How to Build an Effective Employee Wellness Program for the Frontline that Impacts your Business
March 1, 2023 / Employee Wellness Program Blog
Employee wellness encompasses the mental, physical, financial, and emotional health of employees. A successful employee wellness program not only increases employee satisfaction, it leads to increased productivity and happiness. The wellbeing of employees is a part of the employee experience (EX) — and a good employee experience improves business outcomes.
Because there are not enough resources specifically designed for HR and L&D teams who manage tens-of-thousands of frontline workers, we’ve compiled learnings from our customers as best practices. If you’d like to learn more, request a consultation and we’ll help connect your frontline.
What are the steps required to design and launch a successful Employee Wellness Program?
1. Understand your goals
Goals range in simplicity, from (1) improving engagement, (2) increasing sign-ups, and (3) better employee feedback to more complex outcomes like (4) increasing retention, (5) boosting an NPS scores, and (5) becoming an employer of choice.
In this example, goals 1-2-3 are simple and measurable. Gather current data points to benchmark future success during your current state before your roll-out. Goals 4-5-6 are also measurable but require patience as these entail cultural shifts usually do not happen overnight. The same tip about benchmarking applies here.
While planning, choose goals of varying complexity to give your team quick wins while working toward your long-term goals. Progress made on straightforward, short-term goals buy additional time and resources.
Customer Story: Safety is not always an easy topic to talk about — although important, it’s not a historically engaging topic. Like many of you, a WorkJam customer had a goal to “develop a culture of safety.” How to do it was open-ended, but health & safety incidents were the measured metric that they aimed to reduce. Through a communication strategy that crowdsourced pictures and stories, the campaign executed with WorkJam resulted in a 64% reduction in health & safety incidents. Because the goal was measurable and successful, the campaign now reoccurs throughout the year.
2. Prepare content
Content can seem like a difficult mountain to summit. Where do you start? Pre-built content libraries like Go1 can be tremendous resources to get the ball rolling — content does not need to be a barrier to begin.
Leverage existing content and resources, and simply add context that fits your brand. Using words that appear in your mission, values, and brand book can help tie non-branded wellness content back to your company.
Explore content in the format that fits your audience. Video, micro-learning, infographics — anything that is mobile-friendly. A frontline employee audience is not tethered to computers, so keep the medium short and engaging.
Customer Story: External software can easily be communicated and advertised through WorkJam. With a direct line to every frontline employee, we help deliver the last-mile delivery that a lot of software falls short of delivering. By using quick links and communication channels, we improve external software adoption by 50%. Headspace (the meditation app) was part of an existing employee wellness program for a large retail customer. When they advertised the benefit through WorkJam, the benefit saw sign-ups increase by 50% in just one week.
3. Deliver your program to your audience.
From benefit enrollment to safety campaigns to DE&I education, your program can only be successful if it is seen. Delivery down to the frontline has historically been difficult for HR and L&D teams. Perhaps your current technology only allows you to go down to the manager — this is no longer a viable way of operating. And if you require your communication and learning to be consumed in a breakroom, consider the cost savings by delivering it directly to mobile devices.
Your employees consume curated content on their mobile devices in their personal lives — work should be no different.
Digital frontline workplaces deliver the 4 pillars of frontline work: communication, schedules, task management, and learning. They also help deliver employee wellness programs in the flow of work. For example: By publishing communication and training in the same place as schedules, engagement rates with employee wellness program content skyrocket.
With weekly active user rates around 90% in most enterprises, high engagement rates in WorkJam ensure initiatives reach the frontline — we’re proud to deliver technology that works for both you and your frontline employees.
Customer Story: We’re proud to help our customers reduce the lift of open enrollment season by making signing up simple and easy — often achieving 100% completion without having to chase down individuals. WorkJam can shortcut communication by pinning important notices to the top of employees’ home screens. This creates visibility every time an employee punches in and out and completes tasks throughout the day.
4. Measure & iterate
What gets measured gets managed. If your results cannot be quantified, it’s a tough sell to keep the program going.
Views, clicks, conversion, and other engagement metrics are great datapoints that point to the consumption of information. If processes are paper-based or are only visible down to the management or location level, you’re missing valuable data that could otherwise keep your program going. By connecting your frontline with a digital frontline workplace, new datapoints are made available that justify previously unmeasured engagement.
Iterate to improve success and share them across the organization. You’ll likely be surprised at what benefits you realize.
Customer Story: When a distribution company was pleased with the completion rates of training that they pushed through WorkJam. What they didn’t expect was the impact it would have on their audit. This training was tied to industry compliance, so when they audit period came around, they used WorkJam reporting. The time of the audit was cut down from 5 hours to 5 minutes — it was a simple as an export.
How can you build a business case for employee wellness programs? Tie it into the total employee experience (EX). If you have more questions about how to start, request a consultation and we’ll lend our frontline expertise.