We recently shed some light on common mistakes that stand in the way of corporate wellness success and how to avoid them. (Read the full post here.) I believe it’s also valuable to examine what corporate wellness looks like when it works and learn from those you have seen success.
Recently named one of London’s Great Places to Work 2019 by London Inc. Magazine1, Libro Credit Union shows us how corporate wellness can really thrive within an organization. Libro’s approach to managing both their customers and their employees is very people-focused. Culture and employee engagement are important drivers at Libro and the company credits their wellness program as one of the reasons employees believe it’s a great place to work.
Following their achievement, I spoke with Brian Aalbers, Libro’s VP of Human Resources to discuss the reasons why their wellness program has been so successful. You can listen to the full conversation in the video below, but I’ll highlight some key takeaways.
Not surprisingly, a lot of effort has gone into the development and execution of Libro’s wellness program. All of their hard work, however, rests on three specific factors that have been integral to the program’s success: leadership, engagement and strategy. While they are simple concepts in theory, failure is almost certain unless they are properly managed.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LEADERSHIP
Leadership support for any corporate initiative is essential. For corporate wellness, it is perhaps even more important given that it is often seen as a “nice to have” despite the many benefits demonstrated by research.
Libro understands the value of leadership support and the importance of all levels of leadership to be on the same page to demonstrate their commitment. This includes employee wellness champions, middle managers, executive managers and even the CEO.
This means Libro leaders must support the wellness philosophy that their program is based on and model expectations and work-life balance. It’s also essential that they make room for different perspectives so the program remains inclusive and effective.
SUCCESS THROUGH EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
When asked to select the top three factors for success in wellness programs, 74% of employers were most likely to point to a healthy workplace culture according to the 2018 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey2. This speaks to the importance of developing an environment where employees feel supported and involved.
Source: Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey2
As an organization, Libro strives to foster employee engagement and a vibrant culture because they understand the role these play in supporting their corporate goals. They have adopted a Culture of Wellness, supported by their wellness program, which they believe helps employees be the best version of themselves. This, in turn, helps employees be at their best to support the company and together achieve what they’ve set out to accomplish.
Engaged employees are essential to program success and you must foster this engagement through ongoing communication. You need to listen to what is important to your employees, encourage their input and participation. As Brian states in our conversation, “wellness starts with a conversation.”
WELLNESS AS A STRATEGY
Implementing an initiative takes effort. To help insure positive returns, it’s important to approach wellness as a strategy that is intertwined with the rest of your organization’s programs and process.
“Wellness is in the details of the organization,” says Brian. Connections need to be made between wellness and how the company operates on a day-to-day basis. A wellness program needs to recognize and respond to the unique identity of your workforce. You need to link wellness to programs and processes you already have in place so that wellness becomes interwoven into your company and not exist as its own separate silo. You also need to adjust the program over time so that it remains relevant to your employees as their interests and values change.
When companies implement a new initiative, there is often an expectation that results should be visible soon after they start. Understandably, they’ve put in the work to create something, so they want to see it pay off. While you do need to establish timelines and implement measurable goals and checkpoints when implementing wellness, you need to think long-term when it comes to defining success. Recognize that time is needed to implement changes and while you can expect to see some positive results, you will likely need to do some waiting first.
Thank you to Brian for taking the time to share his insight on wellness program success and congratulations to Libro Credit Union for their commitment to corporate wellness. Their dedication and success can serve to inspire other organizations to start their wellness journey or continue to build on what they have already achieved.
Need some more assistance?
Employee Wellness Solutions Network can help you create a healthier culture resulting in a more profitable and successful workplace. Our memberships give you access to services including corporate wellness specialists, trainers and health coaches to help you create the best strategy for your organization. To learn more about the memberships, visit Employee Wellness Solutions Network.
1 London Inc. Magazine, February 2019: https://publications.virtualpaper.com/london-magazine/london-inc-february-2019/#46/
2 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey 2018: https://www.sanofi.ca/-/media/Project/One-Sanofi-Web/Websites/North-America/Sanofi-CA/Home/en/About-us/The-Sanofi-Canada-Healthcare-Survey/The-Sanofi-Canada-Healthcare-Survey-2018—Full-Report.pdf?la=en&hash=AE6899CB29A043F778B1BE34132E85B4A1183010