Why companies need to focus on holistic employee wellbeing

Companies are going out of their way to build wealth and personal assets for their employees

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Let’s go back a little in history.

Prior to the introduction of the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948, under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, any kind of employee benefits was only practised among manufacturing units with more than 500 employees.

“The employees earlier were not even provided with basic rights such as potable drinking water and washroom facilities, but with the introduction of the Act, things changed for good. With the introduction of more laws and involvement of Human Resources, the companies went from just not caring to sharing their earned assets with the employees,” says Anil Misra, CHRO, Jio Mart.

“The welfare and benefits schemes are tangible, whereas, employee wellbeing is broader and encompasses physical, emotional and mental health, and is closely associated with happiness”

Amit Das, CHRO, Bennett Coleman & Co. (Times Group)

Unlike the past, today’s employers are considering a holistic employee wellbeing programme which goes way beyond benefits.

It not just includes mental, emotional and physical health of employees but even other softer aspects such as relationships with their peers, their team-mates and colleagues, and further extends to resources, larger business goals, and how it impacts them and their work in several ways.

Misra of Jiomart, says, “These days, organisations offer wealth-creation opportunities to their employees in the form of shares, bonds and ESOPS. Companies believe that if their employees are happy their business too will progress”. This is because, “They realise that when employees experience a sense of belongingness in the organisation, they will contribute more significantly and sincerely than when they are working mechanically without being involved or engaged”

One can call it the need of the hour, given the scores of resignations and high talent attrition. Organisations are now dedicated to creating both wealth and personal assets for their employees.

Companies are now ethically and morally conscious about employee wellbeing. Many are willingly and happily sharing the wealth with the employees in acknowledgment and appreciation of their hard work.

Sharing the difference between the benefits and welfare schemes, Amit Das, CHRO, Bennett Coleman & Co. (Times Group), says, “The welfare and benefits schemes are tangible, whereas, employee wellbeing is broader and encompasses physical, emotional and mental health, and is closely associated with happiness.”

“While most organisations across the globe are prioritising flexibility, it is also essential to ensure employee wellbeing, to elevate the overall employee experience and give them a greater sense of purpose in the post-pandemic world”

Alex Augustine, chief people officer, WayCool Foods

“In many ways, welfare schemes and benefits are a subset of wellbeing,”he adds.

“At BCCL (Times Group), our endeavour has always been on driving the Total Wellness Quotient of our employees by creating an ecosystem of contemporary processes and policies that balances the mind-body-soul of our employees. We leverage the right technology, to provide consistent yet hyper-customised wellness offerings to our employees.”

At times, even small steps can do wonders. For instance, a simple initiative of including parents or in-laws in the employee health insurance cover can be a great progressive measure, as WayCool has done.

Alex Augustine, chief people officer, WayCool Foods, says, “The new-age work concepts such as WFH and hybrid in the wake of COVID-19 have entirely transformed how we connect, interact and work. While most organisations across the globe are prioritising flexibility, it is also essential to ensure employee wellbeing, to elevate the overall employee experience and give them a greater sense of purpose in the post-pandemic world.”

WayCool even conducts workshops to train employees on financial planning, mental health, Yoga and prepare them to handle pressure with ease. It also has an emergency response team which its employees have access to in case of any emergencies.

“With the introduction of more laws and involvement of Human Resources, the companies went from just not caring to sharing their earned assets with the employees”

Anil Misra, CHRO, Jio Mart

“These initiatives underline our commitment to staying empathetic with employees at every point possible, thereby helping them optimise their performance while also boosting their physical, mental, social and financial health.”

However, there are times, when the companies goof up on this front. Employees suffer when the communication is not clear or the managers don’t take initiatives or measures to let the employees grow. Lack of feedback from the employers is also one of the issues that can lead to disruption and impact the growth of the company.

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