The health status of employees is paramount in the development of employees’ attitude and fitness towards work. As a result, to employees tend to have increased capability as well as positive attitude to work. Organizations have to establish various means for enhancing the wellness of their employees. Wellness of employees always relates to the physical wellness, intellectual wellness, social wellness, emotional wellness, spiritual wellness and environmental wellness. Human resource departments of many organizations have considered employees wellness as an essential component of their practice. It has been established that many strategies exist that the HRM can use to enhance the wellness of employees. This paper will look at the wellness programs used by the Walmart Company.
Overview of the organization
Walmart is a multinational company that operates in almost all continents around the globe. The company operates in the North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Walmart is also listed on the New York stock exchange as WMT. The company has taken an active part in offering wellness programs to employees for over 35 years.
On the company’s website, Walmart has identified its employment opportunities as some of the best opportunities for professional development (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, 2017). Once an employee joins the company, he or she has an opportunity to go as far as their talents can take them. This proves that company is always ready to tap and support talent growth using various wellness programs. Walmarts associates have been reported to have found better opportunities to enhance the lives of their families. The company is said to offering competitive salaries, health benefits, discounts on merchandise, bonus on opportunities, as well as opportunities to grow.
For two years, Walmart has invested two billion dollars in the budget of salary increment for its employees. Increasing the salaries of employees is classified as an approach for enhancing employees’ social and spiritual wellness. Good salaries translate to improved social status as well as morale to work more for Walmart. The company has indicated that over 75 percent of its current store management team entered the company as hourly associates. The current pay for the store management team is between $50, 000 and $170, 000 every year. These salaries are competitive, and the company is always ready to promote competent staff to earn similar packages. In 2016, Walmart promoted the over 200, 000 employees which translated to increased responsibility as well as increased pay. The company’s strategy of maintaining its workforce has contributed to the retention of over 300, 000 associates for more than ten years. As far as the compensation of the associates is concerned, Walmart has made both the full –time and part-time associates eligible to earn a bonus depending on the performances of their stores. The total amounts of bonuses earned by the two groups of associates in 2016 were established to be $550 million.
Another wellness program adopted by the Walmart Company is funding its employees to study at universities of their choice. The company has initiated a program that funds for 15 percent tuition grants provided an employee enrolls at a public university in the US. The scholarships are not only directed to its associates but also the families or dependents of its associates. The responsibility of awarding these scholarships has been given to the Walmart Foundation. Earning of college credit was initiated by the company in 2010 and associates can earn these credits basing on their experience in the firm. Since the initiation of this wellness program, the company has spent over $48 million on tuition fees.
Walmart has also been keen to offer medical plans for its employees that include dental care plans. The healthcare programs cover for the domestic partners of Walmart’s associates. The centers for excellence programs have also been introduced for the extra cover of the associates’ health. This program also covers hip replacement, knee replacement, breast cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer. Associates are entitled to free health care advice as well as an amount of between $500 and $1, 000 as reimbursement for health. There is a company paid life insurance for the company’s associates as well as insurances for accidental death, critical illness, and disability. The company has found it paying to enhance the intellectual, social and emotional wellness of employees. The amounts of money that the company spends on its wellness programs are enough proof of Walmarts commitment to enhancing the wellness of its employees.
Critical Healthcare Issues
Walmart has a good wellness program that aims to improve the capacity of its employees. However, there is need to establish a wellness program that accommodates all its employees and pays focus on the health risks as well as offering choices. There is need to enhance the working environment and have evaluation criteria to determine areas of improvement. According to Hope Health (2007), seven critical approaches have to be considered. The features and types of incentives have to be consistent with the main goals of the Walmart Company. It is important for the wellness program to operate at several levels employees needs such as cultural level, policy level, and environmental level. Critical health care issues have to be addressed, and the Walmart Company has already done a lot regarding this issue. Diverse components have to be tailored together to ensure that they complement each other in the wellness program. Health outcomes should be achieved, and an evaluation conducted using a scorecard.
Basing on the suggestion provided by a Putman (2015), good wellness program plan should have the following structure:
I. A program purpose should present the formal and informal voluntary intention of Walmart to conduct a wellness program.
II. Program objectives should present the primary goal of the wellness program initiated by the company. Measurable outcomes should also be presented in the form of specific, measurable, realistic, timely and attainable objectives of the wellness programs.
III. The survey of employees’ needs is critical for the development of a specific wellness program.
IV. An eligibility requirement for employees to be considered in the initiated wellness program has to be developed. The best wellness program has to include all employees and associate working for Walmart.
V. The facilities to be used in the wellness program must be established for the purpose of enhancing accountability.
VI. Walmart has to determine Instruction providers who will deliver the wellness program to employees on behalf of Walmart.
VII. The program content should include activities related to awareness, lifestyle change, and supportive environment.
VIII. A program cost to be initiated by Walmart should have elements of personal cost, modification of facilities, the cost of supplies and cost incentive.
IX. The program should have a schedule should include details on the time that various activities will be conducted such as during work, after work or during the leave.
X. The element of program coordination requires a designated program coordinator, and a committee appointed to handle the same issue.
XI. The program plan should finally identify the expected results of the training program as well as determine the approaches to be used in the monitoring and evaluation process. Documentation of the entire process is also paramount for the purpose of maintaining records.
Wellness programs are meant to enhance the capacity of employees to deliver on their mandate. These programs are meant to positively impact the social, intellectual, physical, emotional, spiritual and environmental wellness of its employees. Walmart has initiated several wellness programs that are intended to improve the financial, health and social status of its employees as well as associates. This paper has also provided the suggestion to improve the current approach to the wellness program.
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