3 Vital Steps to Workforce Well-Being, Productivity and Performance
December 10, 2013 / Employee Engagement
How can Total Quality of Life initiatives – programs that help employers show they care about their employees by supporting all aspects of their lives (physical, social, emotional, financial health, and more) – help HR leaders drive authentic employee engagement? That was the question we sought to answer in our latest Pulse Paper “Total Quality of Life: A Roadmap for Employee Engagement” written by Meghan M. Biro from TalentCulture Consulting Group.
Now, we know that the term “engagement” is seen as the HR buzzword of the decade, but we really believe that true engagement is a powerful tool for HR execs and companies looking to improve their employees’ productivity and performance, driving overall business. Research continues to show us that happy, healthy, emotionally connected employees simply perform better day-to-day.
For employers and HR execs to create a more engaged workforce, they need to focus on three essential program elements that address the whole person.
1. Employee Empowerment
To reap the full benefits of a Total Quality of Life approach, your employee engagement program must meet employees where they are – on their own terms. Regardless of age, gender, health status, or any other factor, these programs must be attainable for each and every employee. This philosophy ensures that everyone feels that they’re included in the program, giving them the motivation needed to meet their own unique goals.
2. Emotional Commitment
While this may be easy to overlook, most executives agree that the ultimate measure of an engaged employee is one who’s emotionally committed. According to Training Magazine, they’re four times more likely to contribute discretionary effort than their less committed counterparts.
For employees aiming to improve their overall health – physical, mental, and psychological –there are strong links between engagement and programs focused on Total Quality of Life. In fact, a recent WorldatWork survey found that 87 percent of companies with a wellness program measuring employee engagement say these programs have “an extremely positive” impact.
3. Employee Effectiveness
At the end of the day, a company is a business and it needs to generate results. Those results take shape in many ways, but all rely on a workforce to make it happen. Effective employees are almost always (you guessed it!) engaged ones. Programs with even a marginal Total Quality of Life component have a leg-up on the competition.
However, to be as effective as possible at work, employees need more than just “feel good” events like social hours or trust falls. Achievable objectives, sufficient support, feedback, metrics, and rewards that matter are all key components to improving overall effectiveness. These programs contribute to important benefits like improved mental focus and physical stamina, reduced stress, and increased self-initiative. Addressing these elements of employee effectiveness leads directly to better performance.
Unfortunately “whole person” engagement programs have not been widely adopted yet, leaving many companies staring down the barrel at the long-term effects of unhealthy lifestyles across their employee base. But fear not! Engagement programs addressing Total Quality of Life are powerful tools and can be implemented easily.
Employee-centered programs are the fastest, easiest ways to ignite long-lasting engagement for employees and the ones they love. Don’t believe us? Just ask our members. Eighty-five percent will tell you that Virgin Pulse has changed their lives, not just at work, but in every aspect. What’s more, 57 percent of our members say Virgin Pulse has made their company a better place to work and 21 percent say they’ve taken fewer or much fewer sick days since joining Virgin Pulse.
Have you recently implemented an engagement program in your office that incorporates Total Quality of Life elements? If so, we would love to hear from you in the comments below!
To read “Total Quality of Life: A Roadmap for Employee Engagement” by Meghan M. Biro in its entirety, please download our Pulse Paper.