A Holistic Employee Wellbeing Program Can Address Systemic Barriers


McLean & Company, the trusted partner of HR and leadership professionals globally, has published a new research blueprint to help organizations build an employee wellbeing program designed to meet employee needs and help organizations focus on employee wellbeing in their day-to-day operations, culture, and leadership in order to thrive in today’s environment.

According to the firm’s 2022 HR Trends Report, organizations that prioritized employee needs over organizational needs during the pandemic were 1.5 times more likely to experience high overall performance and 1.4 times more likely to experience high workforce productivity.

Organizations with effective wellbeing programs see many benefits, such as increased productivity, engagement, morale, and talent attraction. Furthermore, these organizations realize decreased turnover, absenteeism, and burnout.

McLean & Company’s research has found that most organizations report that less than half of their employees participate in the wellbeing programs being offered. This is often due to the misalignment between the initiatives provided by organizations and the needs of the employee.

Creating an effective employee wellbeing program requires a mindset shift. Traditional employee wellbeing programs focused on helping employees better manage work-related stressors. However, some of these approaches failed to account for the range of stressors employees experience and the active role organizations play in creating a culture that encourages or inhibits wellbeing.

The firm’s new blueprint explains that organizations have a responsibility to acknowledge the role individual stressors, such as caregiving responsibilities and financial strain, and societal stressors, including political, social, and economic, have on employees and need to provide resources to support their wellbeing.

The research further indicates that effective employee wellbeing programs address systemic barriers and provide resources that target multiple levels, such as:

  • Individual initiatives that employees can choose to participate in based on their needs and interests.
  • Team initiatives that target team culture or social norms, supervisor behaviors, and co-worker relationships.
  • Organizational initiatives that target all employees and promote a culture that recognizes, rewards, and reinforces wellbeing.

As the boundary between work and life becomes increasingly blurry, employees are no longer able to leave their personal lives at the door, making employee wellbeing programs much more essential. McLean & Company recommends that organizations use the following holistic steps to create an effective wellbeing program:

  • Gather data and employee feedback to identify gaps in the existing initiatives and uncover employee wellbeing needs.
  • Select the organization’s wellbeing priorities and build a program composed of initiatives that meet employee needs and address systemic barriers.
  • Create a customized and targeted communications plan to ensure employees are fully aware of the wellbeing initiatives being offered.

The complete blueprint on how to Create a Holistic Employee Wellbeing Program is available for download now so that HR departments can implement recommendations immediately.

To learn more about McLean & Company and to download all the latest research, visit hr.mcleanco.com and connect via LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media professionals are encouraged to register for McLean & Company’s Media Insiders program for more research and insights. This complimentary program provides unrestricted, on-demand access to HR, IT, and software industry content and the ability to speak with subject matter experts from a group of more than 200 research analysts and thought leaders. To register for access, contact pr@mcleanco.com.

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