Employer

I’m sure if you ask any company who run an employee wellness program they will claim the one they offer is the best. After all, they want to ensure their employees are well looked after so no doubt they will try to incorporate everything to make that possible.

But is it possible to provide a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to delivering the best wellness program or are the best ones the ones that cater to an individual’s needs? Our 10 corporate wellness experts give us their thoughts on what they think is the best way to deliver the ultimate employee wellness program.

Shaun Bradley

It is important that wellness is part of the overall business strategy and culture, sitting in parallel with what the company expects from employees in terms of performance goals. The best employee wellness programme is one that caters the full spectrum of employee wellbeing. It should be holistic, tailored and adaptable. We often associate wellbeing with preventing the problems associated with the physiological and mental/emotional aspects of wellness, forgetting that there are many things that can be positive and preventative. Healthy nutrition, anti-smoking, exercise and taking regular breaks are examples of where employees can positively impact their own wellbeing.  

Shaun Bradley, Director of People at Perkbox.

Alaana Linney

There’s no silver bullet when it comes to employee wellness, so employers must take a holistic approach which encompasses physical, mental and financial health. All three have can a serious impact on a person’s wellbeing and ability to do their job. A programme which offers employees access to private healthcare when health issues arise, subsidised gym memberships to support active lifestyles, flexible working to promote a good work/life balance, educational workshops on a range of topics such as emotional resilience, financial security and nutrition, will support total wellbeing.

Alaana Linney, Director of Business Development at Nuffield Health.

Jill King

We can’t help but be biased. We believe we offer the best-in-class employee wellbeing solutions. We offer a mobile first platform that delivers a personalised user experience and utilises gamification to engage users in building habits that make meaningful and measurable change across individuals and the businesses they serve. The key to building better and sustainable habits is taking small steps, every day. Our technology, and the experience we provide, makes that fun and easy to do. Members are able to connect and share with colleagues, competing in challenges, watching their progress and seeing results.

Jill King, Director of International Markets at VirginPulse.

Sam Fromson

Start by thinking about what you want to achieve in terms of happy, healthy and energised people.  It’s likely to involve changing behaviours so consider the blockers your people face.  They’re things like, not knowing where to start, cost, and lack of time and motivation.  A good wellness program addresses these blockers, by making it easier and cheaper to be healthy and by keeping your people motivated.  A focus on the 4 pillars of health; relax, eat move and sleep will help your people understand the relationship between mental and physical wellbeing.  It’s more inclusive and most likely to deliver positive results for everyone.

Sam Fromson, Co-founder of Yulife UK.

Liz Walker

Top-notch programmes prioritise the mental and financial health of employees just as much as physical health; and include both proactive and reactive elements. For example, many employers offer proactive mental health support for employees by training employees how to protect their own mental health, while also learning how to spot the signs of a colleague in distress. Another first line of defence is providing employees access to EAPs so they can seek help on their own terms. If an employee is unwell, employers should work reactively on practical solutions, like flexible work schedules. The best programmes also use data to measure effectiveness and spot opportunities for improvement.

Liz Walker, HR Director, Unum UK.

Nick Patel

Many employers have a diverse workforce.  The best way to address the uniqueness of each employee is to deliver a wellness program that supports a variety of technologies and allows employees to choose what makes the most sense for them.  Through a wide array of options, employers provide the resources and tools to address the needs of all individuals.

Nick Patel, CEO of Wellable.

Sammy Courtright

What we’ve learned is that the best employee wellness program is the one that handles all aspects of design, management, and execution, from top to bottom. Unfortunately, most wellness companies are not a one-stop shop. Maybe they specialize in yoga classes or stress management workshop, but they don’t offer technology or personalized options, both of which are crucial to long-term success. You also need a wellness program that’s designed and implemented by an external organization, not an internal staff member from your HR or ops teams who already has a full load of work on their plate. Finally, another crucial aspect of wellness programs is having the proper technology to track engagement. Creating a wellness program without a way to track results or participation is, essentially, pointless. Just like any other aspect of business, health and wellness programs need to be well-organized and monitored, and data is necessary for the continued success over time.

Sammy Courtright, Founder and CEO of Fitspot Wellness.

Ruth Tongue

There is no such thing as one best employee wellness programme as the most important thing is that it is tailored to the needs, culture and values of the company. At Elevate we work closely with different teams to ensure that our approach is really meeting people where they’re at and offering them what they need in an engaging and motivating way – a weekly fruit bowl is not enough!

Ruth Tongue, Co-founder of Elevate.

Joe Gaunt

Wellness programmes must stem from a well thought out and measured strategy.  The programme must allow for personalisation both in and out of work and cover a broad spectrum of factors such as sleep, financial health and mental resilience.  Gone are the days of simply offering a free gym membership to staff.  A successful organisation will go on a journey with their teams, which will see education, information sharing, recognition and reward as part of the strategy.  Encouraging shareability of results and activity will really help aid programmes.  Studies have shown that sharing your progress and success can help you achieve your goals.  A weight-loss study by Weilos (a social media platform) found that people who posted progress photos showing their weight-loss lost 1.2lbs a week compared to 0.27 lbs lost by the people who didn’t.

Joe Gaunt, CEO of Hero Wellbeing.

Lucy Tallick

Without repeating myself, the best employee wellbeing programmes are those that align to the company values, that cater for all walks of life and that are simple and easy to participate in allowing a large percentage of your workforce to utilise when they need to. You cannot force your employees into a healthier way of life, this decision will always be a personal one. What you can do is have the tools and options available to them when they are ready and make their own decision to a road to better health.

Lucy Tallick, Head of Wellbeing at Reward Gateway.

Ruth Tongue

There is no such thing as one best employee wellness programme as the most important thing is that it is tailored to the needs, culture and values of the company. At Elevate we work closely with different teams to ensure that our approach is really meeting people where they’re at and offering them what they need in an engaging and motivating way – a weekly fruit bowl is not enough!

Ruth Tongue, Co-founder of Elevate.

About Ushma Mistry

Editor & Content Strategist at Link Humans, download our 12 Essentials of Employer Branding eBook now.

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