I recently received this note from an HR Bartender reader:
Hey Sharlyn! I saw your article on healthy employees being the new wave of the future and I was wondering if you happen to have a list of companies that offer health coaching as a benefit to their employees?
It’s true, I do believe healthy employees have a direct impact on the company’s future. When we’re healthy, we are able to do our best work. That can translate into high performance and bottom-line results. But I think organizations need to define “healthy”.
Probably one of the best wellbeing models I’ve seen is from Gallup. I think when we talk about healthy, these are the five components I think of:
- Career fitness is having a job in which you like what you do and feel you make a difference.
- Social wellbeing means you have supportive relationships at work and home.
- Financial health is being able to understand and manage your income and expenses.
- The aspect we typically associate with being “healthy” is physical. It’s being fit and having the energy to get things done.
- Lastly, community wellbeing is about feeling safe and a part of a community.
I believe if organizations want to take employee wellness and wellbeing seriously, they need to define it as more than simply physical health. And develop a program that addresses each component. Some of those benefit can include:
- Career coaching for employees to meet their professional goals. A growing number of organizations are developing in-house coaching programs as part of employee development.
- Financial literacy programs to educate employees about paying off student debt, managing their money, and their future (i.e. retirement).
- Programs to assist employees with their physical wellness. Many organizations are looking at wearables (like Fitbits and Apple Watches), on-site equipment such as treadmill desks and under desk ellipticals, as well as nutrition friendly cafeteria options.
The reason I mention these things is because it’s easy to do an internet search and find the best employee wellness programs. And I’m all for shopping best practices. But for a wellness program to be successful, organizations have to define what wellness means and how it fits into their culture. That drives the program.
Organizations should look at the connection between healthy workers and employee recruitment, engagement, and retention. Bookmark this page so you can ask the question, “What does healthy mean to us?”
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at the 2016 MBTI Users Conference in San Francisco, CA18