A Holistic Approach: Wellbeing Programs for the Modern Workforce
September 22, 2021 / Employee Wellbeing Best Practices
Modern wellbeing programs are becoming more holistic. Employers today are considering all aspects of their employees’ lives when crafting wellbeing programs, incorporating additional resources to support whole-person wellbeing rather than focusing on physical health alone.
With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating mental health challenges and health inequity in the workplace, the shift toward holistic — or whole-person — wellbeing has become even more prominent. Nearly half of employees today are suffering from mental health issues, up from 39% before the pandemic.
What’s more, in a recent survey, 85% of employers said they were somewhat or very concerned with their employees’ mental health due to the pandemic. Now facing concerns about the Delta variant, we can expect the whole-person wellbeing trend to continue. Learn more about how your organization can take a holistic approach to wellbeing, and why it’s important in the workplace today.
What Exactly Is Whole-Person Wellbeing?
Anne Mulcahy, former chairperson and CEO of Xerox Corporation, said it best: “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”
Whole-person wellbeing is about investing in the entire person rather than focusing on physical condition alone. According to the National Wellness Institute, there are actually “Six Dimensions of Wellness,” including:
- Emotional wellness
- Occupational wellness
- Physical wellness
- Social wellness
- Intellectual wellness
- Spiritual wellness
Looking beyond physical health and considering every dimension of wellbeing offers a truly holistic perspective that’s more accurate and well-rounded overall. To do so, employers need to equip their employees with the right culture and resources to prioritize and improve their wellbeing across all dimensions.
How To Create a Holistic Corporate Wellbeing Program
Taking a more holistic approach to employee wellbeing may seem like a lot to tackle at once, but it’s definitely attainable with the right strategy, culture and technology. Keep these tips in mind when creating a whole-person wellbeing program at your organization:
1. Make a Compelling Case for Whole-Person Wellbeing
If you’re considering developing a whole-person wellbeing program for your organization, the first step is to make a compelling business case to key stakeholders. Explain why it’s important to focus on whole-person initiatives as opposed to strictly physical wellbeing, placing emphasis on it being a necessity in the workplace today.
2. Create a Company Culture That Supports Holistic Wellbeing
Once you have leadership buy-in, you need to get your employees onboard. That means creating a culture that supports holistic wellbeing by teaching your employees what it means to be holistically healthy. You can also champion wellbeing initiatives beyond those focused on physical health alone, such as promoting stress management or mindfulness sessions to encourage participation.
3. Offer Resources for Every Dimension of Wellbeing
It’s not enough to build a culture of holistic wellbeing. The next step is to offer resources and initiatives for every dimension of wellbeing. That doesn’t mean you should stop prioritizing physical health. Rather, your organization should focus on creating better, stronger physical wellbeing initiatives, in addition to:
- Mental health and stress management
- Financial management resources
- Team-building activities for social health
- Career growth and learning opportunities
- Volunteering and community support
4. Allow Employees To Personalize Their Health Journey
The health journey is a personal one; no two employees start from the same place or have the same wants, needs or goals for their health and wellbeing. That’s why personalization matters. Allow your employees to focus on setting and achieving their own unique goals, whether that means losing weight, quitting smoking, reducing anxiety, making new friends or growing in their career — and provide the tools they need to make it happen.
Virgin Pulse’s Homebase for Health® is a digital wellbeing ecosystem that makes it easier for people to understand and take action toward their personal goals. Our solutions are designed to transform the mental, physical, financial, social, community and emotional health of organizations and their people by empowering them to make small, attainable changes in their day-to-day life.
To implement a holistic employee wellbeing program that focuses on every dimension of your people, you need technology to support your efforts. Schedule a demo to speak to an employee wellbeing expert and to get a firsthand look at Homebase for Health®.