August is National Wellness Month, a nationally recognized month dedicated to self-care, managing stress, and promoting healthy routines. But what does “wellness” mean, exactly? And what does it mean for your company to offer “wellness benefits”? Are you providing the perks and programs your employees need in order to take charge of their well-being? Are you creating an environment where your employees feel connected?
These are the questions employees are asking and companies have to answer. After all, wellness benefits are no longer just a “nice-to-have.” More than half of employees think wellness benefits are the single most important thing a company can offer. For today’s employees, wellness is more than just a word. It means something to them personally, and they want it to mean something at work.
It may seem like a tall order, but wellness is something companies have to lean into. When quit rates are high and qualified candidates are scarce, a comprehensive wellness program can help you attract the talent you’re looking for and keep the talent you have already invested in. You can start by expanding your definition of “wellness,” and by asking your employees about their needs. You can also reach out to third-party organizations that can help you fill in the gaps in your wellness strategy – or develop one from scratch.
Expand your definition of wellness
Healthy weight, healthy blood pressure, healthy cholesterol levels – those are great numbers, but they don’t give us the total picture of wellness. That “healthy” person may be completely burned out at work, sleeping poorly, and not taking care of themselves. The same goes for 10,000 steps, eight glasses of water, and five fruits and veggies per day. Those are great habits, but checking those things off the list each day doesn’t mean you’re in a good place emotionally or socially.
Wellness is not a destination or a tactic. It’s a journey that doesn’t go in a very straight line. It’s a lifestyle that can vary from person to person and even from day to day. Total wellness encompasses the emotional, social, mental, and physical. For some, it encompasses the spiritual, financial, and environmental as well. Expanding your definition of wellness to include all of these dimensions can help you start to see the positive role a wellness program can play in your employees’ lives.
Get the input of the people you want to help
Your employees are not a homogeneous group. They are a wonderful mix of distinctive individuals from different cultures and different generations, and they all have different wellness priorities. That’s why, even with the broadest definition of wellness you can come up with, you shouldn’t make assumptions about what your employees need or want in a wellness program. Do they want yoga classes? A kombucha machine? A place to take a nap? You don’t have to make guesses or assumptions. You can ask for their feedback through direct interviews or a survey.
Bank of America was one of the first companies to realize how highly their employees valued their own mental well-being. How did the company find this out? They asked. By simply asking a series of questions, they found out that mental well-being has more impact on employee productivity than physical or financial health. If you truly want to help your employees, ask them what matters to them.
Seek outside assistance
A wellness program is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. To be successful and touch as many lives as possible, your wellness program needs to be personalized to meet the unique needs of the people in your organization. It needs to address the different dimensions of wellness. It needs to account for the different life stages of individuals. And it needs to accommodate shifting preferences and priorities of a dynamic workforce.
It can be a daunting task, but it’s not one that your team has to take on single-handedly. Companies like AccessElite can provide a wealth of resources, tools, conversations, events, and experiences that can help you build a comprehensive wellness program – one that puts mental, physical, social, and emotional health at the forefront of the organization, where it belongs. They can help you fill in the gaps in your wellness strategy, and help you foster the social connections a healthy organization needs.
Don’t let stale patterns and old beliefs about wellness stand in the way of your company’s success. AccessElite can help you bring a new world of wellness options and opportunities to the workplace. To learn more, visit us at https://accesselitenow.com, or reach out to us today.