Embracing HPB's 2018 corporate wellness grants
By Gracia Sim, Sales and Marketing in ProAge
There isn’t a company who doesn’t want to make their wellness programme better – that is, if they have access to better funding. In our years of consultation, we’ve advised many of our clients to shift their mindset on corporate wellness from that of putting together a line-up of health programmes to one that truly aims to understand employees’ needs and engage them on what matters most.
This means transiting from “picking and choosing” from an Ala Carte menu of programmes to having an “Omakase” menu (i.e. a curated set of food items put together by Japanese chefs to enhance the dining experience of the consumer) where HR professionals seek the advice of health consultants to design a customized programme suited to the needs of the organization to improve workplace culture and employee engagement.
Hence, Health Promotion Board (HPB)’s new Workplace Health Alliance scheme (WAH) for MNCs is a welcome step in the right direction where the funding is no longer based on the number of programmes but the number of employees that will be participating in approved programmes designed to intentionally drive health outcomes.
We view this scheme not as a mere government handout, but a strategic effort to empower HR professionals and wellness committees to purposefully design the structure and content of wellness programmes to bring about desired corporate wellness outcomes.
With companies focusing on achieving outcomes like lowered chronic health risks, improved employee productivity and better energy levels, the enhanced approach puts in place more strategic year-long plans (as opposed to short-term goals) that will drive outlined milestones consistently over the span of 12 months.
If you are an SME, there is also the SME Health+ scheme in the pipeline, which will co-fund workplace wellness programmes . Although it is not as targeted as the WAH scheme in driving outcomes, it would be possible for SMEs to work with health consultants to develop full-year programmes and tap on funding for specific workshops.
In conclusion, we welcome the government’s move to recognise and support corporates to drive more targeted outcome-driven programmes through the multiple co-funded schemes launched in 2018. Companies with interest in beefing up their corporate wellness programmes should seize the opportunity to tap on these resources to enhance the welfare of their employees.