An inside look: How technology boosts employee wellbeing
When you look after your people, you also teach them to look after themselves – that’s a little thought that sprung to mind when reflecting on the past nine months. In a year that brought us more peaks and troughs than a loop-the-loop rollercoaster, HR teams have had a big job on their hands managing the impact of COVID-19.
We won’t list everything HR Heroes have dealt with – we’d be here all day – but something really important that 2020 has shone an even brighter spotlight on is employee wellbeing. It was the buzzword of 2018-19 and perhaps previously viewed as something that was a ‘nice to have’ – an add-on to a suite of employee benefits.
If 2020 showed us anything, it’s that maintaining employee wellbeing isn’t an afterthought anymore, it’s essential. Not only for employees’ mental, physical and financial health, but also for productivity and morale, and those all-important business results.
We know that engaged employees make better decisions, work harder and are more resilient – all characteristics the workforce of today needs to weather the ongoing COVID storm.
Proactive and preventative wellbeing benefits can have an incredible impact on the lives of employees and in turn, the work they do. I’m one such employee and wanted to share a couple of things that Reward Gateway provides which have helped me massively. I hope you find it useful and it gives you ideas for what you can implement in your business.
Access to wellbeing content
I set myself a goal to be able to practice yoga more and do a headstand by the end of the year (I’m nearly there, so close!)
Using video content on our Wellbeing Centre, I accessed lots of online classes throughout 2020 and improved my practice over time. Reward Gateway’s new partnership with ClassPass means there are hundreds of videos to choose from, so I never got bored.
Wellbeing Allowance and fun clubs
Another goal was to lose a stone and feel better – after a long period of sickness I wasn’t at peak performance, and wanted to feel good again. Powered by our flexible benefits system, RG gives staff an annual Wellbeing Allowance to spend as we choose – all we have to do is provide our goal, how we will reach it and the cost of the chosen activity or equipment.
Once approved, the money hits our bank accounts in our next pay and we can get started as soon as possible. I chose to spend mine on personal training sessions, which I wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. I achieved my goal and feel so much happier as a result.
Another way I got to my goal was by joining RG Run Club… we set up a Slack channel for runners of all abilities and there are weekly optional sessions scheduled in our calendars. Seeing my colleagues competing really motivated me to get moving, and it’s also a great way to keep connected during lockdown too.
Financial wellbeing advice and tools
I decided I wanted to get out of debt in 2020 (I set a fair few goals - got to make the best of a bad situation, hey!). Using the Wellbeing Centre I was able to access financial advice articles and educate myself on how I could do this.
Reward Gateway’s industry-leading employee discounts platform SmartSpending also allowed me to save money on my everyday shopping - from household bills to groceries, fashion retailers and technology.
In one year I saved just over £500, my salary was stretched further and I could actually sleep at night knowing I was no longer in debt!
Mental wellbeing tools for employees
Reward Gateway’s LevelUp! Programme provides information and sessions about mental health, and it was through this I realised I needed some support with anxiety. Using our Employee Assistance Programme, I was able to access six weeks of therapy to address my challenges.
It sounds cliche, but it honestly changed my whole outlook on life and meant that I could show up to work as my best self every day. I also continue to access coaching sessions through Sanctus, which provides a safe space for employees to speak about mental health.
All of these benefits have had a huge impact on me both personally and professionally - without them my year would have looked very different and I’m so grateful for the support. I’d love to learn more about your wellbeing goals to see if Reward Gateway can help.