The success of any organisation is dependent on its employees. They must buy into the culture and values of the organisation, to continue to drive it forward. We often talk about staff needing to be a culture-add, not just a culture-fit. Do they bring something new to the company? Do they improve our culture? Do their values match our company values? Or even add new values to the mix?
To understand this mix of personalities and talents, we need to make sure we understand the employees in our organisation, and this falls under the remit of employee engagement.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is often seen as how members of staff engage with programs and strategy implemented by the employer.
But it is more than that.
Employee engagement is how far members of staff commit, and add, to their organisation’s goals and values, and how motivated they feel to contribute to their organisation’s success. It is based on open communication between the organisation and its employees, is all about trust and integrity, and results in the conditions for employees to give their very best each day.
Employee engagement is being given a voice to offer ideas and being included as a member of the team, focussed on clear goals, receiving constructive feedback and being supported in developing new skills.
Employee engagement means having a real impact on the future of the organisation.
What is an employee engagement platform?
Ensuring that employees are engaged with the culture of the organisation, and that they have a platform to achieve their potential in the workplace, is such an intangible concept. So how do you even begin to measure this?
Well, employee engagement platforms allow you to capture all of this data, and take actions to correct, maintain and improve it. They aim to assist organisation’s with maintaining employee awareness of organisational culture and increasing their level of engagement in the company.
An employee engagement platform can be anything from;
- Employment surveys
- Gamification tools
- Team sentiment analytics
Most platforms won’t directly tell you what to do, only help you to collect data and assist in reacting to it and improving on it. A key example here is found in sending action plans to staff.
So, what is an employee wellness program?
Employee wellness programmes are defined as programmes that help employees stay healthy or even improve their health.
Wellness programmes can range from having a specific purpose, such as helping the employee to lose weight or stop smoking, to gym memberships, to incentive programs that provide rewards for participation in something, such as number of steps walked each day.
In the current business environment, mental health is becoming a big driver in this area. Wellbeing is now more than just physical health. Wellbeing is a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing. It combines physical wellbeing, with mental health, to ensure that people are both happy, and healthy, in their lives. Organisations are now beginning to implement wellness programmes, and use wellness platforms, that incorporate mental health alongside physical health.
What is a Wellness platform?
Similar to engagement platforms, wellness platforms give organisations a digital platform to deliver a wellness program. Wellness platforms often have many features, including the ability to:
- Measure outcomes
- Calculate return on investment
- Distribute materials
- Program management
- Action plans
So, what really is the difference between an employee engagement platform and a wellness platform?
Engagement platforms will help you communicate with your employees. They will let you know if your employees are aligned with the company mission, vision and values. It will help you to tap in to whether your employees are satisfied within their current role.
What it won’t do is tell you that your management team needs a specific intervention around sleep, or whether your marketing team need a financial wellbeing course. It also won’t assist you in delivering these interventions, and, won’t help you to assess the outcomes such as measuring productivity changes as a direct result of mental health and wellbeing, or calculating ROI of such programmes. This is where a Wellness platform comes in to its own. You begin to see benefits such as:
- Remove admin overheads
- Anonymise users
- Collect large data sets
- Access to machine learning and predictive algorithms
- Optimisation of programs
To read more about this we have 2 blogs here:
- Wellness Services – How to optimise, retain clients and expand using wellbeing tools?
- What unfair advantages can you gain through using wellbeing technology?
Which one do I need?
We often recommend that you begin to work on the engagement of your employees as a first step. Whether you need a full-blown engagement platform for this depends on the company. Once you begin to get an engaged workforce, something which will always come up is how much the health and wellbeing of the workforce is looked after. This is the point you need to investigate a wellness platform, so you can understand how to strategically make a difference.
If you would like to see an example of a wellness platform, take a look at our Lumien Partner Network.