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Employee Engagement in a New World of Work: A Well-Rounded Approach to Well-Being

Last week we began our three-part series about engagement in a new world of work with a focus on leaning into flexibility. This week we turn our attention to how your well-being program can support employee engagement by helping employees across multiple dimensions of well-being.

In our increasingly complex world employee well-being programs now need to support more than just physical well-being. To bring their full selves to work every day and feel engaged in their jobs, employees need assistance with emotional well-being, financial wellness, caregiving, and more.

While some of these areas were previously not considered an employer’s responsibility, the reality is that workplaces do shape our well-being. In fact, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently released a new Surgeon General’s Framework for Mental Health & Well-Being in the Workplace that outlines the role workplaces should play in promoting wellness.1

Here are some timely reminders for how your well-being program can help you support employees and sustain engagement:

Mental health:

  • Recommunicate what your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has to offer for both employees and family members.
  • Add virtual mental and emotional health services that make it easy for busy employees to seek counseling.
  • Train managers to openly discuss mental health.
  • Ensure leadership sets a good example by role modeling healthy mental well-being behaviors.
  • Offer more support for caregiving, which can be a drain on mental health: onsite daycare, back-up daycare, care for aging parents, etc.

Physical health:

  • Provide access to fitness programs and apps. Create new programming for onsite gyms that may not have been used in a while.
  • Help with nutrition via health coaches, weight management programs, meal planning services, or even providing healthy lunches to your staff.
  • Offer wellness challenges that boost morale, like steps competitions.
  • Give employees permission to block time on their calendars for daily physical activity.
  • Offer education and tools to improve sleep quality.
  • Provide ongoing help for those with chronic conditions via coaching and digital tools.
  • Offer point solutions for things like pain management and diabetes.

Financial wellness:

  • Educate on finance fundamentals like how to set up and stick to a budget and how to create a long-term savings plan.
  • Support employees with student loan debt assistance or loan consolidation services.
  • Give access to debt counseling to consolidate debt and establish a plan to pay it down.
  • Provide financial coaching services to help employees experiencing an immediate financial crisis set goals for the future and improve their current financial situation.

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Of course, it goes without saying that in order to truly reap the value of a well-being program, employees have to know about it. Make sure to continually promote the services of your well-being program using multiple communication channels. Even if employees don’t take advantage of every offering, communicating regularly about it shows that you are an employer who values employee well-being—which is a big factor in retention and engagement. Check in next week for our thoughts on how establishing a sense of community and ensuring a great onboarding experience can increase engagement.

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