+ Holistic Well-being Programmes - CII Blog

Charting Change, Enabling Development

Human capital forms the heart of any successful enterprise, especially during tough economic times, and this is well-known amongst HR professionals. Employees provide creativity and innovation to any organization – whether in technology and product design or in distribution networks and service delivery, it is this human capital which plays a pivotal role in an organization’s ability to compete in the global economy.

Today the fine line between work and personal life is getting blurred. It is essential to provide a holistic and complete package of well-being programmes which encompasses physical, mental, financial and emotional health. This will drive employee productivity and improve the organization’s retention capabilities.

While the concept of corporate wellness began decades ago focusing on the employee’s physical health and safety, it has of late evolved into a range of programmes aimed at not only protecting employee health, but actively boosting performance as well as social and emotional well-being. These innovative programmes and tools cover aspects such as healthy diet and exercise, mindfulness, sleep and stress management. It also aims at changing the culture and leadership behaviour to support these efforts.

In order to build competitive advantage, it is pertinent for any organization to improve the health status and well-being of their employees. Besides increasing productivity of the employees, it also encourages the team to work in unison and creates a positive work environment.

To boost wellness and productivity, initiatives such as the following would help enormously: 

  • Flexible schedule: Organizations are now recognizing the uniqueness of every employee, and that their situations and problems vary. Therefore, organizations should be more flexible in assigning work hours for its employees ensuring that they work efficiently and professionally. This will inculcate a sense of loyalty and satisfaction towards the work and reduce work-related stress.
  • Telecommuting: Colloquially known as ‘working from home’, telecommuting is a work arrangement in which the employee can work from outside the office. This allows the employee greater freedom and flexibility to balance work and personal obligations, thereby enhancing their productivity.
  • Fitness programmes: Staying healthy should be a key priority for employees as it helps them to perform their office duties effectively, and it is the duty of the employer to ensure that the company is providing adequate facilities to keep their employees fit. This can be ensured by providing for some physical activities at the workplace. Many offices offer facilities such as yoga or zumba, sit-stand desks or have full-scale on-site fitness counters. These can help in raising the level of physical fitness of the employees and hence the overall productivity.
  • Access to healthy food: Due to erratic work schedules, employees often either skip their meals or end up snacking on unhealthy food and caffeine to get through the day. Offering healthy, nutritious and processed-free foods at a moderate cost at the office cafeteria is a great way to improve well-being at the workplace. In fact, easy access to fruits makes it easier for employees to snack healthily and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This reduces absenteeism from work and brings about higher productive energy.
  • Employee assistance programme: These assist employees with both personal and work-related problems that may impact their job performance, health, mental and emotional well-being. They generally offer free and confidential assessments, short-term counselling, referrals, and follow-up services for employees and their household members.
  • Daycare facilities: Workplace daycare is an important benefit for many employees, allowing them to spend more time with their children despite being at work. This decreases anxiety for some parents, improving their ability to concentrate on their jobs. Workplace daycare can boost employee morale and lower absenteeism, since fewer employees need to take time off to look after the children.

In today’s competitive business environment, it is critical for organizations to step up their investment in human capital. An organization’s health and prosperity are directly influenced by the health and well-being of its employees. With some ingenious planning, HR professionals can improve the health and work equation building a more prosperous organization.