How Indian Companies are Addressing Employee Health and Wellness

A new survey of HR leaders in India looks at how small, medium, and large organizations in the country are enabling employees to be their best selves with employee wellbeing initiatives.

In Worldwide ERC®’s remote work research, it found that senior HR leaders are prioritizing work-life balance for remote employees, a result that reflects the world of work’s increasing focus on employee health, wellness, and engagement. Now, a recently released survey report of human resources (HR) leaders from 400 small, medium, and large organizations across 15 different industries in India set out to understand why and how corporate India has implemented employee wellbeing programs, what has enabled their design, what success looks like across different health metrics, and how to engage employees along the way.

Indian organizations dedicate resources to address the spectrum of wellbeing

It found that 40% of organizations have a documented wellbeing plan in place, and that 50% of organizations offer such health benefits as screenings or health awareness programs to employees. Organizations are dedicating resources to addressing the spectrum of wellbeing, which includes such dimensions as physical and mental wellbeing, as well as even financial and “planetary” wellbeing (education and awareness on the importance of sustainability).

Key takeaways from the survey that shed light into how organizations in India are tackling the wellbeing challenge include:

  • Most companies (71%) evaluate the impact of their wellbeing programs, using varying metrics such as participation rate (50%) to the cost of employee health insurance claims (22%).
  • Two out of three surveyed organizations (or 66%) consider wellbeing initiatives as part of employee engagement. Going even further, 56% reported that wellbeing programs help improve employee performance, and as a result, a company’s bottom line.
  • With organizations viewing wellbeing as part of employee engagement, it may be seen as ironic that 65% of organizations also have trouble engaging their employees in wellbeing programs.
  • Large organizations in particular have rolled out technology-enabled wellbeing initiatives (53%, compared to just 19% of small organizations).

Enabling a successful wellbeing program in India

According to the report, enabling a successful wellbeing program or initiative takes a combination of factors, beginning with a dedicated budget that can support a well-rounded and comprehensive program while also providing data to measure ROI. Having a documented strategy that includes such elements as well-defined goals, communication strategies, and measurement tools is essential. These efforts require substantial buy-in as well, and it often takes a dedicated voluntary team of leaders to get a program off the ground.

Most of all, wellbeing initiatives are designed with the employee’s needs in mind. As a result, buy-in from employees is crucial to making or breaking employee wellness programs and goals. As the survey shows, employees may struggle with engaging with these initiatives. It may help to look at smaller organizations, who report better participation rates, most likely because the smaller size enables smoother channels of communication. Larger companies may benefit from “decentralizing and allowing regional business units to customize the plan” to increase employee participation rates.

Whether in India or elsewhere around the globe, organizations are taking the necessary steps to comprehensively address the wellbeing of their employees across multiple health factors. Not only can it increase a company’s bottom line, but it most importantly enables employees to tap into their best selves when they’re supported with dedicated wellness initiatives.

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