Employee Well-Being Initiatives Work Best as a Team
By: Mady Peterson
It’s rare for a company to not offer some collection of employee well-being initiatives. By now, it’s been proven that employees perform better when their physical, emotional and financial health are all cared for and prioritized. But just because it’s true doesn’t mean it’s easy.
It may have started as an effort to reduce costs by lowering healthcare premiums and improving retention, but employee well-being is now a necessary part of driving company growth. Purpose, resilience, gratitude and all the other markers of employee happiness contribute to a 32% increase in productivity, according to Limeade research.
The problem is getting employees to use the resources that are available.
To care for the whole person, you have to cover lots of ground. Wellness activities for employees may come via a healthcare provider while retirement advice lives in an EAP and mindfulness exercises come via a partnership with a meditation app. Letting employees know all these disparate resources exist is enough of a challenge. Gaining adoption across them can feel near impossible. But when you do tie them together, the return is more than worth the investment.
Single-focus employee wellness programs can’t improve well-being at work
Putting a new wheel on a broken axle won’t get you to your goal any faster. Similarly, focusing on just one aspect of your employees’ lives won’t give them the stability and security they need to deliver their best work.
For employee well-being initiatives to be successful, they have to be multifaceted. Or, to continue the metaphor, they have to service the whole car. The researchers and scientists at the Limeade Institute have developed a hierarchical way for organizing the complexity of whole-person well-being: breaking it down first into physical, emotional, financial and work components, then into a rich set of “well-being dimensions” including nutrition, stress, commitment, resilience and dozens more. By offering support across those dimensions, companies can help build up an engaged, healthy and well workforce.
It’s clear that businesses can’t afford to address anything less than the whole well-being of their employees. But making this practice impactful requires more information. While employees may know to turn to their employers for support with their physical health, the idea that the CEO is invested in their mental and financial health is much newer. For employees from certain backgrounds, seeking support for mental or financial health from anyone might be intimidating. Before you gain their participation, you have to gain their trust.
Successful employee well-being initiatives require a narrative of complete care
There’s one simple reason you can give employees to explain why you care as much about their step count as their 401(k). It also has the benefit of being true. You care about them. As people.
It doesn’t matter what the industry is, success always comes down to your team — the people you spend more waking hours with than just about any other. Caring for those people is the business. Keep them happy and they’ll keep you successful in return.
When employees feel cared for, they’re 42% more likely to say they have well-being in their lives. They’re also 51% more likely to say they feel personally engaged with their work and 81% more likely to recommend their organization as a great place to work. By surrounding your team with proof that the company cares, you create a culture of trust. Employees learn that you’re invested in their success, and that they can turn to you with problems, regardless of what aspect of their lives they need to address. This is when you can start to create meaningful change.
A unified employee experience platform demonstrates the importance of well-being in the workplace
If you’re watching existing programs go unused, the last thing you want to do is invest further. We agree. Instead of trying more programs, resources and initiatives, try to unite the ones you have with a consistent narrative of company care and a single platform where employees can experience it.
At Limeade, we study the science behind employee well-being. We know improving it requires more tools than any one provider is capable of offering. So we designed a platform that brings all of your employee well-being initiatives together in one place. Surveys and polls let you learn what employees are thinking while dashboards give you data on how they’re doing. The Limeade Institute brings a strong scientific foundation to product planning, putting insights into everyday practice, including research-backed solutions tailored to the areas where employees need the most help. Sometimes those come from our library of activities, sometimes they come straight from a healthcare provider or an EAP.
When you communicate care — and make accessing that care easy — adoption rates go up. At global tax firm Ryan LLC, adopting Limeade’s full set of communication tools drove a 2x increase in monthly active users. It wasn’t the intention that changed, or even the basics of the program. It was just the way employees experienced it, as part of a unified narrative of company care.