83% of companies worldwide have a wellbeing strategy in place, yet according to Gartner, only 23% of employees access these resources. Poor management and increasing levels of stress amongst employees impacts an employee’s ability to thrive in the workplace, leading them to disengage. In Australia alone, 67% of employees are estimated to be unengaged, with 47% of employees citing daily stress.  

Whilst wellbeing programs appear as the easy solution to boosting employee engagement, many organisations find themselves facing common struggles. Time constraints, a lack of awareness about the program, scepticism about its effectiveness, or a general lack of interest create hesitancy amongst employees. To combat these issues, there are five key aspects that must be considered to ensure wellbeing programs are effective.  

You can also download our Employee Wellbeing Program checklist here. 

1. Tailor Programs to an Employee’s ‘Why’, not ‘Want’

One size does not fit all when it comes to wellbeing programs. An organisation must understand the unique needs and preferences of their employees. However, when asking an employee what they want from a wellbeing perspective, it is important to follow up with the question ‘why?’. If the employee responds, ‘I find it hard to get enough exercise’, this indicates a need for education on how to create healthy habits and routines, not necessarily providing a free gym membership! Identify the employee’s barriers and pain points, rather than asking what they want as a benefit. 

Here at Better Being, we know that no organisation is the same. By assessing the ‘why’, our award-winning wellbeing programs are tailored and designed to suit the needs of your people, ensuring relevance and engagement. In fact, our programs have achieved an engagement rate of 93%. To find out more, click here. 

2. Communicate the Benefits Clearly:  

Employees are more likely to participate in wellbeing programs when they understand the benefits. Use a clear and compelling communication strategy to highlight how these programs can positively impact their physical health. Be specific about the outcomes they can expect such as increased energy levels, better sleep, and improved focus. 

3. Ensure Flexibility:  

It is vital to consider flexibility and convenience. The hybrid work environment and varying schedules define the way many of us now work. Consider providing a range of program options, including both in-person and virtual activities to capture engagement. This flexibility also allows employees to choose what works best for them and increases the likelihood of participation. Additionally, make resources easily accessible by utilising a user-friendly platform such as an Intranet or community hub, and provide recordings to webinars to allow increased access to program information.  

4. Leverage Support from Management:  

Leadership and management play a critical role in setting the tone for employee engagement in wellbeing programs. When managers actively support, participate, and engage in these initiatives, it sends a powerful message to employees about the organisation’s commitment to their wellbeing. Encourage leaders and managers to discuss their own self-care practices, share personal experiences, and highlight the positive impact of the wellbeing initiatives in team meetings to creates an atmosphere of trust and support. 

Leaders who also prioritise their own wellbeing along with employee wellbeing inspire trust, encourage open communication, and foster a culture of support, which leads to improved engagement and reduced stress. A study by Harvard Business Review revealed that employees who perceive their leaders as supportive and empathetic experience significantly higher levels of job satisfaction and overall wellbeing.  

5. Evaluate and Refine:  

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Outline suitable metrics and continuously evaluate the effectiveness of your wellbeing programs. Seek feedback from employee’s and analyse this information to identify gaps and refine or improve your initiatives. Our Wellbeing Index is a simple tool that allows you to gain quantifiable insights into your organisation’s wellbeing initiatives. Find out more about the Wellbeing Index here.  

Employee wellbeing programs are essential for creating a healthier and more engaged workforce. By implementing these strategies, your organisation can increase employee engagement and ensure that your programs have a meaningful impact.  

Ready to implement a wellbeing program with tangible benefits for everyone involved?