Supporting wellness in the digital age
Corporate wellness programs are a staple of the modern workplace. Since Johnson & Johnson broke new ground with their 1979 Live for Life program, wellness schemes have become the norm for enterprises the world over.
Despite this, stress remains an ever-growing issue. Responsible for lower levels of productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher staff turnover, poor wellbeing is still estimated to cost the US economy over $300b every year.
"Poor wellbeing is estimated to cost the US economy over $300b every year"
Intranets are becoming a critical tool for establishing cultures of mindfulness and wellbeing. Due to their configurable nature, every enterprise can forge their own approach to corporate wellness through a digital workplace. The following section provides insight into one client's unique journey.
Trivallis: Nurturing employee wellness with an intranet
Developing a wellness strategy
Trivallis puts employee wellbeing at the center of everything they do. Their workforce benefits from a wellness strategy backed by senior leadership and spearheaded by the Vitallis staff group of wellbeing champions. As Samantha Graf, HR Business Partner and Vitallis Lead, explains:
"Looking after our employee wellbeing is not just one of our strategic priorities here at Trivallis, but it is something that guides our core values."
Several years prior, leaders recognized a gap in their approach to employee wellness. Understanding that improved employee experience leads to higher consumer satisfaction levels, the Trivallis team launched a revolutionary wellness strategy.
First, leaders launched Vitallis, a group dedicated to the wellbeing of their workforce. To amplify their efforts, Trivallis utilized their intranet, Hive, as a platform to promote a healthy mind, body, and overall self.
Vitallis: A pillar of support
Hive afforded the Vitallis group a reliable way of reaching all employees, regardless of locale. A dedicated Vitallis hub was launched to serve as a digital home for employee wellness. This increased visibility around the initiative and provided staffers with easy access to related resources.
Samantha Graf credits Hive as a fundamental part of their wellness strategy.
"Hive has supported our wellbeing strategy by enabling timely, fun, and informative resources to be shared across the whole workforce. Colleagues are notified about items they may find relevant and interesting, and significantly our remote workers can access information on any device as easily as if they were sat at a computer in the office."
The Vitallis' hub encouraged users to speak candidly about physical and mental health, leading to more than 150-user written articles and over 10,000 views amassed within the first 3 months post-launch. Trivallis' also took advantage of native form functionality to gauge overall wellbeing across the workforce. The output was a ‘wellness age’ – a metric that allowed Vitallis to monitor the impact of wellbeing initiatives on an on-going basis.
The group advertised social activities on Hive, allowing users to add events to their calendars with one click of an integrated Outlook button. Mental health first aiders were also appointed to act as ambassadors and training leads. On World Mental Health Day, Vitallis went a step further by taking over Hive and ensuring that relevant content was visible to all via the news feed.
Healthy employees, healthy organization
Trivallis’ wellbeing strategy has been so effective that it has even started to influence organizational plans for the future, including a move towards agile working and mental health training for all staff.
"Hive has played a large part in our wellbeing strategy. Looking back over the last two years of the Vitallis journey really demonstrates how utilizing a platform like Hive to talk to your staff can support wellbeing."
Wellbeing efforts have had a profound effect on Trivallis employees, including a 46% reduction in stress-related absences. By using their digital workplace platform, Trivallis invested in the future wellbeing of its workforce, resulting in higher engagement scores, reduced staff turnover, and a healthier, happier workforce.
3 ways to amplify your wellbeing program
It pays to use every available channel to look after your employees – after all, a happy workforce is a productive workforce. As well as benefiting employees, wellness programs boost your bottom line; a comprehensive review found that the average return on investment in employee wellbeing is 327%.
Despite these pay-offs, 75% of organizations rank stress as their primary health concern, indicating that many enterprises still have a ways to go in the name of workplace wellness.
Below, we look at how digital workplaces can be leveraged to amplify employee wellbeing programs and build support networks that make a genuine difference.
#1. Destigmatize wellness
All employers should play a role in overcoming the social stigma surrounding mental health. Create a culture where employees can talk openly about mental health.
Give wellbeing a digital home
Building a dedicated wellness hub on your intranet shows employees how important wellbeing is to your organization. These sections give visibility to programs and promote awareness among staff, while also providing easy access to resources.
Take the conversation to your intranet
Social features bring wellness dialogue to the surface and get people talking about physical and mental health. Social intranets provide a space to speak openly about wellbeing, leading to stronger relationships between colleagues.
#2. Offer channels of support
Without channels for support, employees can feel isolated when it comes to managing mental wellbeing. An intranet platform becomes a digital home for various avenues of support that give employees access to vital resources.
Create a support network
Listing contact information for helplines and resources on your platform is a great starting point. Nominating mental health ambassadors or creating ‘buddy systems’ can level up your efforts. You can identify these individuals on your digital workplace with custom profile badges.
Flexible work policies
Digital workplaces accessible from outside of your network facilitate flexible working. Flexible working options show understanding for employees that care for young children or family members, helping them maintain a healthy work-life balance. It can also give staff the headspace they need to refresh mentally.
#3. Get people engaged
Having a sense of purpose is key to feeling good about ourselves and what we do, so naturally, this extends to our work. Engaging employees with your organizational purpose supports wellbeing by reminding them why their work matters.
Recognize employee efforts
A recent LinkedIn survey revealed that 69% of employees believe they would work harder if their efforts were recognized. You can read more about how to do this in our article on driving engagement with employee recognition tools.
Get everyone involved
Running wellbeing campaigns and initiatives address issues head-on and bring everyone together for a good cause. World Mental Health Day, for example, is a prime occasion for promoting wellness activities on your intranet homepage. These campaigns underpin a culture of mindfulness, building a sense of corporate citizenship among employees.
Encourage employees to switch off
Giving employees the chance to de-stress is extremely beneficial. This can be as simple as encouraging employees to take their paid leave. Last year the average American only took 54% of their paid vacation days. An intranet platform that makes it easy to book time off can encourage employees to unwind.
Want to amplify your wellbeing initiatives?
If employee wellbeing is important to you, or you'd like to learn more about what you can do to support wellness in the workplace, book a free demo with one of our experts today!