How To Create Workplace Health & Wellness Strategies For Effective Leadership

Share this post:

Written in collaboration with Dr. Stella Muloongo

In light of the recent outbreak of a coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China, now officially known as COVID-19, we’ve collaborated with Stella Muloongo, a medical doctor who graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai, China to share insights on how medical pandemics can be innovatively managed through effective workplace wellness strategies. With medical experience spanning various countries, Stella has spent most of her time in China, mainly at Zhongshan Hospital and Huashan Hospital, in addition to rotations in Sydney, Auckland and Johannesburg.

The Situation

The novel coronavirus is a new health challenge for our time. As a physician, Dr Muloongo understands the price paid on the frontlines of the healthcare battlefield. Former colleagues at the epicentre of COVID-19 in Wuhan and many more in her former city, Shanghai are fighting so that those infected with COVID-19 have the best chance of recovery. While there are still deaths on both sides and reports flood in about the spread of the virus across EMEA and the USA, there is hope in recent news of the decrease in new cases within Asia and increased patient recoveries starting to outpace new cases.

Lessons have been learnt from COVID-19’s genetic cousins SARS and MERS, and in such crises, we’ve learnt that decisive action early on is our best defence. As we continue to learn from each case of medical pandemics, steps in containment and treatment usually require great sacrifice and a unified front from the scientific community, governments and the general population.

The Background

There are hundreds of coronaviruses but only seven are known to cause humans illness, of which only three have been known to cause serious harm; SARS (2002), MERS (2012) and now COVID-19 (2019). Our history of fighting these strains of the virus has generated mass amounts of data and resources. However, due to the infrequent nature of these threats, frontline healthcare workers usually have to sift through outdated materials, learning as they go, changing and adapting to on-the-spot information as each strain’s unique identifiers are discovered and eventually treated. Despite knowing the importance of sharing information freely amongst the world’s health communities, statistics, successes and failures are manipulated on the global publicity stage to better reflect a country’s response, approach and effectiveness.

The Future

So how useful is a country’s public response in creating the necessary results in public health, primary care and preventive education? What kind of workplace wellness strategies can support governmental efforts in containing the spread of a virus? How can public service announcements effectively help combat the fear that an outbreak causes?

Dr Muloongo believes the answers at the core of all these questions lies in science, technology and the digital transformation of the healthcare system; in actionable knowledge and education that are made accessible to all. She asks, “can technology, care-based approaches and preventive measures be combined to form a healthcare system of the future so that the news is no longer the source of our healthcare education in a crisis?”

New problems require new solutions, and amid the current COVID-19 outbreak we reflect on the world’s response to the most recent fight for the healthcare of tomorrow.

What has worked well in China

  • Insurers have created mini-sites on COVID-19 for their policyholders, with links to information and appropriate healthcare facilities to contact for health checks.
  • Corporate businesses are investing in telemedicine providers, generating the largest-scale adoption and integration of telemedicine technology since its inception. This is particularly prevalent in the healthcare industry, an industry renowned for being overly traditional, process-heavy and slow to digitally transform. Newly-built hospitals in Wuhan, like Huoshenshan Mountain Hospital (note of which was constructed in only ten days), telemedicine is playing a major part in patient monitoring in isolation wards, as in other Wuhan hospitals, progressing China rapidly towards a value-based healthcare system.
  • The government used popular social media platforms AliPay and WeChat with a green, yellow and red traffic-light system on people’s mobile phones helping officials determine if the user should be allowed past guards at checkpoints.

What has worked well in Singapore

  • Singapore’s Ministry Of Health website has the most up-to-date, concise and relevant information available to the population on COVID-19. The real-time, accurate resources and intuitive site design has even garnered praise from the WHO. Publishing geographic clusters where increased numbers of infections occur, and baseline details on confirmed cases, this educational tool allows the general public to avoid higher risk areas around the island and encourages the sharing of information on affected cases of COVID-19. By empowering the average person and dispelling fears of the medical situation, the population responds effectively, containing and reducing infection. What is happening in Singapore is an example of value-based preventive healthcare in action.
  • DBS, Singapore’s largest bank is offering all their customers and their immediate family complimentary COVID-19 relief insurance coverage to further cushion affected patients’ expenses. The COVID-19 Hospital Cash policy is a 30-day free coverage that provides a daily cash benefit for hospital confinement and a lump sum payout for ICU confinement in relation to the virus. It also provides worldwide coverage for policyholders who must travel during this period.
  • In order to uncover COVID-19 infections that may have otherwise evaded detection, Singapore’s health authorities decided early on to test all influenza-like and pneumonia cases, implementing a rigorous detection and quarantine schedule free of charge for all its citizens. The government also offers SGD100 per day for self-employed citizens in quarantine, and prevents corporate employers from subtracting quarantine days from an employees holiday leave. Singapore still maintains zero deaths from COVID-19, despite being the first country with the second most infections outside of China in the initial stages of the outbreak.

What has worked well across Asia

  • Several new medical training courses on COVID-19, such as a recent one by MDBriefcase, are now available for medical professionals. These courses are a good start for basic knowledge on the virus itself and sharing of new treatment information including new medications and vaccinations as and when they become available.
  • By February 1st, aggressive travel restrictions early on in countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore contravened WHO’s initial insistence that travel bans were not necessary. The precautions came at a significant economic cost to these international hubs, which all rely on mainland China as their biggest trading partner and source of tourists. Looking retrospectively just 6 weeks later these countries’ low reported cases prove that decisive action early on wins.
  • Following SARS in 2003, Taiwan established a central command center for epidemics. By Jan. 20, it was coordinating the government’s response to the coronavirus. It quickly compiled a list of 124 “action items,” including border controls, school and work policies, public communication plans and resource assessments of hospitals, according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Taiwan, just 81 miles from mainland China, was expected to have among the highest number of imported cases, but it has now tallied just 50 cases—fewer than Slovenia.

Lessons from the healthcare industry

  • Further improvements have been made in the field regarding nosocomial mismanagement, addressing the large scale infection of healthcare workers, although there is still a way to go.
  • Measures have been taken to change the way COVID-19 is diagnosed including the necessary time gap required before positive results are given. Improvements in clinical diagnostic criteria has led to better management of patients with pneumonia symptoms and are treated as potential COVID-19 cases until cleared.
  • Public health is about collaboration; only in unity can things progress forward. Public health efforts in China meant the sharing of COVID-19’s DNA structure with the world allowing rapid research into medications, vaccines and the creation of test kits.
  • Continued development of medical and public health courses including the latest data and research to support current treatment protocols, quickest diagnostic methods and the most effective vaccinations and medications to prescribe, creating a dynamic learning environment.

Implications for businesses

A recent executive study by McKinsey & Company “COVID-19: Implications for business” (authored by Matt Craven, Linda Liu, Mihir Mysore, and Matt Wilson) looks at the growing impact of COVID-19 on the global economy. Providing business leaders with a perspective on the evolving situation and implications for their companies, Table 1 outlines three possible economic situations.

Protecting your employees

Looking specifically at a short-term contingency plan to manage an outbreak like COVID-19, senior business leaders should look to:

  • Follow the most stringent guidelines from leading global healthcare organisations such as WHO, CDC and local health authorities.
  • Communicate frequently with your employees and through the right channels, making sure employees that are affected directly receive more targeted support.
  • Benchmark your efforts with others in your industry for example; limiting non-essential travel, ensuring a work from home rotation schedule to reduce the number of employees at one site.
  • Support your CEO with setting up a cross-functional response team of senior leaders that guarantees decisive action and a stable line of communication to reduce workforce anxiety.
  • Consider scenarios of 30, 90, 180 and 365 days and model out workforce management plans.

Develop a 4E’s workplace wellness strategy

Once short-term business continuity planning is complete, next look at a more robust workplace wellness strategy that can weather all manner of workforce crises:

Evaluate

– Evaluate your current situation including previously run employee programs, employee net promoter scores, budgets, current initiatives and leadership buy-in. Look at the current employee handbook on flexible and remote working practices, on-site protocols and office-based policies. Ideally, interview a range of employees and ask the tough questions about how they feel about their current work environment and working options.

Employ

– Whether this be investing in a new technology, the creation of a wellness committee, setting up a mini-site in the employees’ portal or the identification of wellness champions, look to create a culture of wellness through each and every employee. New digital platforms offer value to all staff, and encourage the use of innovation to find workarounds that may create longer-term efficiencies in the way the company runs. Be sure to align everyone’s vision on what a healthy workplace looks like, and correlate that with the data you’ve collected in your evaluation stage.

Engage

– The key to engaging employees is consistency; whether that be in frequency and tone of communications, resources provided, new technologies you invest in or who you target first, creating sustained behavioural change stems from healthy habits from the core of your wellness strategy. Remember that one size doesn’t fit all and a culture of mass personalisation will ensure your workforce feel the company has provided a range of solutions that suit them.

Expand

– After the first 30, 60, 90 and 180 days, evaluate, adjust and start to expand across the organisation. This could be to regional offices that weren’t previously included, or centralised global headquarters. The importance of this stage is to ensure lessons have been learnt from previous situations and the company is better prepared for what might come next by rolling out the strategy into every area of the company culture. This means collaboration from all departments to ensure everyone is pulling together for success.

In Conclusion

The modern challenges that HR business leaders face provide a volatile, unpredictable new work environment that needs to be expertly navigated to ensure human capital strategies support public health and local government efforts. The global workforce needs to be given flexible, practical and relevant measures to follow to maintain corporate productivity while also protecting employees’ health and wellbeing. If you want more information or would like to talk to one of our consultants you can contact us here.

References

– Current studies on key risk factors of COVID-19: Coronavirus: Largest study suggests elderly and sick are most at risk. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51540981

– MOH Singapore COVID-19: https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19 (Current updates) https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/past-updates (Past updates)

– ARV use treating COVID-19: https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-01-26/Beijing-confirms-use-of-anti-HIV-drugs-to-treat-novel-coronavirus-NyWfDcmeZi/index.html

– https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/06/health/coronavirus-treatments.html

– Cured COVID-19 patient plasma for treating severe cases of COVID19: Coronavirus Outbreak: Plasma from recovered patients used as treatment https://news.cgtn.com/news/77416a4e354d4464776c6d636a4e6e62684a4856/index.html

– https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/coronavirus-china-asks-recovered-patients-to-donate-blood-for-plasma-treatment

– Previously used for H1N5 (swine flu) &H1N1 (bird flu) as well as in SARS https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15616839

– MDbriefcase COVID-19 course: https://www.mdbriefcase.net/resources/coronavirus/content/index.html#/

– https://www.mdbriefcase.com/course/a-canadian-healthcare-providers-guide-to-the-novel-coron

– https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/coronaviruses

– https://time.com/5802293/coronavirus-covid19-singapore-hong-kong-taiwan/

– https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/20200312-sitrep-52-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=e2bfc9c0_2 facts true as of 12 March 2020

– https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/risk/our-insights/covid-19-implications-for-business

– https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Share this post:

Happy International Women’s Day 2019

Share this post:


If you follow us on Instagram (@wellteq) then you’ll know we’ve been particularly active today!

Shining the spotlight on the women behind the scenes


In celebration of International Women’s Day we’ve focussed the spotlight on some of the incredible international females behind WellteQ! We can’t thank these brilliant minds enough for their input to our journey of success. We want to encourage you to check out the posts on each one of these superstars who offer a truly inspiring insight into the world of wellbeing.

Diversity + inclusion = more success

Did you know that a company that is diverse can generate up to 35% more revenue? And let’s not forget the effect a mixed workforce has on workplace culture! That’s why we believe that diversity can very much contribute to workplace wellness and is essential to the future success of a business.

But it doesn’t stop there. To be truly successful it’s important to ensure you have a workplace culture of inclusion, which is much harder to crack. All employees need to feel they’ve been treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources that are relevant to them, and can contribute fully to the organisation’s success.


Think about this…

A local government wants to run an initiative to get everyone mobile, no matter what they’re income status, while still being environmentally responsible. So the government ministers decide to give every citizen a free push bike. Sounds like a great initiative and like everyone has been treated equally, right? But what about those who have physical disabilities and can’t ride a bike? What about those who don’t know how to ride a bike? Will free lessons be part of the deal so they can maximise the use of the free bike? This is the difference between equality and inclusion and beautifully illustrates why HR professionals need to consider both when building a workplace culture.


In order from top right

Our female superstars in more detail

Amelia Thornycroft – Co-Founder and Director of Operations of i-Screen, WellteQ’s preferred pathology partner

Mylea Charvat, PhD. – CEO of Savonix, WellteQ’s newest partner in cognitive performance testing

Dr Angela Montgomery – Psychologist, Angela developed the content for Mind-Your-Step and Mind-Your-Stress mental health programs

Dr Katherine Iscoe – Body confidence expert who regularly co-hosts webinars with us on a variety of mental wellbeing topics

Dr Sandy Chong – Global Ambassador and VP or Strategy for UNAA, Sandy supported WellteQ to become an official member partner of United Nations

Jennifer Pitts, PhD – Founder of Institute for Positive Organizational Health and acclaimed professor, Jennifer advises us on our programs

Dr. Joti Samra, R. Psych. – Founder & Principal Psychologist at MyWorkplaceHealth, advising WellteQ and co-hosting webinars and vlogs

Dr Mariyam Shakeela – Ex-Chairperson WHO, minister and global advocate for multiple organisations and universities, Wellteq board member

Share this post:

Disability in the Workplace: Inclusivity and Equality

Share this post:

Performance and productivity are the bywords of companies that pride themselves on excellence. In such environments, a hard worker is considered an able worker. But can this notion of ability accommodate disability as well? Despite the differences in station, there is nothing that prevents employees with disabilities from achieving the same as their non-disabled counterparts.

In light of the United Nations’ 2018 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we look at ways to empower people with disabilities to ensure inclusivity and equality in the workplace.

Disability Stigma

The stigma around hiring people with disabilities is an unfortunate precedent built on an absence of empathy and a number of false premises:

    • Workers with disabilities won’t perform as well.
    • Workers with disabilities have more absences.
    • Hiring a disabled worker is costly and therefore prohibitive.
    • Having a disabled employee in the workplace invites dispute.
  • Workers with disabilities tend to use their condition as a cover/leverage.

The fact is, there is nothing factual to substantiate these claims. On the contrary, a three-year study by DuPaul University showed that employees with disabilities averaged a similar productivity rating as their non-disabled peers. The same study also found that these workers actually displayed fewer absences than those without disabilities.

Adapting the Workplace

When it comes to the cost of accommodating workers with disabilities, employers can expect to spend more. However, this expense need not be significant. Most countries offer tax incentives to help lessen the financial burden of implementing special arrangements such as assistive technology.

Socially speaking, the presence of workers with disabilities is no different than what you’d expect with non-disabled individuals. Disagreements can, and should, be settled amicably. That being said, there is nothing unethical about disciplining or terminating the employment of a worker who consistently fails to meet the expected standard of performance, even if they are disabled. Fair treatment deserves fair work.

Disability Programmes

Workplace disability management is often confined to a case-by-case basis, but having a wider programme in place can have significant benefits for both employers and employees. Preventative wellness programmes are proven to be highly successful, so it stands to reason that a similar programme for workers with disabilities will perform just as well.

An effective workplace disability programme can:

    • Increase the number of employees who successfully return to the workforce post-injury/illness.
    • Reduce the cost of disability for both parties.
    • Create a safer and more assured environment of employment (ie benefits and income level).
    • Minimise the negative impact disability has on the worker’s family and colleagues/superiors.
  • Foster mutual trust between all stakeholders through co-operation.

Such a programme is preemptive in nature and should take the needs of the greater disability community into account. Examples include chronic conditions, mental health disorders, long-term pain, musculoskeletal conditions and vision/hearing loss. To put the necessity of having a comprehensive plan into context, consider that a 2016 report by the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention found that one in every four adults in the US suffers from a disability that negatively affects life activities.

Specialist Consultants

Engaging a qualified consultant will allow you to develop a suitable workplace disability programme for your company. The consultant may recommend a number of  adjustments, such as:

    • Modifications to premises (eg wheelchair ramps).
    • Changing a disabled worker’s hours.
    • Providing specialised training or mentoring.
    • Obtaining or modifying equipment.
    • Modifying procedures for employee testing/assessment.
  • Making allowances in employee attendance for rehabilitation, treatment and assessment.

Equal Rights

A person’s life changes dramatically with a disability, but that shouldn’t consign them to the unemployment office. There are people with disabilities who refuse to let it undermine their career prospects as they are just as capable as people without disabilities. The bottom line is that everyone, regardless of their situation in life, deserves to be treated fairly and with respect.

Get in touch with the WellteQ team to find out more. 

Share this post:

Time to Level Up… Top 10 Skills of the Future!

Share this post:

Awesome infographic is by Guthrie-Jensen

Credit to Guthrie-Jensen for this awesome infographic!

Share this post:

Safety First! 5 Simple Ways to Avoid Injury in the Office

Share this post:

fatigue, safety, stress, injury, office, wellness

Safety in the Workplace

When we think of workplace safety, we usually associate it with blue-collar work. While the risks of working at an industrial plant, shipyard or building site are obvious, office environments also have their fair share of incidents. You may not be required to wear a hardhat or steel-toe boots, but that’s doesn’t mean you can take your safety for granted.

A Moment is All it Takes

A lapse in attention or a moment of carelessness is often all it takes to trigger an incident that could have easily been avoided. Some of the more common accidents in the office include:

  • Slips/trips/falls
  • Muscle strains
  • Hit by falling objects
  • Repetitive strain injury
  • Crashes/collisions
  • Cuts/lacerations

After the Event

While many of these may seem trivial, they can have a negative effect on health and productivity. One solution is to have a dedicated first aider who can they quickly attend to minor injuries, and even save someone’s life in serious cases. In many countries, having a first aid kit in the office is a legal requirement. 

However, before you scramble for the first aid kit, try these five preventative measures to avoid workplace injuries:

1. Prioritise Rest

The effects of stress in the workplace are far-reaching and can prove problematic if left unchecked for too long. More often than not, such cases can be traced back to poor sleeping habits. Constant late hours and excessive device usage puts our minds and body in a hyper-excited state and deprives us of restorative rest.

This leads to fatigue, which is one of the most common reasons for workplace injuries. Be it from lack of sleep or excessive workloads, fatigue plays a significant role in determining situational and personal awareness. Shoot for a minimum of seven hours of uninterrupted rest and avoid accumulating a hefty sleep debt.

2. Use Aids if Necessary

If injured, you need to protect the afflicted area. Things like wrist and ankle sprains are pretty minor, but they can lead to dropped objects or falls. Wearing braces or using movement aids is not a sign of weakness; these devices promote recovery while also preventing any exacerbation of existing injuries.

3. Abstain from Drugs and Alcohol

Going out on a bender the night before can easily affect the way you work the next day, even if you’re used to heavy drinking. An altered perception of your physical surroundings can lead to accidents and serious injuries. Certain prescription drugs carry similar side effects. While recovering, and on medication that causes drowsiness, stay at home until you’ve completely recovered.

4. Highlight Safety Hazards

Tangled wires, exposed electrical outlets/wiring and loose fans/floorboards/ceiling panels are things that need to be immediately highlighted to HR upon identification. Aside from the obvious threat to occupational health and safety, these hazards could be indicative of a deeper systemic issue in the building/office.

5. Stay Home if Sick

Illnesses like flu tend to make us feel more tired than usual due to the stress our bodies are under while fighting infection. When you feel like deadweight, your ability to react to your surroundings is thoroughly compromised and it’s better to stay at home to avoid infecting anyone else. 

Final Thoughts on Workplace Safety

It’s one thing to clock in all sleepy-eyed after missing your morning coffee fix, but it’s another to be exhausted to the extent where you can’t even pay adequate attention to your surroundings. Accidents in the office are more common than you think, and a small error can easily snowball into something much worse causing injury to yourself or others. So take the precautions above, remain vigilant and stay safe at work! 

This October is National Safe Work Month in Australia. To find out more about this excellent initiative, visit the Safe Work Australia website.

To discuss how to combat fatigue within your workforce contact the WellteQ team.

Share this post:

How to Transform Your Employees from Detractors into Promoters

Share this post:

One of the questions we hear a lot is: how can you use wellness programs to transform employees from detractors into promoters and significantly increase your Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)?

What is eNPS?

The eNPS approach is a relatively new phenomenon but it is fast becoming a powerful tool for savvy employers. It was adapted from the Net Promoter Score (NPS) metric, which is used to measure customer loyalty by asking how likely, on a scale of 0-10, they are to recommend a product or service: 0-6 (detractor), 7-8 (passive), 9-10 (promoter). You then calculate the NPS by subtracting % of detractors from % of promoters.

However, the difference is that the eNPS measures employee loyalty through the question: “How likely are you to recommend this company as a place to work?”. It’s a pretty brutal scoring system, with only the super-engaged employees becoming promoters.

WellteQ has been proven to significantly improve eNPS

Calculating your eNPS score

But why all the fuss about eNPS? While the system is not perfect, with several critics calling for more expansive measurement criteria, there’s beauty in its simplicity. Asking employees one simple question is a low barrier to gathering feedback on work culture and, if used periodically, can provide good indication of employee engagement. However, anyone who’s worked in HR will tell you it’s hard enough to implement an eNPS, let alone measure it.

Healthy Employees Are Happy Employees

At WellteQ we take an altogether more holistic approach to understanding employee engagement. We believe that employee wellness is intrinsically linked to employee engagement – by improving your exercise regime, nutrition, sleep quality, mental health and financial wellness you can boost your happiness at work, thus increasing the likelihood of recommending your employer.

Happy employees

Healthy employees are happy employees!

One important aspect of employee wellness is stress. A recent case study shows 44% of employees reporting significant reductions in stress at work after the wellness initiative. Perhaps a more surprising result was that 44% of employees also reported a strong decrease in stress levels at home.

WellteQ step challenge among employees from case study

Stress levels pre/post wellness program

The Net Result

By measuring stress and other human factors across our wellness initiatives, we have seen a dramatic rise in the eNPS score ranging from 18-73%.

However, perhaps our most exciting finding is that employees who measured as least engaged before the wellness initiative made the largest positive shift after the initiative – truly transforming detractors into promoters!

Positive Perception

The overarching participant feedback was companies investing time and money in wellness initiatives showed they truly cared about employee wellbeing. This created a much more positive perception of that employer.

This is just one example of how WellteQ leverages technology and analytics to drive demonstrable ROI on employee engagement and wellness.

To discuss how you can turn your detractors into promoters by maximising employee engagement, get in touch with WellteQ today.

Share this post:

Top 5 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement in APAC

Share this post:

On the back of a recent Colliers International report that APAC countries are losing billions of dollars a year from health issues, employee wellness is now a key business component for HR teams across the region.

So, without further ado, here are WellteQ’s Top 5 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement in APAC.

1. Realistic Expectations

Sadly, a major problem across APAC is employees working too many hours. This has been recognised at a governmental level, eg in Singapore the Ministry of Manpower has advocated a limit of 44 working hours per week.

However, change has to happen at an organisational level – managers need to open their eyes to the signs of burnout and mental health in workplace. While working overtime might help boost productivity in the short-term, the mid and long-term consequences can be severe.

Overworked employees may lose their motivation, become less productive or even leave the company.

In extreme cases, stress-related burn out can result in severe health issues and even lead to death. Tragically, this is so commonplace in Asia that many countries have their own word for “death by overworking”: karōshi in Japanese, gwarosa in South Korean and guolaosi in Chinese.

Effective leaders should discourage working overtime where it can be avoided. In some Asian cultures it is still believed that an employee should not leave the office before their manager – by leaving on time, the manager ensures that employees are not under pressure to stay at the office.

Employee engagement across APAC

Consistently working overtime can have severe health consequences.


2. It’s Good to Talk 

Internal communication is crucial to improving employee engagement, but this is something that has often been criticised across APAC. Whether it’s a corporate or a start-up, it is a manager’s duty to hold periodic appraisals with their employees.

These meetings are crucial for an employee to gauge how their performance is being measured and evaluated. It also gives them the opportunity to have transparent conversations about salary career progression. A good manager will also use this opportunity to identify and solve any issues that may inhibit the employee from carrying out their work.

Managers should proactively encourage employees to have these appraisals, as opposed to employees continuously chasing for it.

However, 1-on-1 meetings may not always allow an employee to air their grievances. By conducting employee surveys regularly, a company can allow unhappy employees to open up anonymously without fear of reprisal. This type of feedback is crucial to improve the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS).

3. APAC Wellness Programs

The Colliers International report found that “wellness is becoming a key component of workplace strategy with corporates increasingly looking to design the best workplaces to enhance employee engagement and productivity”.

In this increasingly digital age, traditional wellness programs are becoming less and less effective. Instead, organisations are looking at data-driven solutions that can provide more accurate insights into their workforce than ever before, eg WellteQ integrates with main-brand wearables to focus on optimising health goals such as stress, fatigue, fitness, etc.

But a good digital wellness solution can do so much more:

  • Add a dimension of gamification by rewarding employees for partaking in cross-departmental challenges.
  • Leverage smartphone technology to communicate more effectively with connected employees.
  • Identify a workforce’s health issues – companies can enhance risk analysis capabilies in order to reduce health insurance premiums.
  • Incorporate employee surveys to measure the eNPS before and after a wellness program. At WellteQ we have seen a 40% in employee engagement after our wellness program.

WellteQ connects with wearables

Connecting wellness programs to wearables


4. Inclusion Policy

One quick way to ostracise an employee is by making them feel detached from the company. Creating an “us and them” gulf between management and the rest of the workforce can be extremely demoralising. This could include things like reprimanding employees for being late while at the same time being consistently late themselves.

There are a number of things managers in APAC can do to make an employee feel more included:

  • Allowing them the opportunity to own share options means they are more immersed in the success and failure of the company.
  • Injecting a vibrant social calendar into your organisation allows people to forge deeper connections with both their team and management.
  • Incorporating CSR initiatives allow staff to bond over important causes not related to their everyday work. CSR projects can be particularly powerful if there is support from senior management.

5. Moving with the Times

The face of business has undeniably changed over the past few decades. There are now a range of digital tools that employers can get their hands on to boost productivity, eg Slack (team communications),  Skype (video conferencing), Jamboard (virtual whiteboards), and many more.

However, the non-digital advancements have been just as important, eg introducing stand-up meetings as a way to cut down on unnecessary time wasting.

This attitudinal shift can largely be attributed to the rise in startup culture where bootstrapped entrepreneurs needed to streamline their businesses to make them as productive as possible. They started cutting out unnecessary rules that had dominated the corporate world for too long, so things like flexible hours, relaxed dress codes and quirky office spaces were introduced.

The startup scene is thriving in APAC and the corporate world is learning from it as a tool to improve employee engagement.

Co-working space across APAC

Flexible working hours, relaxed dress codes and quirky offices.


Putting it into Action

So that’s our Top 5 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement in APAC!

While this is all very well in theory, these type of changes are difficult to implement and will not happen overnight.

To see how WellteQ’s award-winning analytics solution can help you increase employee engagement, get in touch today.

Share this post: