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7 Considerations When Implementing Corporate Wellness Programs

Introducing a Corporate Wellness Program into the workplace can be one of the more rewarding implementations you can make for your employees. They have been proven to reduce overall stress and anxiety, help employees manage workloads and improve interpersonal relationships/bonds between co-workers. But how do you make sure that you maximise the effectiveness of your wellness program?

Listed below are our top 7 considerations to make during your implementation:

What are your welness program goals and objectives?

It is important to consider what results the business wishes to receive from a Corporate Wellness Program. As wonderful as it is that employees can attend them to help feel better in the workplace, what does this mean to those implementing the program? Are the programs cost effective and are they actually leading to happier and mentally healthier employees?

To measure the effectiveness of the program, there needs to be measures in place to determine whether it is effective or not. We have found that some of the best goals and objectives that can be measured include:

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What benefits do your employees want from a wellness program?

Once, as the employer, you have figured out the benefits that you wish to see for your employees, the next question you need to ask yourself is, ‘what benefits do my employees want?’

This is a step that is often overlooked by businesses, but this is one of the most important questions that need to be asked.  The employees are the only ones who know what is going on inside their heads, and what they consider stressful.

In Stress Pulse’s 2019 workplace survey, 39% of employees consider workload to be their largest cause of stress at work, whilst 36% cite work people issues, 14% juggling work and personal life, and 7% due to a lack of job security.

Knowing what causes your employees stress helps you to tailor their wellness program to them, to help you receive the results you need for your own goals and objectives. We advise creating a questionnaire or survey to best ask your employees what it is that is causing them stress, as well as what they wish to improve with regards to mindfulness and wellbeing in the workplace.

Who do you want to be taking your wellness program?

Depending on how large your business is, you may need to consider the size of your wellness program, as well as whom you wish to be taking it. This is where the survey or questionnaire from the previous consideration can really help, enabling you to see who needs access to it.

You may wish for everyone in your business to take part (which will always see the greatest results), or you may only want to initially prioritise the program to those who seem to be suffering from the most stress.

As with all research and personal information, the results that your employees give you should be kept strictly confidential if you are using a selection method. Wellness programs create a safe space where employees can express their true feelings in the workplace, to help and resolve any difficulties that are being experienced, or to remedy any problems. It is also of the utmost importance that repercussions should not occur from employee honesty, as this assists in improving wellness in your workplace.

Do you want the same program for those who have different responsibilities in your corporate structure?

Different departments and those who are in management may experience different levels or types of stress. This would need to be reflected in the wellness program they take. For example, managerial employees may benefit from learning techniques and strategies that can incorporate empathy and emotional development to help recognise stress patterns in their teams.

Those underneath them may benefit from delving deeper into breath work, meditation and mindfulness teachings to help them better deal with stress and anxiety around deadlines, effective workload management and interpersonal interactions, both internally and externally.

It is important that you chose the right wellness program for your teams and leaders, so that they can receive the most optimal wellness program for them. The program will also be more relatable, enabling them to adhere to the program more easily for improved results as they can find scenarios where the teachings can be applied.

How will you effectively communicate the wellness program to employees?

Once you have decided the wellbeing program that you wish to implement, you need to work out how you are going to effectively communicate what the wellbeing program is to your employees. This is a crucial step, as it will help prepare them for what type of sessions are upcoming, what their expected time commitments are and what the proposed benefits will be.

You can also use this time to let them know the goal or objective criteria, as well as reiterating that you have listened to their own expected benefits / current stress and problems, and how the wellness program will aim to resolve any specific issues they have raised.

You can even go the extra step to have printed documentation that the employees can take away listing all of the above, or distribute anything that the wellness program provider has given you. Seeing as everything is digital, virtual files can be sent instead to be eco-friendly and keep your paper usage down!

How long do you want your wellness program to last?

Most wellness programs either operate within a set time frame, for example, over 4 weeks, or operate indefinitely. A 4-week program is a great way to introduce wellbeing into the workplace and train employees up on wellness techniques and strategies to help them deal with stress that arises in the workplace.

A short-term course like this can be highly effective, especially if the whole office takes part. Video calls make this very easy now as large group sessions can be carried out online which make them even more effective to reach all of your employees.

Introducing a continuous mindful session plan once per week is where employees can start to see real, long-term results. Issues that can lead to employee stress/anxiety can be attributed to a build-up of issues that haven’t been resolved for years. These can require a longer time to work out the root cause.

Ongoing wellbeing programs not only give employees the tools to mitigate stress, but also help employees to dig deeper to find out the root cause of any problems they may be facing, and completely change their mind-set to help stressful situations never to arise in the first place!

The programs are voluntary - employees should not be marginalised or criticised for not taking part

Delving into mindfulness to help uproot causes of stress and anxiety can be challenging work, but the payoffs can be incredibly rewarding for the employee, those around them, and the business. However, the choice to make the change and embark on the program is a personal one, and not everyone will necessarily be encouraged to take these steps initially.

Willing participation and the desire for change are crucial factors for the wellbeing improvement that people may seek, so any pressure that makes wellbeing programs seems forced, naturally can retract the positive effects.

Whilst we would love to see everyone attending wellbeing programs, not everyone is ready, nor feel that they need any assistance currently. We can hope, in time, that with a successful intake of other colleagues, a positive attitude towards the program in the workplace and positive hearsay around the water cooler, they may change their mind and join when they are ready!

Next Steps

If you wish to talk about implementing a corporate wellbeing program into your office, our team at Mirosuna are more than happy to help.

We have trained experts in wellbeing, mindfulness and meditation techniques, who are more than happy to answer questions that you may have on how we can implement a tailored wellbeing program for you.