How to implement an Employee Wellness program
Financial results and societal performance go hand in hand. To be successful in the long-term, organizations cannot solely focus on financial results, while neglecting their social responsibility (Deephouse, 1999). We all learned this, right? Year one of a business administration or MBA curriculum. HRM 101. But HOW(!) we can ensure that an organization act socially responsible, remains vague. How to implement this “Balanced approach” all the scholars are talking about in real life? In this article we will answer this question and explain how the Fitter platform enables you to implement a successful Employee Wellness program.
What exactly is societal performance?
Societal performance is a collection of soft metrics that describe the environment or ecosystem around an organization. For example, social corporate responsibility towards climate neutrality and sustainability. This type of societal performance is important for many stakeholders of an organization and society. However, a very, very (!) important societal responsibility is often neglected by organizations
. The well being of their own employees.
Employee Wellness too often forgotten
The neglect of Employee Wellness will eventually lead to both organizational and societal problems, in both the long and short term, like:
- Increase of employee absences due to disease and/or depression.
- Decrease in employee satisfaction, ultimately resulting in declining organizational performance.
- Potentially damaging stakeholder’s and customer’s perception of your organization and brand.
- And on a bigger scale, the society must deal with a less effective and more expensive workforce.
Hands-on, time to implement an Employee Wellness program
A strategic approach to Employee Wellness
As mentioned earlier, lots of organizations are aware of their social responsibility and are rolling out expensive programs to show the world how eco-friendly and CO2-Neutral they are. Brands like Heineken take it a step further. They spend millions of dollars in “when you drive, never drink” campaigns cleverly positioned at big Formula 1 events. How come, that societal topics like these are frequently addressed but internal organizational topics like Employee Wellness are ignored?
“If customers notice that you take good care of your employees, they will also be convinced that you will take care of them”
As a marketer, I understand the value of addressing brand-related societal topics. However, addressing internal organizational topics related to Employee Wellness, safety and satisfaction is equally important. Good employee practices also reflect on your brand. If customers notice that you take good care of your employees, they will also be convinced that you will take care of them. But it also works the other way around. Would you return to a store when you just witnessed the boss insulting his staff in front of all the customers? I would not!
How to convince the board
So, how to convince your board of directors to include Employee Wellness as a key topic? First, make sure you address the advantages of Employee Wellness. Approach this from multiple points of view, instead of only from a HR perspective. For example, the benefits of Employee Wellness are less employee absences and therefore less delays and planning conflicts (Operational), being employee-friendly will help attracting the most talented employees (Recruitment and Employer branding) and by highlighting our Employee Wellness customers will perceive our brand as healthy, active, and trustworthy.
Secondly, also address the consequences when the company neglects Employee Wellness. Do not forget to raise the societal importance.
And at last, make sure the organization’s ambitions, regarding Employee Wellness programs, are included in the annual report and quarterly plans. Then you have a stick to hit with when your wellness implementation plans are questioned by the board.
Summary of the strategic steps towards an Employee Wellness implementation:
- Address the advantages and opportunities, from multiple points of view, of becoming a more healthy organization
- Address the consequences when your company neglects societal responsibility like Employee Wellness
- Make sure to include the organization’s ambitions towards Employee Wellness in the annual report(s) and quarterly plans
The Employee Wellness platform Fitter
When you managed to put Employee Wellness on your boards’ agenda, it is time to take action to the word! You need to make the Employee Wellness ambition tangible for board members, external stakeholders and, most of all, the employees within your organization. If you fail to deliver results quickly, then the support will rapidly decline. This is because Employee Wellness is a long-term solution for both short and long-term issues. Its long-term character automatically makes it, unfortunately unjustified, less urgent to stakeholders. So, deliver results quickly. To do so, use Fitter!
Fitter is a Employee Wellness platform build for organizations that understand the value of their employees. The platform contains an app designed for employees where they can keep track of their sleep, nutrition, physical activity, and heart rate. By keeping track of their well being and by participating in challenges, employees get rewarded with FitTokens. They can spend these FitTokens in the app’s store to buy wellness products that suits them. For the business we created comprehensive dashboards with data about the well being of your organizations. Completely safe, secure and GDPR compliant. Which enables you to deliver tangible insights and results to improve Employee Wellness within your organization.
Curious how Fitter works? Let’s schedule a quick demo:
- Deephouse, D.L. (1999). To be different, or to be the same? It’s a question (and theory) of strategic balance. Strategic management Journal, 20(2), 147-166
- Boselie, P. (2014). Strategic Human Resource Management: A Balanced Approach (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill Education / Europe, Middle East & Africa.