How Employers can use Employee Wellness Programs to Address the Great Resignation

How Employers can use Employee Wellness Programs to Address the Great Resignation

Dec 05 2021

Throughout the pandemic, people have been leaving their jobs in record numbers. Focusing on employee wellness could help.

We’re in the midst of the Great Resignation – employees are leaving their jobs in pursuit of other opportunities at the highest rate in decades. People are resigning for a number of reasons – NPR cites better pay, more flexibility, and jobs better aligned with values as top reasons.

Individuals are also lending more thought to how they and their work are valued by employers, and how employers care for and invest in their workforce. In other words, many employees are leaving because they do not feel that their employer cares about their wellbeing. One Gallup Poll found that in April 2020, 48% of those surveyed believed their employer cared about their wellbeing; by March 2021, this number dropped to 35%.

By taking steps to increase conversations about wellness in the workplace, bolster your employee wellness offerings, and raise awareness of and participation in these offerings, employers may be able to limit the impact of the Great Resignation within their organization.

Engage in conversations about employee needs.

To best understand what your employees need to feel cared for, actively listen to their concerns and ideas. Surveys, townhalls and regular check-ins with employees are great places to start. Give individuals ample opportunities where they feel safe communicating what they need. Try to better understand what resources are working well and what ones need to be improved or added to best address employee’s physical, mental and emotional needs. Don’t just listen – use this information to act and address common concerns expressed by your teams. This will help employees feel cared for and heard, two important factors in employee wellbeing.

Define what wellbeing means for your organization.

“Wellbeing” might not mean the same thing to every person or team – research from Gallup indicates that making sure the understanding of the term and its implications are clear for your organization is important. Work with leadership to define it and consistently integrate it into employee and executive communications. When employees have a better understanding of what their organization is striving for in terms of wellness, they will be better able to invest in the goal on a personal level.

Actively promote your employee wellness offerings.

Many employers offer employee wellness programs – but only a fraction of employees might know they exist. Work on increasing promotion of wellbeing benefits to both new and current employees.

Partnering with leadership can be especially effective. If company leaders are actively participating in and promoting wellness initiatives, it is likely that other employees will follow. Leading by example is essential for better integrating employee wellness into company culture.

Leverage employee engagement to promote wellness.

Of course, wellness programs are only successful if employees who know about them also use them. Leveraging your leadership team is a good first step – so is actively communicating with employees about their thoughts on the program. Look for feedback and use what you learn to make adjustments. Especially as many individuals and companies continue to work from home, wellbeing offerings may need to shift similarly.

Also, recognize and celebrate the progress employees are making on their wellness goals. By listening to feedback and recognizing achievements, you can help turn employees into wellbeing program ambassadors. These success stories and personal experiences could encourage even more employees to engage in wellness offerings – especially when their voices are amplified throughout the organization.

It’s a tough time for employers as turnover rates rise in many organizations, but a renewed focus on employee wellbeing can help. There are many programs available – including through your health plan. For example, Priority Health offers a free wellbeing platform, Wellbeing Hub, to every member and has an employer-sponsored wellness program, PriorityWell, to help employers create vibrant, healthy workplaces.

Tags: ,