How to achieve the 4 pillars of employee wellness

Posted by Alden Hui on December 3, 2020
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Employee wellbeing has been a big topic of discussion in 2020 as workers are spending less time outside and more time in their home offices. With employee wellness being directly linked to productivity, it's no surprise that employers are spending money on wellness. In this article, discover the four pillars of employee wellness and how to achieve success in each of them.


How Employee Wellbeing Affects Productivity 

One study finds that the two primary factors of productivity are engagement to work and health (mentally and physically). If an employee is engaged to their work but feeling mentally drained from external factors, their productivity may go down. A similar effect is seen in those that are healthy but not engaged in their work.

While all four pillars below are linked, they must be recognized individually due to their large contribution to overall employee wellness.


Physical Wellbeing

Without a doubt, the more evident of the four pillars. Physical wellbeing is an important pillar as those suffering from chronic pain will have trouble focusing and being productive.

Potential goals:

  • Help employees reach government recommended time of 150 minutes exercise weekly, whether that be stretching or light running... anything to get the heart going.

How to:

  • Gym memberships
  • Virtual Yoga or fitness classes
  • Allowances for fitness related courses or classes


Mental Wellbeing

Stress is a common underlying factor in everyday life. However, when stress levels get too high, humans will have trouble focusing on the tasks at hand. There are many causes of stress that the employer cannot control, but there are proactive ways for employees to manage stress such as routine checkups, a good night’s rest, and proper nutrition. Mental wellbeing involves our ability to work with and create positive relationships with colleagues. As such, mental wellbeing is an underrated but increasingly important pillar in 2020.

Potential goals:

  • Reduce stressors in an employee’s life where the company can

How to:

  • Flexible work schedules
  • Flexible paid time off
  • Spending allowance for mental health such as therapy
  • Employee and Family Assistance program (EFAP)
  • Company team building events


Financial Wellbeing

There are many hidden financial struggles among the workplace. As a sensitive subject for employers and employees alike, it can be difficult to discuss. With the current pandemic, debt and financial burdens are at an all time high. Therefore, financial wellbeing plays an important part of wellbeing in general.

Potential goals:

  • Provide financial insight and basic knowledge to employees

How to:

  • Info sessions regarding basic personal finance (RRSPs/TFSAs/Savings Accounts)
  • Employee stock purchase plans


Environmental Wellbeing

Direct external factors also play into overall wellbeing. Think of your office space. Is the temperature manageable? Is the furniture impacting physical wellbeing? Does the environment promote strong ties between colleagues or are they secluded into corners? Not to be cliché but we are a product of our environment. Therefore, the workplace does require extra attention when it comes to employee wellness.

Potential goals:

  • Reduce direct external stressors

How to:

  • Standing desks
  • Customizable temperature in each room
  • Adequate lighting
  • Specialized interior arrangements
  • Break room perks (napping stations, etc.)


Does your company have a wellbeing strategy in place which targets these four pillars?

Try a Wellness Spending Account. The purpose of this specialized plan is to promote employee wellness while limiting expenditures for the employer through a pre-determined allowance. This puts cost control in the hands of employers and flexibility for employee spending. 

For example, wanting to deal with back pain and furniture issues (physical and environmental wellbeing), then the employee may spend their wellness account allowance on a standing desk.


Where can I learn more about Olympia's WSA?

Olympia's WSA is a fully digital plan with claims and reimbursement done through a fast and simple digital process. Employees can log into their personal account and make claims, while seeing reimbursement or audit status. 

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Topics: employee wellness, wellness spending account