What’s the strategy behind your employee wellness program?
By: The Limeade Team
Organizations that connect their business strategy, people strategy and wellness initiatives will be the most likely to succeed on all fronts.
Imagine a hospital that’s strategically trying to differentiate itself with the high-quality care it provides. Leaders may define one aspect of high-quality care as staff being engaged with their patients. The relevant people strategy is to hire and reward those who know how to create deep and meaningful connections. The wellness program is completely aligned because it focuses on helping employees take care of the “whole person” — leading to higher engagement at work.
The hospital’s well-being initiative will look different than another organization’s because we all have different business priorities. Successful wellness programs have the consistent basics of well-being improvement (like moving more and managing stress), but they need to reflect unique company attributes as well.
For example, our LimeMates program design maps to our mission to measurably improve well-being in the world. Employees in Finance, Customer Success, IT can use our well-being program to better understand how their job leads to healthier, happier workforces. Whether it’s IT hosting a security training through Limeade Interactive or Customer Success sharing small wins of their customers, everyone contributes to our mission.
Your organization’s reasons for existing are different than ours. We have some thoughts on how you can connect your mission to your well-being initiatives.
4 ways to strategically align your wellness program:
1. Give an explicit reason for why well-being improvement matters to the organization. Post a video of your CEO talking about their personal goals and how the program is helping achieve them. Use your well-being platform to promote charity walks, races and other team-focused events to remind employees that work is a community, not just a paycheck. And let employees take time to volunteer for activities of their choice to foster autonomy, renew a sense of purpose and provide a jolt of motivation.
2. Be mindful of the carrot-and-stick approach. Align your wellness program design and incentives to specific business strategies. Sometimes rewards fail to motivate people because they ignore intrinsic motivation. Employees need to feel their input matters and that they’re valued. The wellness initiative can strategically support the creation of that culture through program design and rollout. For example, create a set of challenges around coming up with new ideas to solve a particular business problem. Reward those who participate and acknowledge their commitment to bettering the organization.
3. Remember the big picture. The company mission and values lead the organization forward, drive behavior and remind employees what they’re working toward. Well-designed programs should reinforce this at every turn, orienting newbies and reconnecting veterans in need of a boost. Employees need more out of their jobs than a paycheck, and a strong mission is key for a higher sense of purpose. Barry Schwartz has great advice and dives deep into the complex purpose of work.
4. Share data across groups focused on culture, HR, employee engagement, learning and development, volunteering, marketing and leadership. Each team can leverage the data in a different way. At Limeade, our Finance Team noticed low participation in our 401(k) offering. After sharing the data with our People Team, they decided to automatically enroll all employees at 1% and communicated the change through our well-being platform with the option to opt out. By sharing data, our organization can better support financial well-being.