Workplace Wellness Programs For The Modern Workforce

Workplace Wellness Programs For The Modern Workforce by Jake Dufour and Shelley Reed

In June, the HR NOLA team attended the largest conference for Human Resource professionals in the country, the 2022 National SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) Conference. A common theme of the learning tracks this year was the “human” side of work. From a CEO being at the bedside of an ailing employee, to business leaders openly sharing their stories of struggles with mental health; the focus was on the workplace wellbeing of our employees. We spend a good part of our waking hours at work. Why not make the workplace a hub for information and activities designed to improve our overall well being? 

Employee Assistance Programs

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is an employee benefit program that assists employees with personal and workplace problems that may impact their job performance, health, mental and emotional wellbeing. An EAP is only helpful if it is fully utilized. Providing an employee a toll-free number to the EAP is not fully addressing their wellness. Professionally training your supervisors and managers to recognize the signs and symptoms of workplace stress, depression, and burnout will help them encourage someone to seek help from a qualified mental health expert. Many EAP’s will offer this training to your managers free of charge. Be sure to market your company’s EAP program to your employees through regular monthly email blasts, company intranet, and home mailers, etc. This shows them you are concerned about their wellbeing and that the company has a tool to assist them. 

Additional Wellness Programs

Workplace wellness programs can be an early intervention and help connect employees to treatment options. Here are some suggestions for you to think about adding:

  • Create and maintain dedicated quiet spaces for relaxation activities

  • Ensure employees have time to unplug and recharge

  • Host seminars or workshops that address depression and stress management techniques, like mindfulness, breathing exercises, and meditation, to help employees reduce anxiety and stress and improve focus and motivation. Ask your employees for topic suggestions and even facilitators. 

  • Distribute materials, such as fliers and websites, to all employees about the signs and symptoms of poor mental health and opportunities for treatment.

Encourage Wellness All Year Long

Wellness benefits should extend beyond open enrollment. Featuring employee benefits in meetings and newsletters is an effective way to ensure that your team is aware of their benefits and the pathways to access them. Total Rewards Statements are also an excellent way to communicate the value of the benefits that you offer. Total rewards statements give employees information on their complete compensation and benefits over the course of a year. These statements not only include wage information, but also information on important benefits such as mental health, paid leave, wellness, and educational benefits.

By addressing mental health issues in the workplace, employers can reduce health care costs for their businesses and employees. Have you ever asked your employees about whether or not they are happy with the mental health services they are receiving from your Health Insurance plan? Contact HR Nola today for a Workplace Wellness Satisfaction survey. The answers may surprise you. 

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