By Robert Polk

When our company embarked on an employee engagement initiative, our business sector sought to develop a broader, more holistic approach to the engagement model. We recently implemented a new strategic approach to our Wellness programs that held the premise that an emphasis on employee health boosts morale and enhances performance, decision making, creativity and innovation. As an information systems and technology company, this was critical for us. At the same time, reducing health care costs would allow us to reinvest in both our business and our people, strengthening our performance culture.

With over 20,000 employees to engage, we saw the opportunity to create a strong synergy with Wellness and our D&I initiatives to leverage the great talent of that team. We ensured our Wellness programs were designed to promote inclusiveness across gender and cultural issues. Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) actively helped our wellness team identify topics and activities of broad interest and often helped provide planning support and logistics. Our activities evolved to be as broadly inclusive as possible, culturally appropriate, and integrated with the diverse comprehensiveness of our employees. These activities met many unique needs.

Successful Wellness programs integrate with D&I by forming collaborations between our leadership and employees, lowering the barriers to participation, and significantly increasing engagement. A large employee base is efficiently included by leveraging the support and enthusiasm of ERGs, since they are a key component of our D&I framework. As we move forward this year with a long range Wellness plan, our activities will begin to reflect more green and sustainable concepts associated with health and fitness which our employees, across our diverse representation, have expressed enthusiasm about. We are also exploring aspects of wellness that support the company’s philanthropic goals, such as walks to raise donations for health issues.