These days, offering a competitive salary isn’t enough to attract and retain top talent. Employees look to their employer to offer experiences that benefit their physical, mental, and emotional health. To meet this expectation, companies are implementing remarkable employee wellness initatives to delight and care for their employees.
But what goes into a company’s employee wellness program might not look the same for everyone.
So how are companies creating best-in-class wellness programs? How do they even start thinking about employee wellness? We sat down with three amazing Justworks customers to learn about the unique initiatives they take at their companies and how you might use the Justworks product in your employee wellness program.
At BetterPT, an inbound patient management technology company, Greg Peters, CEO and Co-founder, believes, "the employee comes first. It’s almost like family first."
Headquarters: New York, New York
Company Size: 14 employees
Industry: Healthcare Technology
Greg implements and facilitates his employee wellness program with the help of a Community Leader. The Community Leader is an employee of the company that collects and shares employee feedback with Greg. Each quarter, the Community Leader hosts a company lunch without senior leadership, facilitating a discussion about what the team would like to see at BetterPT. The open forum created by peer-to-peer feedback creates a comfortable environment for idea sharing and gives the Community Leader genuine, unfiltered feedback to share with Greg.
A successful initiative BetterPT has created is their unplugged vacation rule. For engineers at BetterPT, one week of their vacation must be totally unplugged—no laptops, no access to company data, no emails. Greg says, “I don’t think anybody realized the impact of it until it actually happened.” The rule allows his employees to completely detach from the company and truly take time for themselves. Open communication and expectation setting are keys to its success, but once implemented, it’s a great way for employees to reset and recharge.
Taking time to create a unique time off policy like BetterPT is a great way to reinvigorate your employee wellness program. Research shows that taking time off to travel improves overall happiness and cognitive behavior. Set up a policy in Justworks or take a look at how we implemented a unique time off policy with our team.
Sara Martinez-Noriega, Director of Human Resources, shared with us the "4 Pillars of Wellness" that support their employee wellness program at Direct Agents, a full-service digital marketing agency. Each pillar of their framework represents a segment of wellness that the company believes makes for a healthy employee inside and outside of the office:
Physical - From hitting the gym to making the perfect mid-day snack, Direct Agents ensures employees have the resources to take care of themselves physically. They offer reimbursable gym memberships through Justworks host a variety of group fitness classes and stock their kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure healthy options are easy and accessible.
Mental - During employee onboarding, Direct Agents ensures their employees know about the resources available to them in regards to mental health and wellbeing. For example, employees have access to 24/7 confidential counseling services through Health Advocate as a Justworks customer. In addition, Direct Agents includes programming focused on meditation and mindfulness like visiting salt caves and making DIY stress balls.
Financial- Direct Agents understands its employees aren’t just at the company to do digital marketing; they’re there to build a career and life. Direct Agents supports employee financial wellness by bringing in financial advisors for short courses and supporting employees who want to take personal finance courses outside of the company.
Intellectual - Strong proponents of a growth mindset and continuous learning, Direct Agents sponsors employee learning and development opportunities outside of the office. For example, the company sponsored members of their Women of Direct Agents group to attend a professional development conference together and had the attendees present what they learned back to the company.
To further promote these four pillars of wellness, Sara and her team sponsor an annual "Best Self Award." The award recognizes the employee who best exemplifies the four pillars throughout the year. The award is supplemented by monthly themed competitions that keep the energy and momentum of the program going throughout the year.
Employee wellness is a multifaceted challenge for every company. Breaking down your program into different categories or themes is a great way to implement a program, especially if you’re taking your first steps at implementing an employee wellness program.
Direct Agents—Quick Facts:
Headquarters: New York, New York
Company Size: 75 employees
Industry: Marketing and Advertising
How do you integrate your wellness program into the culture of your company? Embed it in your values.
Move Medical—Quick Facts:
Headquarters: San Diego, California
Company Size: 38 employees
Industry: Healthcare Technology
Josh Weeks, President, and Ammon Hepworth, VP of People, at Movemedical in San Diego tie their employee wellness efforts into their company’s values—humble, hungry, and strong. From offering fitness incentives to unlimited PTO, the company thinks about how their wellness offerings ladder up to the company’s values.
For example, being strong at Movemedical isn’t just about being a high performing employee or physically fit. It’s about being able to successfully weather the storm mentally—especially at a fast-paced, high growth start-up. That’s why Josh and Ammon have focused on how to best provide the space and resources for employees to take care of their mental health.
From organizing a monthly "Demo Day" that celebrates the company’s innovations each month to setting up small lunches among team members, Ammon uses camaraderie to foster a culture of support and togetherness among team members. Additionally, Josh and Ammon keep a close eye on employee work and travel schedules, flexing employees’ schedules to combat burnout.
"Our goal with wellness is really to encourage it; not to force it," says Josh. Movemedical accomplishes this by the resources they provide their employees. They offer flexible work schedules, meditation tools, and access to mental health resources through Justworks. Giving employees the right tools to succeed is a great way to amplify your wellness programs and help your employees get the care they want.
We are proud to support leaders and entrepreneurs who value and support their employees like BetterPT, Direct Agents, and Movemedical. Have something you’re working on at your company that you think others should know about? Send us your initiative, policy, or tradition for a chance to be featured in an upcoming Product Lab post—we’d love to hear from you!
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