Employee Wellness Programs

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A report on non-communicable diseases released by the World Health Organization paints a grim picture of India. The risk of dying from a non-communicable disease (NCD) for persons aged between 30 and 70 years in India is a high 26 per cent, according to the second set of NCD profiles for 194 countries, released by WHO in 2014.Three years hence, we are yet to make a considerable change to counter the predictions of WHO. As per Business Insider, in 2016 – 45% of young millennials consulted for lifestyle diseases.
Employee Wellness programs are now being increasingly adopted by companies wanting to reap greater benefits and business outcomes.

Some key factors contributing to health deterioration are: excessive work pressure, seemingly unachievable targets or deadlines, politics, lack of appropriate rewards / recognition/ motivation, stiff competition, long commute to work and back etc. leading to a burnout.

Employee health and wellness is an emerging important parameter that enhances the productivity, engagement & experience and impacts the ROI positively. Wellness programs not only ensure that employees stay heathy, it reduces the absenteeism rates and contribute to employee experience thus helping in reducing attrition.
Employee wellness program is the best and the most vital investment that an organization can make in the present disruptive world. By investing in these programs they are not only assisting in improving the physical and mental well-being of its employees but are also taking a proactive step towards a healthier, productive and more engaged workforce.
Some of the well – packaged wellness programs can include:

• Dental check-ups
• Overall health check-ups and online consultation with a doctor
• An on-site gym or tie up with a nearby gym for a subsidized cost
• Yoga classes outside of office hours
• Dance classes outside of office hours
• Healthy recipe contest
• Participation in Marathons
• Financial rewards to encourage employees to lose weight
• Healthy Workplace Culture
• Awareness about Mental Health (Depression is rising at an alarming rate)
• Invite a Chef to teach healthy and easy cooking recipe
• Effective Ergonomics
• Incentivize Smoking Cessations

Some of the top Health and Wellness companies offering good corporate wellness programs corporates in India are:

• Truworth Wellness
• Apollo Life
• Healthify Me
• ISHP India
• Meta Wellness

Some of the key perspectives to keep in mind while opting for a wellness program, are:
Need Based – The wellness program should be need based, at least as per the age group and / or gender.

Simple and Convenient to use – Whether it is a gym, yoga or dance class, online doctor consultation or a complete wellness program – it should be simple and convenient to use – without too many terms & conditions and executable.

Culturally promoted- Any such initiatives can never be successful unless promoted as a culture by the management. If the employees are over – worked, they will neither have the energy or the time to hit a gym or attend a yoga class. If the company doesn’t pitch in with a wellness program, say for example – online doctor consultation program etc., the employees will be forced to take leave for smallest of the health issues.

Not every organization may have the metrics to calculate the exact return on investment however the reduced employee absenteeism, morale, energy, productivity and performance as a result will be enough to estimate the change in the business dynamics. Small changes suggested above will indeed make a big impact in the long run!

By- Kashesh Verma

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