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Ranking 2014

Procter & Gamble (P&G)

- Contributed by Sonali Roychowdhury, Country Head – HR, P&G India

How does employee and wellness initiatives fit into your HR policies? Why is employee wellness an important milestone for the organization?

P&G has a key focus on healthy workplace through its initiative ‘Vibrant Living’ with the intent to bring together health & wellness programs for employees. The initiative lays emphasis on nutrition, fitness, easy access to health information, and an environment that encourages healthy choices and personal management of health risks. Several health education and training programs for employees are undertaken as a part of ‘Vibrant Living’. As part of our ‘Build from within’ strategy, we believe that a corporate culture that supports health and wellness is pivotal to the long-term success of employees and the company. P&G’s ‘Vibrant Living’ program as part of ‘Employee Value Proposition’ has enabled us to create and execute strong and sustainable health & wellness programs consistently.

What is the best way to implement an employee health & wellness program? Does the culture of the organization play an important role in determining the success of wellness as a strategy?

We believe in partnering with our employees on their health and wellness journey by inspiring them to better health everyday and empowering them to remove the barriers like time, accessibility and cost that often prevents them from utilizing their utmost productivity. The intent is to ensure that our employees can take personal control of their health and wellness on their own terms. ‘Vibrant Living Program’ is carried out in close collaboration with employees across different cities. Continuous support and role-modeling from P&G Leadership Team is a key enabler for the success of the program.

What do you aim to achieve through a structured wellness program for employees? Please elaborate on a unique initiative that your organization has been driving for its employees in this field?

P&G’s health and wellness strategy aims to enable a healthy and productive work-force performing at their best to contribute to the long-term health of our business. A structured program for health and wellness is a key enabler to bring this strategy to life. Our health and wellness strategy consists of three pillars:

  • Creating Employee Engaged Health Care - Helping employees and their families to benefit from P&G health and wellness programs. Certain key programs include annual health assessments of employees, Smoking Cessation Program, Nutrition related advice for Weight Management, Seasonal Vaccines etc.
  • Providing Health Education and Training - Enabling our employees to gain more knowledge to effectively manage their health and providing them access to training and resources. Key interventions include ‘Corporate Athlete Training’ focused on fitness and wellness, raising awareness on subjects like Fitness, Nutrition, Hypertension or any other site specific need via posters, mailers, brochures, CDs etc.
  • Inviting a Culture of Health - Focusing on the core elements that promote the culture of employee health and transforms employees’ perception of personal health. It includes leadership led programs and systems to drive lasting change towards a healthy work environment. P&G’s Vibrant Living Program extends beyond just offering and advising employees on ‘Right Choices’ for their health and wellness. It aims at designing and executing programs in right partnership with employees to enable engagement and thereby also reducing high-risk life style behavior.

Are there any measurable impacts? How receptive are employees towards wellness initiatives?

P&G India’s ‘Vibrant Living’ program enables employees with the right tools and information on health and well-being in order to have a sustained long-term impact on their lives. Through the course of the program, employees have responded very positively as they have experienced significant improvement in their health and lifestyle that they can measure and see during regular health assessment sessions. As a result, we have seen an increase in employee engagement and participation towards health and wellness programs.

Citi Group

- Contributed by Swati Khandelwal, Sr Vice President – HR, Citigroup

How does employee and wellness initiatives fit into your HR policies?

Citi’s commitment to wellness is core to its employee value proposition – to offer employees a culture of wellness that is embedded in our DNA. With this objective, Citi strives towards providing a work culture that integrates social and physical work place conditions with physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of employees thereby enabling us to attract and retain the best talent across the industry and brand ourselves as an employer of choice. In the current work landscape, ‘Live Well @Citi’ strives to provide tools and resources to help employees lead healthier lives as well as inspire ownership to improve health and productivity, thus establishing ‘wellness’ as an integral part of Citi’s culture.

HR policies guide and direct Citi’s Wellness initiatives to a great extent, by functioning as a framework to structure wellness programs within the organization, whether in terms of medical insurance or medical assistance to retired employees and medical aid beyond policy for employees, health and wellness facilities including wellness rooms for mothers and parking space for expectant mothers, alternate work strategy options, concierge services, corporate library services and Fun days.

When was employee health and wellness program instituted in your organization? What prompted the need of having these programs?

In 2012, Citi decided to structure its existing wellness benefits and offerings in the wellness space and adopted a focused approach to wellness through Live Well @Citi which is Citi’s global welfare and wellness strategy. The health and wellness program was primarily triggered by the nature of new age business today which is fast paced, dynamic and ever changing. The work landscape at Citi is characterized by a fairly young workforce with an average age of 32 whose work profiles demand intensive working hours in a highly competitive environment, rendering less or in some cases no time for one to pay attention to one’s health and wellbeing. At Citi we believe that wellness initiatives are required as an essential part to ensure an engaged and productive workforce which has a direct bearing on total savings, productivity gains and healthcare cost savings.

What is the best way to implement an employee health & wellness program? How much does a buy-in from the leadership team impact the success of such policies?

We believe that any initiative that is a core element of our employee value proposition should be driven by our top line leadership. Driving wellness through senior leaders and leveraging line managers and co-workers advocacy by bringing them on board is essential to integrating wellness in the culture of the organization. While senior leader participation can fuel employees’ motivation to adopt healthy habits, wellness is still brought about by employees taking accountability for their health. In conclusion, while a top to bottom approach fuels the participation and emphasizes wellness as an organizational priority, a bottom up approach helps sustain initiatives in the organization.

How important is to have a structured employee health and wellness programs?

Structured wellness programs communicate the message appropriately and help establish consistency in the organization’s approach to wellness. Communication of wellness programs, benefits and incentives needs to be impactful, targeting awareness, perception of health and sustaining motivation and thereby insinuating proactive healthy behavior. Structured wellness programs help record and maintain metrics which are crucial to ensure that wellness programs are well planned and relevant to the current needs of the organization. Data driven wellness programs create more impact as employees find more value owing to the relevance of the program. Structured programs also assist in establishing data that will help assess impact of wellness programs and impact on productivity.

Are there any measurable impacts have you witnessed?

A marginal decrease in the percentage of sick leaves has been observed since 2012 when wellness initiatives were instituted in the organization. While in 2012 the percentage of sick leaves was 9.49% in 2013 this number reduced to 9.17% suggesting an impact on the revenue through increased productivity given presence of employee on the job. While attrition due to health reasons was at 3.62% in 2011, in 2013 this number has only marginally increased to 4.5%, despite a 24% increase in headcount from 2011 to 2013, thus directly impacting the costs involved in not just retention of talent within the organization but also attracting new talent to replace the existing population. Our initiatives allows us to position ourselves as an Employer of Choice, thereby increasing our capability to attract and source best talent and seasoned professionals from the industry.

How receptive are employees towards wellness initiatives?

We at Citi strive to ensure that a wide variety of initiatives are offered to employees so that each may choose that which is relevant to his need and works best for him to integrate his or her work and personal commitments. In this regard it has been observed that the participation in wellness camps has increased from 10.3% in 2012 to 27.24% in Sep 2014. Also, the utilization of Club Mahindra stands at 127% for the year 2013 in comparison to 96% in the year 2012. Further positive trends in attrition due to ill health and increased participation rate in wellness camps are indicators of how well the wellness initiatives are being received by the employees.

Please elaborate on a unique initiative that your organization has been driving for its employees in this field

At Citi, Wellness traverses a structured path which starts at Awareness, where employees are given access to health information via health tips and newsletters. The next phase is Diagnosis and Risk Assessment, where health risk assessments are facilitated through Online and Onsite tests. Consultative guidance is the next phase where employees are encouraged to consult with experts to understand the health risks they are exposed to. Finally, Wellness focuses on Lifestyle Changes through institution of policies which allow and facilitate behavioral modification and integration of work and life so as to live a balanced life that is harmonious and fulfilling. Citi has undertaken unique initiatives to facilitate wellness for its employees by instituting policies around Lifestyle changes. These include Mahindra Fun days, Employee Assistance Programs, Corporate online library, concierge services, alternate work strategies and sabbaticals.

SAP Labs India

- Contributed by Ashish Dua, Senior Principal Consultant - HR

How does employee and wellness initiatives fit into your HR policies? What share of focus/ attention does it occupy in the overall pie?

Health and wellness is an integral part of SAP HR policies, locally and globally. This is evident by the fact that there is a separate budget outlined for health and wellness initiatives undertaken every year.

What is the best way to implement an employee health & wellness program? How much does a buy-in from the leadership team impact the success of such policies?

At SAP we believe that the best way to ensure success in any activity is through inclusion and teamwork, as such all our initiatives are driven not by a team that has members from the entire organization and from across levels. The same is true for the "Health for Life" team which manages the entire health and wellness program. This approach not only ensures that the wellness initiatives are as per the needs of the employees but is also based on facts and data which helps in securing approvals from the leadership team.

How important is to have a structured employee health and wellness programs?

Having a world class gym and a host of other wellness initiatives is not just enough. What employees need is a structured program. We had a health risk assessment done for the organization and also asked our employees what would interest them regarding wellness initiatives. The result was a structured program which focused on Prevention, Sustenance and Care. The target was to increase employee participation in wellness initiatives. The result is that we now have over 85 percent of our employee population actively participating in various health programs.

According to you, what are the three ‘must have’ wellness initiatives that a company should incorporate in a program- three initiatives that work best with employees and three initiatives that do not create much impact?

A one-size-fits-all approach certainly won't work when it comes to health and wellness initiatives. As such, it’s important for employees to be a part of the initiative which helps the organization achieve long term wellness goals but also creates maximum impact for its employee base.

At SAP the most impactful initiatives have been an Employee Benevolent Fund called ‘Care for Life Fund’ which is a purely voluntary, employee funded and employee managed initiative, used to provide financial support to employees and their families in times of unexpected and unforeseen emergencies. The Care for Life Fund operates through a Trust and runs on a small but steady monthly contribution by members. So also, the in-house crèche facility ‘SAPlings’ which caters to children in the age group of nine months to six years. Since the maintenance cost is borne by the employer, employees get subsidized rates for the crèche which is 50-60 percent less than market rate.

What do you aim to achieve through a structured wellness program for employees?

Our aim is to have the industry's lowest Health Risk score and 100% employee engagement in wellness initiatives.

Are there any measurable impacts?

Over all we have seen a considerable reduction in our insurance claim ratios and an increase the employee engagement in the initiatives.

How receptive are employees towards wellness initiatives?

From the time that we have started the structured health for life program, employees have been extremely receptive to the initiatives with over 85 percent engagement on these initiatives.

Why is employee wellness an important milestone for the organization?

At SAP we believe that Wellness is the most important step to increase both employee productivity and motivation. The importance of health and wellness for SAP is clear from what our Supervisory Board Member Jim Snabe had to say on health "The health of any organization is reliant on the health of its people.

Please elaborate on a unique initiative that your organization has been driving for its employees in this field.

The ‘Care for Life Fund’ is an emergency fund for the employees and the usage is closely monitored by a group of employee. There is a trust which is formed and looks into the utilization and disbursements of funds. More than 98% of SAP’s employees are a part of this entirely self-sustaining fund.

Would you like to share best practices to ensure successful implementation of employee health and wellness program?

The success of any initiative will only be possible if it has the buy in of both the senior management and the employees at large. The Health for Life team ensured this at SAP as far as the health and wellness initiatives are concerned. By bringing in employees from across the organization, from different age groups and at different levels, we ensured that the wellness initiatives are of interest and benefit to all.

Hewlett Packard (HP)

- Contributed by Ramendrajit Sen, Vice President Human Resources, Hewlett Packard India

How does employee and wellness initiatives fit into your HR policies?

Wellness is an integral part of employee benefits at HP India. It is aimed at helping not just employees in immediate needs but there is a greater focus towards ensuring employees understand their current state of health or finance (as the case may be) and work actively towards improving it in the long term.

When was employee health and wellness program instituted in your organization? What prompted the need of having these programs?

At HP India, we started driving initiatives in Wellness in 2010-2011. This was driven mainly to help our growing and steadily ageing population as well as the younger employees joining us, to understand the need to be a part of a program that aids in preventive healthcare and proactive financial planning.

What is the best way to implement an employee health & wellness program? How much does a buy- in from the leadership team impact the success of such policies?

At HP India, wellness runs similar to other major employee initiatives. Like performance management, recognition of benchmarking, there is HR and business involvement. The HP wellness program is endorsed and strongly supported by our global business leaders and that is reflected in the support received by the in-country business leaders as well. We have seen that a tie-in of this sort is very necessary for the program to succeed.

How important is to have a structured employee health and wellness programs?

A structured Wellness program is something that HP India both believes in and practices. We have in India a strong calendar where we have comprehensive health checks starting from eye/vision/overall health checks that lead to disease management. This data is used for internal reference on the various Wellness programs that we run.

What do you aim to achieve through a structured wellness program for employees?

Our aim is to help employees understand where they stand with regard to their health risks on both broad and specific, significant parameters. We will continue to strive to structure disease management programs for the chronic risks and generic maintenance programs for the lighter risks and have the employees own these programs for themselves. Such initiatives will allow our employees to see a tangible impact and improvement in their health and lives as they participate in various Wellness programs.

Are there any measurable impacts that have you witnessed?

We have seen very active usage of all our wellness programs. Over 50% of the population takes part in the various health checks being organized at different times of the year. We have seen a drop in the diabetes rates on a YoY basis across the organization and finally, we have been able to, with our comprehensive health check, detect cases of major diseases which the employee were not aware of and have helped prevent long term illness of the employee.

Why is employee wellness an important milestone for the organization?

At HP, wellness is a strong pillar of employee engagement and is seen as HP's commitment to its employees’ well being and long term health.

Please elaborate on a unique initiative that your organization has been driving for its employees in this field.

The HP onsite clinic with its comprehensive health checks and disease management program is one of our best offerings.

Does the culture of the organization play an important role in determining the success of wellness as a strategy?

HP’s culture is one of placing the employee at the center of all work. All our business metrics is also centered around the same. As we try to meet and exceed the market's expectations, our employees need to healthy and well balanced. Wellness therefore is a strong diagnostic tool of employee engagement.

Would you like to share best practices to ensure successful implementation of employee health and wellness program?

It is imperative to make efforts aimed at continuous improvement of the onsite programmes, tracking and maintaining records. Keeping electronic medical records for analysis and recommendations works well. Providing provisions for live records, available online to employees to check their records real time is equally critical.

Happiest Minds

- Contributed by Gaurav Saini, Associate Director & Head L&D - People Practice Team

How does employee and wellness initiatives fit into your HR policies?

The employee & wellness initiative is driven as one of the Employee Engagement programs at Happiest Minds. This program has been a core of the HR offerings and the attention for the management so it holds a very important position in the HR policies. This is being driven by the senior management itself, infact in some of the activities Chairman and CHRO takes the personal interest and drive it personally.

When was employee health and wellness program instituted in your organization? What prompted the need of having these programs?

The Employee Health and Wellness program was launched formally in July 2013. Our company is focused towards increasing the happiness quotient of its people and wellness is the key component of our initiatives. The company wanted to launch a structured program and instutionalised the concept of wellness by formally launching the 7 Ws program.

What is the best way to implement an employee health & wellness program? How much does a buy-in from the leadership team impact the success of such policies?

The wellness program has to be accepted by the people very well, this is very important aspect for the success of the program. So the policies and the framework should come from top and the buy- in should come from the bottom. There has to be an input mechanism while designing the framework and policies by the top management and also proper orientation and marketing should be there for the people to accept it.

The buy-in has to be from both the sides- top as well as bottom but the top management has to be practical and make the program interesting for the employees so that the employees are excited about it. The wellness program should not just be a formality; instead it should come honestly and realistically from the top management. The intent is very important.

How important is to have a structured employee health and wellness programs?

It is very important to have the structured program as it gives the right direction to the people who are going to experience it and also for those who are going to implement it. That's why we have launched this 7 Ws framework for our people which the only structured program in the industry.

Are there any measurable impacts that you have witnessed?

We have seen a very good impact on the happiness quotient of the employees. We have conducted various surveys to access this industry bodies like ‘The Great Places to Work’ have also given us high rating for our wellness initiatives. We have also seen lower stress levels in our employee base since the time we rolled out a structured wellness campaign.

How receptive are employees towards wellness initiatives?

People are very receptive to the initiatives and to prove this is the participation numbers. We have very high participation levels in all our activities. The success can be proved from this indicator that employees demand the program to be repeated or continued.

Why is employee wellness an important milestone for the organization?

I believe that employee wellness is a continuous process whose positive effects are often witnessed after two to three years. But as an initiative it can be a milestone for any corporate once they put together a set of initiatives focusing on the overall involvement of its employees. Wellness as a core element of such initiatives can have a strong and long lasting positive impact.

Please elaborate on a unique initiative that your organization has been driving for its employees in this field.

The Wellness Program is based on the '7 Ws' which covers all the key aspects of wellness & development of people. This program covers- Wellness (Preventive & Recovery Wellness Programs), continuous learning, employee engagement activities, logistics, facilities and much more than what a conventional approach will include. The '7 Ws' are described below-

  • Physical Wellness: Walk, Run, Sports, Games, Aerobics, Gym, Health Check ups
  • Spiritual Wellness: Yoga Sessions, Meditation, Laughter Yoga etc.
  • Intellectual Wellness: Skill Building Programs- Technical & Soft Kills, Digital Libraries
  • Professional Wellness: Competency Building & Enhancement programs, 360 degree feedback, Performance Enhancement Processes and Talent Reviews
  • Social Wellness: Group activities, Celebrations, Get-together, Blood Donation Camps, Joy of Giving, Volunteering, etc.
  • Emotional Wellness: Employee Counseling, Buddy program, Stress Management, Women Council- AURA, Structured touch base with the Chairman and CEO etc.
  • Environmental Wellness: Recycling process, Plant a tree, Donate food or clothes, Environment week, I Change My City initiative [in association with Janagraha] etc.

Does the culture of the organisation play an important role in determining the success of wellness as a strategy?

Yes Culture plays a very critical role in determining the success of the wellness as a strategy. Wellness is a program which reflects the values of the organization and in turn is defined by its culture.

Tech Mahindra

- Contributed by Sucharita Palepu - Global Head People Policies & Practices, Tech Mahindra

How does employee and wellness initiatives fit into your HR policies?

Associates engagement (our employees are referred as Associates) at Tech Mahindra is addressed from five dimensions viz., career, alignment, recognition, empowerment and strive (CARES) that helps us to take a holistic approach to engage employees and ensure that the people initiatives that we design and implement are comprehensive. The Strive dimension, in particular, is about providing a wholesome employment experience to our Associates by enhancing their personal well being in addition to their professional well being and our Wellness Program is an important sub dimension under Strive. Hence, it is indeed one of the key focus areas of our people practices.

When was employee health and wellness program instituted in your organization? What prompted the need of having these programs?

While we have had comprehensive insurance coverage programmes (medical, life and accident) since our inception, over the years our wellness programme – WoW (Wealth of Wellness) has evolved tremendously. Over the last 5-6 years, we have evolved into offering a wide array of wellness programmes with leadership buy-in & messaging, infrastructure and wellness policies and practices converging to fulfill the mission of wellness of our associates. In today’s global village work-life balance is extremely difficult to achieve. The IT industry has primarily a sedentary nature of work. There are multiple time zones for everyday operations and this adds to stress levels. Hectic travel schedule coupled with incidence of illness impacts employee engagement and contribution.

We thus believe that wellness is not just limited to physical aspects but needs to be considered in a holistic fashion backed by a strong proactive approach. Moreover, an organization’s approach to health and wellness distinguishes it as a preferred employer at the workplace.

What is the best way to implement an employee health & wellness program? How much does a buy-in from the leadership team impact the success of such policies?

Leadership buy-in is crucial for the success of a wellness programme not only because it provides the financial assistance needed to implement and maintain an effective wellness programme but also because senior leadership’s visible and continued participation in wellness programmes demonstrates their conviction in the programme, to the employees at large, ensuring greater acceptance. However, it will not be successful unless it is designed for grassroots partnership and harnesses the power of shared accountability amongst employees.

How important is to have a structured employee health and wellness programs?

Wellness, which includes physical, mental and emotional well being, directly impacts the quality of our life, relationships, performance and success potential and drives important outcomes such as greater productivity (through lower absenteeism and higher performance), lower costs (through savings on health care cost), higher morale ( through increased employee trust and commitment) and enhanced employer brand (through positive employee experience and feedback). Since wellness programmes have such high ROI, it is essential to have a structured approach with pre-determined programme objectives, teams with defined roles and responsibilities and mechanisms to evaluate outcomes of the programme with course corrections, as and when required.

According to you, what are the three ‘must have’ wellness initiatives that a company should incorporate in a programme?

One of the wellness initiatives which has been widely accepted and appreciated by our associates is the medical insurance programme under which we have extended the option of including their parents or parents-in-law by paying a nominal insurance premium and thereby enhancing the sum insured for their extended family. Pre-existing ailments are covered with no pre-acceptance health check up and there is also no age or time limit. The basket of options helps our associates customise the coverage based on their individual needs.

Onsite health and wellness events held on a regular basis that offer specialist consultation such as cardiac screenings, orthopedic camps, dental check-up camps, cancer screening camps, diabetic health check-up camps, eye check-up camps, gynecologist check-ups, skin and hair care awareness camps have also been well received. Our “doctor-on-chat” facility allows associates to get their health queries addressed by consultants on a real time basis as well as access to discounted medicines through online pharmacy tie-ups along with delivery facility at the office or their homes.

‘Let’s Talk’, our in-house psychological counseling service on topics like stress management, bringing a new baby home, child care, tips on raising teenagers, supporting elderly parents, dealing with work related pressures, etc. have proven to be an effective support system for our associates.

What do you aim to achieve through a structured wellness programme for employees?

The objectives are greater productivity (through lower absenteeism and higher performance), lower costs (through savings on health care cost), higher morale (through increased employee confidence) and enhanced well being (for both associates and their families)

Are there any measurable impacts you have witnessed?

We have seen improved engagement scores and feedback specific to health & wellness from our associates in our annual Associate Engagement Survey. Decreased absenteeism and exception leave requests has been another revelation. Our investors have witnessed better business results and our customers have shared positive feedback on our practices.

How receptive are employees towards wellness initiatives?

We have shared the mantle of the design and execution of wellness programmes with location leadership councils. These councils are a group of empowered associates from across job levels in each of TechM locations whose objective is to establish a connected workplace and promote positive change in the lives of associates. This group is effectively driving the ‘WoW’ initiatives in their respective locations by ensuring relevance and regularity and we have definitely seen an increased level of participation from our Associates with this approach.

Please elaborate on a unique initiative that your organization has been driving for its employees in this field?

Our uniqueness lies in the fact that we extend our wellness programmes to not just our associates on the roll, but also to their families through our top up medical insurance plan and discounted rates for annual check-ups (special investigation and consultation) at recognized hospitals and clinics. They can also participate in our onsite health and wellness initiatives and benefit from the same.

Does the culture of the organisation play an important role in determining the success of wellness as a strategy?

Yes, the culture does play an important role in determining the success of wellness as a strategy since it can only succeed when all stakeholders accept wellness as a way of life and wellness behaviours are demonstrated, championed and rewarded at all levels of the organization.

Would you like to share best practices to ensure successful implementation of employee health and wellness programme?

A practice that we have seen yield results is to involve employee groups in the design and execution of wellness initiatives which we have successfully done through the involvement of our location leadership councils. The other way of ensuring success would be to have a broad array of wellness initiatives from which employees can pick and choose the one that suits them the most. In essence, there should be something for everyone in a comprehensive wellness programme.

Visual IQ

- Contributed by Sanita Chittilappilly, Director – HR

How does employee and wellness initiatives fit into your HR policies?

A healthy workplace means more than just warding off cold and flu. It is more holistic and takes into consideration the physical, spiritual, environmental, intellectual, emotional, occupational and mental health of associates. Wellness promotion doesn't just benefit an associate but also an organization; as an organisation filled with healthy and fulfilled associates is a more productive workplace that retains its associates. Wellness program is an integrated part of Visual IQ and is practiced on a regular basis to make sure that the two W's of wellness and work are balanced together.

When was employee health and wellness program instituted in your organization? What prompted the need of having these programs?

High stress, longer work days, constant multitasking, high consumption of junk food etc, make it harder to focus and act on a wellness goal. Since majority of our associates time is spent at Visual IQ, we thought it would be best to have a structured wellness program built-into the organization through which we could increase the well being of all associates by enhancing all aspects of health. The program seeks to increase awareness of positive health behaviors, to motivate associates to voluntarily adopt healthier behaviors and to provide opportunities and a supportive environment to foster positive lifestyle changes. Since 2010, we had designed programs to provide a comprehensive health check-up and provide individuals with a health chart to give them an insight into their health and the need to bring in positive lifestyle changes. As part of this initiative we had a program called CHEESE- Corporate Health Evaluation by Effective Screening and Engagement- the reports of which were extremely alarming and made us realize that leaving wellness to associates and asking them to change by themselves is not an effective method. We therefore decided to work together and design a program that constantly motivates and engages every associate to lead and bring in a behavioral change; this was the starting point of wellness initiatives in Visual IQ.

What is the best way to implement an employee health & wellness program? How much does a buy-in from the leadership team impact the success of such policies?

For any work-life balance policy or wellness initiative to be successful, it should not only cater to the associates but also fit the needs of an organization. The associates and leadership team need to be educated about the rationale behind such initiatives and how it would benefit both the organization as well as the associates. At Visual IQ, we have implemented a joint effort where there is no difference between the management and the members. The team works together to close the awareness and participation gaps that plague work-place wellness programs, and this is where team-play has a pivotal role to encourage team members to participate and create accountability for results. Engagement, motivation, support and strategy are the keys to a successful program.

How important is to have a structured employee health and wellness programs?

It is important to have a structured wellness program because it’s not just an over the table solution, it requires continuous effort and an array of solutions that work together. It involves a combination of physical activity, awareness, communication, incentives, and long term commitment. Also a structured program helps is easier to map and analyze results.

According to you, what are the three ‘must have’ wellness initiatives that a company should incorporate in a program?

As an organization we can be more successful at creating a culture of well-being when we provide managers with the right tools for a holistic, multifaceted approach. The establishment of a wellness program has no end, since the needs of associates and organization are ever-evolving. However, it's important to continually revise and adjust wellness programs for maximum effectiveness. It must be a combination of different initiatives such as: complete physical and psychological checkups which helps in generating self awareness about oneself, introducing changes in food habits which can start from the office cafeteria which can be stocked with healthy options to choose from, awareness and in-house competition/activities which could introduce the team to physical activities which are easy to adopt in a workplace and can be sustained in the long run and planning small activities at regular intervals to sustain momentum and excitement.

Regular audits to can help an organization determine the participation rate, the lack of it and the possible reasons.

What do you aim to achieve through a structured wellness program for employees?

We are hoping that our wellness programs enable associates to adopt positive behavioral changes which would lead to a healthier and happier life for all VIQ'ans.

Are there any measurable impacts that you have witnessed?

Our internal study over the past few years post the introduction of various programs highlights 15% reduction in sick leave, 21% reduction in health insurance claims, and increased associate morale and retention.

How receptive are employees towards wellness initiatives?

Associates are always open and excited about new initiatives that are routed towards their well-being. Our initiatives have seen a participation rate of over 80% and touched upon all our employees who we were identified as a key beneficiary of such programs.

Why is employee wellness an important milestone for the organization?

Associate health affects more than just the medical costs; it affects the productivity of an individual. Unhealthy lifestyle choices often lead to chronic diseases thus affecting businesses; a reason strong enough for organizations to promote healthy lifestyle and large enough to explain the increasing focus on workplace wellness.

Please elaborate on a unique initiative that your organization has been driving for its employees in this field.

Know your Health initiative at Visual IQ is regular health checkup that is conducted every year. This covers checkups like ECG, blood test, X-Ray and consultation with a doctor. After the detailed health checkup, we realized that handing out a report to associates stating their current health conditions would not lead to positive behavioral changes. A constant environment needs to be created to promote a program which would encourage associates to adopt a healthy lifestyle and change for better. Additionally, just conducting a regular check was not enough; we realized there was a need to do undertake a detailed study which gave birth to our next initiative i.e CHEESE Program.

CHEESE (Corporate Health Evaluation by Effective Screening and Engagement) uses a unique approach to health screening through a dedicated team of specialists, at the workplace. Through CHEESE we tried to understand the physical and psychological health of each associate through a team of specialists comprising Psychologists, Audiologists, Nutritionists, and General practitioner. CHEESE covers the following checks-

Psychologists- Work Stress/Job satisfaction, Depression, Anxiety, Social Adjustment, Family Problems (Focus on marital and other issues)

Audiologists- Measurement of hearing sensitivity using Pure Tone Audiometer, Otoscopic examination of ears

Nutritionists- Anthropometric Profile, Height, Weight, BMI, Evaluation of Clinical Features of Face, Eyes, Hair, Nail, Skin Collection of medical history through Interaction Life style mode Analysis, Physical activity practices

CHEESE Evaluation report threw upon some alarming facts 41% of our associates faced the risk of high cholesterol- they were either overweight or obese. This led to the need of a health checkup with nutritionist playing a key role as 63% of our associates were overweight and 58% of them had high cholesterol. Our specific objective was to reduce the cholesterol and bring down the associates BMI to normal. Hence “Good Health Together” program was introduced. It was a 75 days health challenge wherein each team was equitably distributed with same health indicators post a consultation with the health experts. The individual and team goal was to normalize BMI level and reduce cholesterol level. Weekly checkups were conducted and the biweekly results of individual and team weights were published. The team and the individual who met the goal were rewarded with bi-weekly rewards.

Does the culture of the organisation play an important role in determining the success of wellness as a strategy?

A successful program takes time and evolves consistently before it can be integrated into a company’s DNA. Each organizations health initiatives exist in a unique organizational and cultural set-up; therefore lessons learned from elsewhere must be reviewed in the light of the factors and culture specific to an organization. Not all programs yield positive results, but constant improvement increases the success rate.

Would you like to share best practices to ensure successful implementation of employee health and wellness program?

We believe associate behavior modification on health takes time and is extremely subjective. The success of such programs depends on how we reinforce and lead them to a positive change by introducing different programs, motivating them to voluntarily adopt healthier behaviors, creating a supportive environment with strong leadership and unwavering commitment, utilising peer pressure as an effective tool and evaluating programs consistently. Below are a few aspects that could be taken into consideration:

  • Design programs that fit an organizations set-up and associate needs
  • Design programs which encourage participation
  • Identify and target one or two health care issues among associates
  • Achieve high rates of engagement and participation by rewarding both short term and long term achievements
  • Evaluate success of each program and the benefits of it
Fiserv

- Contributed by Kamal Joshi, VP-HR

How do employee and wellness initiatives fit into your HR policies?

Wellness is a core component of employee engagement at Fiserv. It holds a significant place in yearly HR planning and budgeting. With focus on employee wellbeing, Fiserv has developed health programs, physical facilities and behavioral standards within the workplace.

When was employee health and wellness program instituted in your organization? What prompted the need of having these programs?

Wellness has always been a part of Fiserv philosophy and integral to our organizational culture. In August 2012, we formally launched a comprehensive health and wellness program – Wellness 365. It includes enhanced medical facilities, informative workshops and wellness counseling for employees.

What is the best way to implement an employee health & wellness program? How much does a buy-in from the leadership team impact the success of such policies?

For success of any initiative, it has to be well adopted by employees at all levels. The management needs to proactively participate in such initiatives and lead by example. Fiserv India leadership consistently focuses on wellness as one of the HR goals – this motivates all our employees to be a part of wellness programs.

How important is it to have structured employee health and wellness pro-grams?

Every program must have a vision and direction to achieve the desired goals. We carefully organize wellness initiatives to gain maximum involvement from all levels. Through Wellness 365, Fiserv demonstrates its commitment to employee well-being – 365 days a year.

According to you, what are the three ‘must-have’ wellness initiatives that a company should incorporate in a program - three initiatives that work best with employees and three initiatives that do not create much impact?


We believe in adopting a holistic approach toward wellbeing of our employees. In this regard, complete health checkups with comprehensive reports, in-house medical consultation and medical coverage for families/dependents are absolutely essential.

What do you aim to achieve through a structured wellness program for employees?

Our ultimate goal is to ensure that employees lead a healthier lifestyle. To achieve this, we strive for maximum participation in our wellness programs. Also, we consistently keep upgrading our programs on the basis of participant feedback.

Are there any measurable impacts that you have witnessed?

There has been a positive improvement in cardiac health of our employees. We have also seen a notable decline in their smoking habits.

We are still in the early stages of our formalized program – as it develops, we are sure that all our employees will commit themselves to a healthier lifestyle. We expect to see a positive impact on health issues, utilization of services offered and benefits driven from the programs offered.

How receptive are employees towards wellness initiatives? Any measurable metrics/quotable instances?

Wellness 365 has become an integral part of Fiserv culture. In 2012, 65% employees participated in the health fair. Every month, around 250 employees consult our in-house physician for counseling. Approximately 35% of our employees participated in each of the two health camps held in the last two years and we received excellent feedback.

Why is employee wellness an important milestone for the organization?

As a global organization, it is our responsibility to be mindful of employees’ health. With Gen-Y forming more than half of our population, wellness initiatives coupled with “we care” attitude that promote good work-life balance play a key role in increasing engagement within the organization.

Please elaborate on a unique initiative that your organization has been driving for its employees in this field.

We organize annual in-house health checkup camps that give employees comprehensive health reports. Also, we communicate important health issues or tips to our employees regularly. Our female employees have greatly appreciated the self-defense workshops that we organize regularly.

Does the culture of the organization play an important role in determining the success of wellness as a strategy?

Culture of an organization is built by its employees and our employees & leadership have adopted wellness in thought and in practice.

Would you like to share best practices to ensure successful implementation of employee health and wellness program?

For success of Wellness 365, we campaign through regular, informative and distinctive communication. We ensure that we answer the question of every employee – What’s in it for me? In addition to this, we regularly solicit feedback and conduct demand-based workshops.

Atul Limited

- Contributed by Deepak Ahuja, Head – Employee Care & OD

How does employee and wellness initiatives fit into your HR policies?

At Atul, we firmly believe in the philosophy of putting ‘People before profits and values before numbers’. Employee health and well-being forms the core of our employee engagement initiatives which goes well beyond employees and encompasses structured interventions for dependents as well. Our philosophy is further cemented by the belief that a Healthy employee is a Happy and a Productive employee. Health and wellness initiatives at Atul bags 1% of our Human Resource cost and is being reviewed from time to time by the top management team.

When was the health and wellness program instituted in your organization? What prompted the need of having these programs?

Employee welfare has always been the focal point for formulation of any policy. Customarily, our Department of Health (DOH) was looking into the employee health and maintenance till December 2008. It was in the early 2009, when the Human Resource unit introduced an indigenous Employee Care Cell committed to the overall well-being of employees of which employee health and wellness constitutes a major pie. The Employee Care Cell in conjunction with the DOH has established a state-of-art health facility with modern equipments. With the advanced employee health reports it was learnt that employee well-being needs more focused attention and as a consequence structured initiatives were rolled out year on year.

What is the best way to implement an employee health & wellness program? How does buy-in from the leadership team impact the success of such policies?

Health and Wellness initiatives cannot be a one off activity or event, it needs to be imbibed and institutionalized in the culture of the organization. In fact, it involves a sea change in the life style of an individual. Introducing these initiatives collaboratively at multiple levels with a fusion of both; bottom to up and top to bottom has really worked for us.

While the identification for an initiative is done collaboratively, sensitization to the top management is facilitated by HR which makes the acceptance of change merrier. The implementation across the organization is done via top to bottom approach in order to garner maximum out of the initiative.

How important is to have a structured employee health and wellness programs?

Very important, in fact it is mandatory. A structured intervention brings in much seriousness, focus and acceptance and produces desired results.

According to you, what are the three ‘must have’ wellness initiatives that a company should incorporate in a program?

Three must have wellness initiatives for corporate:

  • ‘Biggest Loser - 50 days team weight loss challenge’ - Behavioral psychologists assert that if a person continues an activity for 21 days, it becomes a habit. This weight loss challenge is conceptualized on the similar philosophy. Employees form a team of 7-8 members and compete with the fellow team mates. During the course of 50 days, they get an opportunity to meet and interact with wellness experts’ best in the field. Members get inputs on different dimensions like nutrition, health, stress, meditation, enhancing strength and conditioning etc. Members implement these aspects in day to day life and become fitter and healthier. Over the period of time, this initiative has helped in ushering in a culture of health and wellness in the organization.

    Statistics :

    Edition No of teams No of participants Fitness and nutrition workshops Fitness challenges % weight loss
    I 13 118 8 9 8.64%
    II 16 126 10 11 9.27%
  • ‘Atul Fun Run‘ – This initiative has helped our employees realize that it just takes one to walk out of their comfort zone and hit the road to get fitter and active. More than 670 employees including dependents participated in the run making it a huge success
  • ‘Atul Premier Cricket League‘ – A 3 months cricket league conceptualized on the lines of Indian Premier League inviting 32 teams from amongst the employees battling for the winning title. This event involves more than 500+ employees participating every year

What do you aim to achieve through a structured wellness program for employees?

With structured wellness programs, we aim to engage our employee by creating a culture of well-being which ultimately facilitates enhancement of health, team synergy, interpersonal relations and productivity.

Are there any measurable impacts that you have witnessed?

The health and wellness initiatives have reaped us payoffs in manifolds. We have noticed greater inter-departmental cooperation, an increased synergy in teams, reduction in leaves on medical grounds and above all, an increase in the ‘Employee Satisfaction Survey’ score

How receptive are employees towards wellness initiatives?

So far, we have been successful in implementation of health initiatives as our initiates are ‘for the employees, by the employee and of the employees.’ Participation of employees from conceptualization to execution has been the key to our success. Increased participation in social and wellness initiatives and positive feedback from kin of employees is a testimony of our commitment towards their well-being.

Why is employee wellness an important milestone for the organization?

It goes with our philosophy of putting ‘People before Profits and Values before Numbers.’ We believe in going beyond transactional relationship with employees.

Please elaborate on a unique initiative that your organization has been driving for its employees in this field?

As mentioned earlier, our three programs i.e. 'Biggest Loser – Team weight loss challenge', 'Atul Fun Run' and 'Atul Premier Cricket League' have been well received by our employees. Employee participation in the process throughout gets the ball rolling.

Would you like to share best practice to ensure successful implementation of employee health and wellness program?

Collaboration, adequate need assessment, buy-in from top management, role modeling by supervisors and involvement of family is what it takes for successful implementation of health and wellness program in an organization.

Multi Screen Media (Sony Entertainment)

- Contributed by Smriti K Singh, Executive Vice President and Head, Human Resources Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd.

How do employee and wellness initiatives fit into your HR policies?

Wellness initiatives are an integral part of our HR philosophy and have been branded under the banner ‘MSM Care’ that addresses all health and wellness policies of the organization. It therefore occupies a reasonable share of the HR budget.

When was employee health and wellness program instituted in your organization? What prompted the need of having these programs?

We have always had a focus on health and wellness, and over the years we have leveraged specific practices for team building and group activities. There were no challenges which triggered us to launch the health initiatives – we believe in the mantra of being healthy and being proactive in our approach towards health. At MSM, we believe that employees are our greatest assets and recognize that the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of employees directly impact their work behaviour, efficiency and productivity. With the increase in lifestyle diseases given the current work scenario, professional and personal stress all of us go through, healthy living not only helps reduce stress level but also cures and helps avoid certain lifestyle diseases.

What is the best way to implement an employee health & wellness program? How much does a buy-in from the leadership team impact the success of such policies?

There is no best way or approach that can be quoted. Buy in and participation of senior leadership always impacts the success of policies and initiatives in a positive manner.

How important is to have a structured employee health and wellness program?

It is extremely important to have a structured program around wellness initiatives, in the absence of which chances of initiatives losing their importance, intent and objectives are very high. Additionally, a structured program ensures that varied dimensions of health and wellness get addressed through a pool of complementary initiatives.

According to you, what are the three ‘must have’ wellness initiatives that a company should incorporate in a program?

The three “must have” would certainly include putting in place a robust, employee friendly life and medical insurance coverage. Annual health check-ups and on-going engagement initiatives around stress relief and healthy habit building like Walking, Weight Loss, Meditation, Workouts, etc. also play a critical role.

Regular audits to can help an organization determine the participation rate, the lack of it and the possible reasons.

What do you aim to achieve through a structured wellness program for employees?

Physical, mental and emotional well-being of our employees is what we intend to achieve through our MSM Care initiatives. Healthy, engaged employees make a healthy, productive organization.

Is there any measurable impact that you have witnessed?

We have observed the following impact of a good wellness policy on employees:

  • Better Health – enhanced fitness levels, fulfillment of healthy BMI and weight loss goals
  • High levels of trust in the organization
  • Less worries – owing to the employee friendly policies around mediclaims and life insurance coverage and annual health checks (during the annual Health Checks, several employees get to know about some critical health concerns/ illness which need immediate action/cure)
  • Sabbaticals help employees take break from work in case of health concerns, without the fear of losing their job

Why is employee wellness an important milestone for the organization?

A well defined wellness policy can have immense impact on an organization leading to highly engaged employees, improved employee productivity, positive and high energy work environment, improved collaboration and cross-functional teamwork. Above all, such initiatives help to create a positive employer brand which cares for its people.

Please elaborate on a unique initiative that your organization has been driving for its employees in this field.

To instill the habit of ‘Healthy Living’ in our employees, we launched a comprehensive wellness program and branded it as ‘Revivall ’ – which meant Revive All!!

Objectives of Revivall:

Healthy Living for all employees, with the help of -

Wellness Drive (a 100 Day Health Journey, celebrated every year!)

  • Walking
  • Healthy BMI
  • Stress Management

Coupled with:

  • Annual Health Check-ups for all employees (free of cost) and for their families (at subsidized rates)
  • Doctor visit in the office 2-3 times every week – free service for all employees

Along with:

  • Mediclaim assistance (covering self, spouse, kids and parents) – free of cost
  • Life Insurance coverage for all Employees (insured amount - 4 times of their CTC) – free of cost
  • Sabbaticals for health reasons

Does the culture of the organisation play an important role in determining the success of wellness as a strategy?

Yes, the organization culture plays an important role in determining the success of wellness as a strategy.

Would you like to share best practices to ensure successful implementation of employee health and wellness program?

A successful program takes time and evolves consistently before it can be integrated into a company’s DNA. Each organizations health initiatives exist in a unique organizational and cultural set-up; therefore lessons learned from elsewhere must be reviewed in the light of the factors and culture specific to an organization. Not all programs yield positive results, but constant improvement increases the success rate.

Would you like to share best practices to ensure successful implementation of employee health and wellness program?

A ‘Comprehensive Wellness Strategy’ which encompasses all dimensions of employee health and wellbeing, and is supported by senior leadership vision and active participation from employees – is the key to success for any employee wellness program.

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