Yoga for everyone! Why do company wellness programs fail?

The Economist – Mexico City

Well-being programs do not always have the expected performance and this is largely due to the fact that they do not have metrics, prior research, are carried out outside working hours and do not propose a culture of prevention, this explains why in some organizations that have this type of strategies continue to observe high levels of work stress, reveals business research by startup Dale Hype.

According to the report, 80% of employees express stress due to work processes, despite the fact that their organization has wellness strategies. Paradoxically, 75% of corporations acknowledge that their employees have lost interest in the solutions offered by the company.

“Many are isolated activities, like yoga classes, and they are not a program with a follow-up. One of what we observe is that the strategies do not have a deep understanding of what the collaborators need and what triggers the stress in them”, shares Silvia Ramos, co-founder of Dale Hype.

At least 9 out of 10 companies have implemented measures to take care of the health of their talent as a result of the entry into force of NOM-035, an instrument that is often confused with a wellness program.

“There is still a culture within organizations of talking regarding well-being and health and risk management as a trend, fashion or mere regulatory compliance,” says Ariel Almazán, regional director of Wellness, Health and Chaims of Mercar Marsh Benefits for Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the specialist’s experience, among the frequent errors in the design of wellness programs are the lack of a comprehensive vision and policies genuinely focused on employees. “Workplace health and safety programs aligned to a corporate policy where everyone speaks the same language, everyone understands what the objective of the implementation is and once this is understood, we move on to the execution stage. When all this is not aligned to the needs of your working population, it is a shot in the air, without a specific target, ”he points out.

Dale Hype’s research also found that the vast majority of companies do not have key decision-making metrics for their wellness programs. In addition, its design has been left in charge of Human Resources, but without a deep investigation to detect the needs of the talent.

From the perspective of Jorge Mérida, creative partner of the Advisory Network for Wellbeing, the impact of the pandemic on people’s mental health highlights the importance of periodically reevaluating and adjusting wellbeing programs.

“Those programs that were created as a boost by Rule 035 I think are no longer enough now, even the wellness programs that emerged in response to the health emergency are not effective now. This dynamic change that has occurred in the work environment demands that these programs be continuously updated”, indicates the specialist.

Related Articles:  Technopathies produce physical and mental damage

To a large extent, explains Jorge Mérida, this obsolescence of occupational health strategies may explain why employees continue to experience high levels of stress despite the fact that the company offers them tools to deal with this reality.

More self-imposed workload

Dale Hype’s research found that during the pandemic some employees put on more workload on themselves to prove they were a good fit and avoid being fired, a situation that only aggravated the mental health toll. This is in line with what was reported by the Edelman Confidence Barometer last year: Mexicans were more afraid of losing their jobs than of catching Covid-19.

An important point in this scenario, Silvia Ramos points out, is that middle management leaders were so focused on results, and there were also few conversations related to the importance of self-care and taking advantage of the tools offered by companies.

Much also comes from culture, such as not refusing to carry out an activity because the person who asks for it is your boss and that is linked to how we behave at work and, although a space of well-being is promoted in organizations, we still have the challenge of a work culture in which we saw our parents grow up rotating shifts or working despite being sick, and that is another reality,” says Silvia Ramos.

For Ariel Almazán, the current context is positive to reinvent the benefits, promote flexibility in wellness programs, identify the needs of employees and modify some structures around these initiatives. “Today we know that the pyramid of benefits is inverted, in which benefits focused on health are traditionally provided to senior structures, managers and leaders within organizations,” he points out.

“A smart investment in well-being is when you have identified the needs of your population in terms of benefits and wellness. Because if these initiatives are not aligned to these needs, which are diverse and inclusive, there is no target to hit, and that is an expense. If you direct the arrow to a defined target, that is a smart investment”, she points out.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.