Physical and mental well-being has declined for many since the onset of the global pandemic, read more about how to implement employee engagement programmes to boost well-being for businesses.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been well documented, placing unprecedented strain on every industry. Yet despite the trials and tribulations of late, recent times have also presented several learnings that organisations can benefit from.
One of the most prominent relates to physical and mental well-being, which has negatively affected countless people since the outbreak. Personal struggles on a mass scale have instigated heightened health and well-being awareness like never before, compelling organisations to implement new ways to ensure their people remain physically and mentally healthy.
The primary reason behind this newfound determination stems from sedentary and unhealthy practices adopted during the pandemic, inadvertently leading to many battling health and fitness issues. In Dubai alone, all private sector organisations began a working from home scheme for 80 per cent of employees following the outbreak, with similar initiatives unfolding across the Middle East. This underscores not only the scale of virtual working across the region, but also the high numbers that became susceptible to the aforementioned practices. As such, a necessity to promote and adopt healthier lifestyles was created, paving the way for the emergence of health engagement programmes.
Inspiring and powerful in equal measure, health engagement programmes present a proactive approach to drive employee engagement, promote healthy lifestyles, and instill an organisational culture that helps to ensure every employee is well both physically and mentally. Technological innovations play an integral role in ensuring healthier lifestyles are upheld and health engagement programmes are ultimately successful. Wearable technologies – such as fitness trackers and smart water bottles – are already proven to be effective, successfully measuring behavioral metrics, encouraging healthier lifestyle choices, and preventing illness and poor well-being.
Wearables empower users to monitor and analyse their key health indicators – steps, training time, sleeping patterns, active calories, and water intake – in a way that appeals to any individual or age group. In the UAE, residents bought 1.1 million wearables in Q3 2020, increasing by 26.3 per cent year-on-year and 38.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter. Aside from their popularity, these figures convey that many employees would be open to health engagement programmes should their wearables play a prominent role.
That being said, insights and real-time information alone are not enough to facilitate a fundamental lifestyle reform, which is why health engagement programmes ensure change is sustainable and durable by using technology and gamification tactics to amplify the long-term motivational aspect. INGO Health is an example of a health engagement programme, having amplified the motivational aspect by integrating multiple gamification layers, points earning, and tangible rewards with personalised daily and weekly goals for a highly interactive and human-centric experience. Rewards are a particularly vital component, as they are a powerful way to amplify the short and long-term proactivity benefits and encourage people to continue leading healthy lifestyles.
Although society continues its re-emergence from recent difficulties, physical and mental well-being problems are by no means over. In fact, repercussions may endure long into the future if not action is taken now. Therefore, promoting healthier lifestyle choices through a health engagement programme is a necessity rather than an option, and companies can expect three outcomes to quickly become apparent that benefit both employees and the organization as a whole:
Physical and mental well-being has declined for many since the onset of the global pandemic, with sedentary and unhealthy practices a crucial factor. To dispel this negativity entirely and ensure HR professionals have the platforms required to restore the health and fitness of their employees to pre-pandemic levels, businesses yet to do so should implement employee engagement programmes with haste. Success in this direction is sure to instigate the above scenarios, subsequently benefitting both parties in a new phase of enhanced well-being, performance, and organizational prosperity.
This article was published in Gulf Business on July, 24, 2021.