Wellness Programs Can Help You Survive “The Great Resignation”

Posted by Employer Flexible on September 9, 2021
Employer Flexible

If the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, supply chain shortages, and tight labor market were not enough obstacles for America’s businesses, now comes “The Great Resignation”.

According to Forbes, the term “The Great Resignation” was coined by Texas A&M professor Anthony Klotz to describe a potential tidal wave of people leaving their jobs post-pandemic vs. returning to the “old normal”.

Is a Tsunami Turnover On its Way?

Klotz might be onto something as Forbes points out:

  • Prudential says one in four U.S. workers will look for a new job when the pandemic eases.
  • Microsoft research found that 41 percent of the global workforce was thinking about leaving their company this year.
  • Monster.com found that a mind boggling 95 percent of workers are considering changing jobs with 92 percent willing to switch industries for the right gig.

CNBC said that “after spending more than a year at home, some don’t want to go back to commuting, preferring the flexibility of remote work at least a few days a week. Others are simply burned out from logging long hours while also balancing childcare and remote school, sometimes all at once. And nearly all employees are ready to see what else is out there.”

Most businesses, already paying top dollar for talent in a tight labor market, can ill afford to lose employees.

“While it’s still too early to predict the extent to which this job flight will impact the “average” organization, there is no question that a global reckoning is coming,” writes Lorna Borenstein in Forbes. “Many companies are already experiencing painful employee turnover and bracing for more, which has sent them urgently seeking solutions to an attraction and retention crisis we haven’t seen before.”

More Important Than Ever to Encourage Wellness

The prevailing “The Great Resignation” sentiment coupled with the current COVID-19 Delta variant surge adds up to a workforce that needs much more than a “mental health day”total-shape-Ianw4RdVuoo-unsplash but a workforce that needs guidance from a corporate wellness program.

“People at all levels want to work for companies that value people’s mental health, their lives outside of work and their need for connection with one another – things that until now were considered luxuries but are now critical to drive loyalty and win the war of workforce attraction and retention,” writes Borenstein.

Sal Rehmetullah, also writing in Forbes, says the No. 1 way to prevent people from leaving your company is compensation but not just in strict paycheck terms.

Compensation can include employee benefits packages which can include a corporate wellness program.

“Expand your benefits packages to include not just PTO but the encouragement for your employees to take time off, whether it’s for their mental health, personal events or simply a much-needed break at their discretion,” writes Rehmetullah.

He suggests that employees can be compensated “not just for their time and expertise but also for their mindfulness and overall wellness. When your employees feel that you value them as human beings, they’ll more likely reward you with their loyalty.”

Engaging Employees in Their Health and Wellness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Workplace Health Resource Center says that employees in good health are more likely to deliver optimal performance in the workplace.

“Healthy employees not only have better quality of life, they also benefit from having a lower risk of disease, illness, and injury, as well as increased work productivity and a greater likelihood of contributing to their communities,” says the CDC white paper “Engaging Employees in Their Health and Wellness” .

The key is engaging employees in the corporate wellness program being offered. Engagement is commonly viewed as the level of enrollment and sustained participation in a program including:

  • Wellness events (e.g., walking, nutrition, resilience programs)
  • Services (e.g., screening, health coaching)
  • Resources (e.g., online assessments, learning modules, training programs)

“Active participation in these offerings results in employees making healthy decisions (e.g., choosing healthy foods, quitting tobacco, exercising regularly, managing stress),” said the CDC. “Engagement also includes employee input and involvement in the design and execution of the wellness program.

Pandemic-Proof Your Corporate Wellness Program

Corporate Wellness Magazine says that with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic the priority of keeping employees mentally and physically healthy is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

“That is why so many companies are offering virtual wellness sessions for their employees, either for the first time or more than ever before … but to succeed, the programs need adequate levels of employee buy-in and participation,” writes Anastasia Yecke Gude, Founder & Director at Healing Hands Corporate Wellness.

Looking at best practices during the pandemic, Gude found the following trends:

  • Include employees in decision-making
  • Listen to their feedback
  • Track participation
  • Provide rewards and incentives
  • Determine interest before you decide on an offering
  • Track changes over time in data such as biometric screening
  • Include a variety of offerings
  • Emphasize a culture of health and wellbeing in the company

Tech Continues to Play Big Role in Wellness Programs

Technology Continues to play a key role in wellness programs with the Delta variant prompting some companies to delay their return to office plans and many companies offering a hybrid work model for the future.

According to HR Daily, some of the key roles that technology and virtual programming play in corporate wellness include:

  • Health portals that allow employees to enter health data such as weight, activity, and food choices, as well as virtual sessions with dietitians and other health professionals, will provide accountability and support that used to only be available face-to-face.
  • Wellness challenges that cultivate communication within teams and allow for socialization, whether they’re in the office or remote, will foster a sense of community while improving the health of employees.
  • Webinars, virtual grocery store tours, exercise classes, and cooking demos are all initiatives that can be used to engage remote employees.
  • Telehealth sessions with dietitians, mental health professionals, or health coaches will ensure that employees have access to support on-site or from home.
  • Virtual initiatives, whether they include wellness coaching to improve fitness or bringing employees together socially, will help employees feel more connected, engaged, and productive.
  • For some companies, the current environment can be an opportunity to address shortfalls with their wellness programs.

“The coronavirus pandemic has revealed gaps in corporate wellness that employers can bridge to improve employee health and wellness. With many workers working remotely and struggling with the economic and mental toll of the pandemic, employers will pivot wellness programs to empower them to better cope with the health crisis and reduce their health risks amid the pandemic and beyond,” wrote Corporate Wellness Magazine in an editorial.

Benefits of a Well-Run Corporate Wellness Program

The advantage of executing a well-run corporate wellness program can be an engaged workforce.

On average, engaged companies enjoy 3.9 times the growth rate of companies whose employees feel actively disengaged at work, according to Gallup.

No matter what size your company is, you and your employees can benefit from a wellness program with:

  • Fewer Sick Days
  • Improved Mental Health
  • Better Company Culture
  • Promoting Inclusiveness
  • Lower Insurance Premiums

Contact Employer Flexible today to find out how our stress-free HR and employee benefits solutions can help your company seamlessly navigate the way through The Great Resignation.  

Topics: Employee Benefits