Wellbeing Part 4

Workplace well-being programs – An ongoing dynamic process

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Workplace well-being programs – An ongoing dynamic process

​With a growing emphasis on employee well-being in the workplace, HR  departments are expected to design and deliver a workplace well-being strategy. Continuing with the list put together by the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC), below are a few more mistakes organisations are making with regard to well-being strategy.

Read part 3 of Workplace well-being – 11 guaranteed ways to fail.

Mistake No.9: Thinking you can do it all in a month

Creating a true culture of health is an ongoing, dynamic process – and so is changing your employees´ behavioural patterns. Studies show that, on average, it takes 66 days to form new habits, with 95% of people needing up to 254 days to make these new behaviours automatic. This is a long-term strategy, so it is important to keep your program fresh. If new activities and components are not constantly being integrated into the program to maintain employees’ interest, then it might be difficult to motivate continued participation. Just like with other business practices, you have to continue to refine and adapt things each year. Analyse the elements of your program and reinvest in the areas that gained the most traction and delivered the biggest returns, then rethink those parts that have not worked. ´Rethink´ is the key word, because the reasons behind a component’s failure may not be obvious. Often, HR managers lament the high attrition rate of employees taking part in a wellbeing initiative then blame this on employees themselves. Closer inspection generally unearths the same formula:

Boring program + bored employees= low uptake and high attrition.
If at first you don’t succeed, then try again with a new vendor, new design and new content.

Mistake No.10: Trying to reinvent the wheel

Many organisations try to roll out an initiative with just their own internal staff and the assistance of their health insurance carrier and
neglect to use outside experts and vendors. The reality is that designing a well-being program usually requires expertise and experience beyond the traditional HR function. If you look over at your IT department you will invariably see a small head count, relative to the sheer complexity of their activities. For many years, chief technology officers have understood that it would be absurd to try to develop an operating system for your company when Microsoft has mastered it. The same goes for all of the software, hardware, communications infrastructure and networking your business depends upon.

In this five part series, we’ll take you through the 11 mistakes organisation make in their well-being programs as outlined by GCC. Stay tuned for the final part.