Why HR strategy is vital and how to include wellbeing

A quick summary:

Understanding wellbeing requirements in your business 🔎

Conducting gap analysis 📊

Creating a wellbeing program plan 💡

Implementing program plans with wider team support 🤝

Utilising wellbeing platforms and tools ✅

The past couple of years has shown the importance of the Human Resources department in any business. During COVID, HR teams took on a new hat in their already multiple roles to support the business transit to remote work or identify various ways to support the team and employees. It shows how crucial the function of HR is for the business to stay adaptive to changing times.

A business needs a proper HR strategy so they can take care of the team and employees who will take care of their business. Running the HR function without a proper thought process will do more damage than good. People are the main asset of the organisation and anything we decide for them should be thoroughly thought through. 

In short, a Human Resource Strategy or HR Strategy is a plan that sets the vision for the company for the next few years through which organisations can create an alignment between the vision and the work they do with people at the focus. HR Strategy helps employees to make day-to-day decisions by identifying if they align with the vision and aspirations of the business. 

It also helps to improve the relationship between the management and employees through clear communication. This also leads to businesses creating a better employee engagement where the employee feel connected to the business. When businesses know what and how they want to focus on they can create better policies that match their requirements and provides guidance to the team. With better communication and clarity in vision, employee productivity will also be increased. Having an HR Strategy can pave the way for the business to succeed. 

The various aspects of HR Strategy are recruitment, talent management, compensation, succession planning, and corporate culture. All of these need to be included in the plan that the business is creating. The workforce environment has seen many changes in the past few years from COVID to recession. One thing it has created an emphasis on is employee wellbeing. 

How to include employee wellbeing in a HR strategy

When a business creates an HR Strategy, they also need to include employee wellbeing as a priority if they care for the employees. Suggested ways of including wellbeing in the HR strategy are:

Understand the requirements of wellbeing in your business

Though the concept of wellbeing is the same, the approaches for different businesses can be very different. For example, IT companies might require a wellbeing program more focused on physical health, body posture, and eye-sight along with mental health. Whereas businesses demanding more physical strength might need to focus on healthy eating, and body relaxing exercises. Thus, it is important for businesses to analyse what kind of wellbeing program fits their need and what the employees are demanding. 

A simple survey shared with the team can help businesses identify the most needs and also, give accountability to their managers to find what people require the most. Asking managers to collect employee feedback during 1:1 can also provide a good data point for the business to understand the need.

Conduct gap analysis 

You might be one of the businesses which already have wellbeing initiatives and programs. The business can then find out the effectiveness of these programs and initiatives. Use data to understand how many people are using the program and how many are actually benefiting from it. 

In addition to it, the survey mentioned in point #1 will help identify if the current programs meet the needs of the people or not. Also, it will provide good guidance on what can or needs to be done. Identify if your team prefers a different set of programs than what you are providing or if there are additional programs that can be done on top of it. Understanding what is being asked and provided and filling the gap is important for assuring the success of any wellbeing program launched by the company. 

Create a program plan

Once the business has understood what the team requires, it can help create a plan. It is understandable that businesses might not be able to address all the issues at once. But, knowing what is required can help them prioritise the demands and create a plan for stagewise implementation.  

Creating a program plan with dates creates accountability for the business, as well as the employee, will know what they can expect and when. It also helps businesses plan their financial needs on time so that the wellbeing initiatives can be launched seamlessly. It also gives time to train your people managers and management team on the various initiatives and how they can handle the requests that come over. 

Implement the programs and project with the support of the team

Though wellbeing programs are very essential to businesses and employees these days, a lot of times they are very personal and sensitive affairs. For example, the taboo surrounding mental health makes employees feel uncomfortable coming forward and asking for support. Businesses need to create a safe environment where employees can rest assured that their personal matters will not be shared publicly and would not affect their job. 

Businesses alone cannot create a safe environment. Involving employees and managers to share their stories and support people who need help can provide an extra dose of confidence to people who are reluctant to come forward and ask for help. The community or peers-based support system can lead a long way in the smooth implementation of the projects. 

Utilising online platforms and tools for ease of implementation

As mentioned before, the types of wellbeing programs can differ as per the business and also, it differs based on what the employees are looking for. As businesses, we would want to be able to deliver to the demands of our team to assure that they are satisfied and happy. But, the reality is also that it can be over overwhelming for the HR and management team to cater to the needs of individuals. Things such as health, and counselling can be very different depending on the person. 

There are employee wellbeing platforms such as Heka that can help businesses smoothen their employee wellbeing programs and initiative. These platforms provide a variety of options that your employees can use and you do not have to stress about the administrative sides of things. Options and ease of use of these platforms guarantee the successful implementation of the wellbeing initiatives and programs. 

For any business, employees are their most important assets. It is never too late to initiate programs that show the employees that the business cares for them and their wellbeing. 

Credit: Yogina works with DayoneHR as an HR Transformation Consultant. DayoneHR specialises in selecting and implementing HR systems to support your people and business objectives.