What Employers Can Learn From The Healthcare Industry: A Whole-Person Approach To Caring For Employees

September 14, 2022 - by WELL Staff

As a People leader, I’m incredibly passionate about building a whole-person centered employee experience that supports individuals fully throughout the milestones of their personal and professional lives. As humans, I believe we are designed to seek connection, feel that we belong, and find the space to show up authentically as our whole selves. What’s more, showing up as a whole person looks different through each life stage. 

When I started my journey with WELL Health®, one of my most trusted mentors asked me what I want to build and how I want to make an impact in my new role. I feel strongly that the most meaningful gift we can provide one another is the ability to become the best version of ourselves, however that looks to each of us.

I was certain I wanted to bring the support aspects that light us up and make us whole as humans to the workplace and create a whole-person centered employee experience at WELL Health®. What I didn’t yet know was how much I would learn about how companies can care for their employees from how healthcare institutions are striving to care for their patients – providing more connected care to better support patients through each new life stage.

Successful healthcare institutions treat the whole patient — employers can and should care for their whole employees:

Over the past years, healthcare providers have realized that preventative care, screening, and vaccines are important, but the mental and spiritual needs of their patients are of equal value. Helping patients take care of all aspects of their health leads to healthier, happier patients overall, and in the end can lead to better care outcomes — which is better for everyone’s bottom line.

Why shouldn’t employers take this same approach? 

By recognizing that employees lead full lives in and outside of work and providing support both personally and professionally, the workforce will be better equipped to truly achieve success. 

So, what does a whole-person culture look like in the workplace?

Employees are complex and diverse, and have whole, rich lives outside of work. Whole-person benefits and culture is an investment in effective, accessible benefits and programs to support all employees and nurture their whole self. Simply put, it means benefits beyond the basics.

The sky is the limit on programs that can support and enrich the whole employee. Some of the well-rounded benefits and cultural programs that employers can implement are: 

  • Mental health benefits and support
  • Fertility & family planning benefits
  • Robust parental leave plans
  • Workplace flexibility — in where, how and when work is accomplished
  • Individual advanced learning
  • Internal mentorship programs
  • Child and elder care support
  • Financial education and tools
  • Social support networks
  • Spiritual health opportunities 

How workplaces can implement a whole-person benefits and culture program

As we set out to create a whole-person centered experience at WELL Health®, the first thing we did was ask our employees what benefits and programs matter most to them. And while it’s impossible to implement every idea and recommendation, what I could promise them is that my team would constantly iterate.

The next step in creating a successful whole-person employee experience is ongoing surveys to assess a program’s success. A regular check-in with employees can quickly tell you what’s working, and what can be improved.

Finally, the most important step in creating this whole-person employee experience is to constantly be curious. My team and I strive to always be learning through researching new and innovative benefits and programs that will support our employees. Through connections at other companies across industries, social media groups, and human resources publications, we keep a pulse on benefit trends and topics of which we need to be aware along with an open mind on how we can get creative to implement quick wins.

Employers should know that great benefits don’t just matter to employees — they are essential. t’s a physician’s goal to prevent illness in their patients through promotion of a healthy lifestyle, and as such, it should be an employer’s goal to create programs that support their employees’ whole-health. That’s something worth building and a way that all People leaders can make an impact. ♥ 

 

Marissa Morrison is the Vice President of People at WELL Health®.

WELL Health® ’s communication platform connects patients to healthcare organizations through text, email, and phone.

 

Originally published as part of the Forbes Human Resources Council.

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