. According to WellSteps, an organization that offers a wide range of wellness programs and campaigns, there are several benefits to providing a wellness program. For example, not only do they support long-term healthy behaviors, but they also:
- reduce elevated health risks;
- lower healthcare costs;
- increase productivity; and
- decrease absenteeism.
As the importance of wellness programs becomes more evident, here are a few things you should consider.
Create a Flexible Workplace
Though the idea of a flexible workplace is not a new one, many organizations, especially in healthcare, still struggle to make a flexible work environment a reality for their employees. In a SHRM survey of employee satisfaction, 55 percent of respondents said work/life balance and workplace flexibility are a priority; however, only 26 percent said they were satisfied with the options for flexibility with their current employers. “Flexible hours increase employee wellness by reducing stress and building trust and autonomy in the workplace,” says Alan Kohll, President and Founder of TotalWellness, a national corporate health and wellness services provider. Research shows that allowing a flexible schedule increased employees’ well-being by allowing them to get more sleep, take care of any health issues, and feel more energized throughout their day, Kohll says.
Incorporate Community Involvement
Developing a wellness program that supports volunteerism in surrounding communities beyond work is essential to managing a well-balanced team. “A program that includes activities that serve the community could offer an extra incentive for employees to adopt healthier lifestyles, attitudes and ways of working,” says Techstars Startup Digest contributor Paige Ellingson. Offering PTO to participate in activities such as volunteering at homeless shelters, providing help at animal shelters, or even building a community garden to promote healthy eating habits can be effective components of a wellness program. Building healthier communities is a growing trend organizations will want to take advantage of, as charitable work and social welfare becomes increasingly important to today’s generation.
Promote Sleep Quality
There is a strong link between sleep quality and overall well-being. Not only can poor sleep quality impact productivity and increase the risk of occupational injuries, but experts say it can also contribute to long-term effects such as cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression. This can be especially detrimental to employees in the healthcare sector who often work around the clock to ensure the chronically ill and vulnerable patients receive safe and quality care. These effects can be alleviated by implementing a comprehensive wellness program that encourages better sleep habits through healthy sleep patterns, which can have a significant impact on productivity and overall well-being.
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to establishing a successful wellness program. Not only can it benefit the bottom line, but it can also have a positive cultural shift toward a more productive and optimistic workplace. What role do wellness programs play in your healthcare organization@f23 Please share in the comments section below!