Want to promote a positive working environment and prevent employee burnout in your workforce? It’s time to focus on ways to boost employee well-being.

If your talent is feeling their best, your entire business will be rewarded with increased productivity, employee retention, engagement, and collaborative innovation. But how? One aspect of helping tackle it is with well-being reimbursements.

If you’re ready to learn how to promote a healthy workplace culture and mindfulness through a structured focus on wellness, read on!

Employee well-being isn’t just another pop catchphrase

Employee well-being initiatives in the workplace are intended to promote healthy habits through work-life balance and incentivize behaviors that keep your people physically, mentally, and spiritually well. They can include preventative and alternative medicine, fitness classes on campus, meditation and mindfulness classes, financial health coaching, and more.

Employee well-being reimbursement basics

Well-being reimbursement programs set aside a set amount of money for employees to put towards the cost of wellness initiatives. You can think of employee well-being as a conscious, evolving process of achieving our full potential. You can also think about it as a directed program. It’s more holistic than just our physical health, and it’s much more an overall positive-lifestyle approach to health.

How to set up an employee well-being program

If you want to promote overall well-being in your workplace, an employee well-being program is a great way to go. But how do you ensure only eligible employees get access and that they stay within budget and only spend on approved activities?

You’ll need to make all the details clear and track and improve the program regularly. Let’s look at the process you should follow to get a successful program off the ground.

Get influential champions

As with any initiative, you’ll need to sell the need if you want to get leadership and your employees on board. Get yourself armed with analytics – how much are churn, burn-out, and absenteeism/presenteeism costing your company? Find your influential and champion member of senior leadership and pitch an employee well-being program as part of the solution. Is that you? Make the total well-being of your people a priority – it’ll make you a hero in your company, improve employee experience, and while positively impacting overall business outcomes.

Improving employee well-being in the workplace

It’s not fun – but, the technicalities are essential. Be very clear about what benefits can be reimbursed. We believe that people are inherently good. However, program abuse can happen – you don’t want to be receiving receipts for ‘retail therapy’ after all! Use technology to your advantage to track and manage your employee well-being program, even do the heavy, tedious lifting so you can just focus on your culture and not administrative tasks – that’s autopilot without removing the human experience from the experience.

Let’s get into the six domains of well-being: intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, occupational, and physical. The way an individual may interpret the relative importance of these areas can have a lot to do with their cultural or family upbringing. When you are a global company, this is top of mind to be inclusive of everyone, regardless of location.

In practice and based upon balance, all domains are equally important.

You could reimburse gym memberships, massages, and alternative health, such as acupuncture and yoga or meditation classes. Thinking of wellness in the broader sense is worth considering more than just the body, but the outward and often influential things that impact stress: financial health. With a financial health coach, a person may have more freedom of mind to engage in dance or healthy cooking classes, and often, better sleep.

Develop formal policy and procedure

We’re HR professionals, so of course, at some point, there will be some substantial documentation needed. Write up a formal definition of the program, how it can be accessed, who makes the final decision on expenses, and details on eligibility.

Think about how employees will be reimbursed – this will most definitely involve a chat with finance on logistics. Again, technology is on your side. Is it possible to circumvent reimbursement hassles by just issuing employees a well-being allowance with a set monthly balance? Absolutely – with technology that sets those parameters for HR and benefits teams, it’s a no-brainer.

Evangelize and promote!

Once you’ve got a program in place, it’s time to launch and promote. Make it clear that your company cares and is investing in employee health and total well-being. And why stop at promotion and internal communications? Blog about the program and its results on your company website. Write and submit an HR magazine article about what you learned and what the company gained, to inspire others, and promote your brand as a company that cares about its people.

Time to get well!

Ready to start improving employee well-being? Now you know the steps to follow to make the fantasy a reality! If you’d like some help getting your wellness reimbursements initiative off the ground with the help of HR technology, check out Espresa today.


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