Benefits

Employer Wellness Program Goals, Communications May Be Missing the Mark

A new survey has found that when it comes to wellness programs and initiatives, many employers are not effectively getting the word out to their employees.  Meanwhile, it reveals that many employers may have objectives for their wellness programs that may be misaligned with their original purpose.

The survey, conducted among 500 hiring professionals and employers, reveals that 71% of respondents believe their culture focuses on improving overall well-being. However, when asked why their employees don’t use their wellness benefits, employers cited that employees were “unaware of benefits” as the top reason.  The second most-cited response was that employees “don’t understand how to use the benefits.”

The survey, from EAP and wellness platform LifeWorks, further found that 78% of employers think their company can improve how they communicate about their wellness initiatives.

To that end, LifeWorks cautions against simply distributing employee handbooks and emails to communicate about wellness programs and advises that employers “play an active role in promoting your wellness benefits” by making it fun and interactive.

They also suggest that employers educate their workforce by building “a comprehensive communications plan that targets all employees.”  The “simple” mission of the plan should be to “[s]hare what benefits are available, how to access them, and why they’re vital to your employees.”

Meanwhile, when asked about their goals for well-being initiatives, “boost productivity” was the most popular response provided by employers.  While “improve overall employee well-being” was the second most-cited goal, it was followed by “improve morale” and “improve engagement.”

LifeWorks commented on these findings in their survey white paper:  “Some employers are slightly misguided with their wellness objectives. While trying to boost productivity or improve engagement are indeed important, these results only come when your focus is on the employee first.”

Therefore, LifeWorks advises that employers make overall employee well-being their priority: “When you can get employees excited about their well-being, you will see major results follow.”

To learn more about the results/white paper “Are We Doing Enough for Employees?  A Look At Wellness Benefits,” visit LifeWorks.com.

 

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