A recent analysis by Willis Towers Watson shows that the “employee well-being” factor, which was slowly gaining integers in company goals over the past five years, has become a top strategy priority for many organizations as a result. of the health, social and economic crisis that the Covid-19 pandemic is generating.
The diagnosis of the state of welfare policies in companies carried out by Willis Towers Watson shows that in Spain less and less lack a strategy in this regard. 51% percent of companies already have this strategy in place (compared to 35% in 2015), 9% are in the process of developing it and articulating it with defined objectives and goals for each program, and the same percentage (9% ) plans to do so in the next 3 years.
Likewise, 42% of the companies that have implemented a wellness strategy have already established a plan to communicate it effectively to the workforce and have been able to customize – based on the priorities and preferences of the employees – their wellness program and differentiate it from other companies with which it competes for talent. According to data from the consultancy, in 2024 about 90% of companies with a developed wellness strategy will meet both premises.
In order to Gema Jiménez, Director of Business Development of the Health & Benefits area of Willis Towers Watson Iberia, “Companies are increasingly promoting their strategies to make well-being an important differentiating factor in their value proposition, key to attracting and retaining talent. They put the main focus on the employee experience and communication but without forgetting areas such as programs to increase staff participation in wellness programs; the continuous evaluation of both its effectiveness and the activities the design and general execution of the wellness program; or the analysis of total costs related to prevention and care provision (company and employee). “
The employee experience as a center
Companies continue to increase their offerings to address the physical, emotional, financial and social well-being of employees, placing greater emphasis on developing an engaging employee experience that connects with profiles of the workforce with different needs.
In this sense, the Willis Towers Watson analysis examines the state of linkage of six key areas of wellness programs with the employee value proposition: integrate inclusion and diversity into the values and culture of the organization (already implemented by 66% of companies); incorporate health and wellness into the value proposition (already done by 48% of companies); consider psychological safety as a fundamental part of the mission and well-being objectives of the organization (already active in 41% of the companies); highlight employee stories and important moments (implemented by 36% of the companies); Y focus the design of wellness programs on people (34%).
In this sense, Gema Jiménez explains that “the ratios have improved in the last five or six years but there is still a wide margin for improvement, especially with regard to the need for well-being strategies and programs to focus on desires, preferences, needs, experiences and requirements of the people to whom they are addressed. We must never forget that the center of each program must be the employee, who must be provided with the best experience and a “psychologically safe” work environment in which they feel supported, which will allow them to take risks without fear of consequences. negative regarding their image, status or career progression ”.
Realizing this, companies take steps to increase employee engagement with their wellness programs. Among the most significant trends, the analysis finds that 46% of them periodically communicate to employees about general issues related to well-being, including advice and suggestions; the same percentage uses virtual solutions to reach employees who work remotely and facilitate their access to different resources and programs; or that 32% of companies deploy promotional and branding campaigns to engage employees and direct them to the appropriate resources (telemedicine solutions and virtual health care, employee assistance programs, etc.).
With a lower degree of implementation (below 25%) there are also measures such as having a solid communication plan that includes certain moments of the employee’s life (birth or adoption of children, marriage, loss of a loved one, school graduation , etc.); use testimonials and viral messaging to communicate through the company’s social networks; or use incentives to boost employee participation and engagement in wellness programs.
Companies consider that the efforts made in terms of well-being are effective both physically and emotionally as well as financially and socially. The data in the report show, among other data, that 43% of the companies analyzed assure that their initiatives have encouraged employees to participate in healthy lifestyle activities; 32% who have been of great help to train resilient employees who can deal with the difficulties they face in their professional and personal performance; and that 57% say that wellness programs have been key to creating a sense of community and belonging to the company among employees.
This high effectiveness of the programs is also associated, on the one hand, with higher employee productivity, with improvements, depending on the areas, of between 8 and 28 percentage points. On the other, with a higher degree of satisfaction of these with the company, showing metrics such as, among others, that 87% of employees would recommend the company as a place to work; 86% say they make a greater effort than expected to help the organization succeed; 81% feel capable of effectively facing job challenges with their work teams; o 79% think that their work gives them a sense of personal fulfillment.
For Gema Jiménez: “In the last five years, senior management has increasingly shown its support for the well-being of employees and has promoted measures to improve their experience, remodeling their work environment, offering training and providing family support. It is a path in which we must continue to advance and in which the main challenges to be overcome come from two fronts: the increase in costs that wellness programs imply and the fragmented – rather than comprehensive – implementation of these wellness programs . “