How hard can it be to put together a wellness program? Have you considered these factors?
So you’ve heard the word “wellness” being thrown around a lot lately. People are talking about “corporate wellness,” and “pedometer programs,” and ditching vending machines. Sounds great, right?
But for all this talk about improving health in the workplace and the recent emphasis placed on employee wellness, a quick glance around us may seem to suggest otherwise. After all, we’re talking about a population that cites “job pressure” as the number one cause of stress – a nation where soft drink sales net $60 billion a year, and 67% of gym memberships go unused.
This begs the question – are we really committed to health and wellness, or do we just enjoy talking about it? The thing is, the benefits of a wellness program are real, tangible improvements to employee health and morale. The only thing that stands between you and these benefits is a well-planned, well-implemented employee wellness program. Given the statistics above, we can’t afford to ignore the importance of workplace wellness any longer. So let’s focus in on what we’d like our healthy future to look like – and how we get there.
Working Towards Health – The Benefits of a Wellness Program:
- Lower Healthcare Costs: At-risk employees can lead to expensive (and often avoidable) health claims. By helping your employees improve their health through losing weight, quitting smoking, lowering their blood pressure, etc., you may be able to lessen or even prevent some serious health issues before they occur.
- Reduce Absenteeism: Related to the points above, a major wellness program benefit is that you will see a drop in sick days. Employees who are dedicated to a healthy lifestyle are much less likely to fall ill or get injured on the job. When sickness or injury does occur, these employees recover faster.
- Improve Productivity: Healthy employees are happy employees! When you don’t feel your best, your work and personal life suffer, and vice versa — when you are feeling healthy, eating right and getting your beauty sleep, you are on the top of your game!
- Boost Morale: Chances are, many of your employees are already trying to improve their health on their own. They may have been trying to quit smoking, go to the gym more often, or make healthier food choices for quite some time. Creating a “culture of wellness” is one of the greatest benefits of a wellness program. When everyone is supporting each other in their wellness goals, everyone wins!
We could list a million reasons for a corporate wellness program, but without the right program, all of these benefits are lost.
The Importance of Workplace Wellness (and Getting it Right):
- Good News and Bad News: Americans are becoming more and more aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. We’re trying to eat healthier and exercise more – but at the very same time, we are working longer hours, multi-tasking, and feeling more stressed than ever. It only makes sense that workplaces feature onsite wellness resources, since we spend the majority of our time at work – and it is also our number one cause of stress.
- Be Creative – and Consistent: A unique and constantly evolving employee wellness program will reap the most rewards. We need to be challenged and stimulated in order to cause change, so be aware of wellness trends, and be open to feedback (both positive and negative!) and suggestions from employees. It’s also important to remain consistent in your efforts. Don’t kick-off your program with a packed calendar of fun events, and then taper off.
- Think Long Term: Like many things in life, the road to wellness is a marathon, not a sprint. Behaviors such as smoking and overeating have likely developed over many years, so don’t expect them to go away overnight. Over time, a successful program will become a part of a company’s culture.
Remember that the end goal – and ultimate wellness program benefit – is a workplace full of healthy, happy, and engaged employees. When the entire office is dedicated to that common goal, you’re bound to succeed! Our free guide, “Promoting Wellness at Work and In Life
For help getting started, or to breathe some new life into your existing program, give us a call today!” is full of tips for creating a healthy, productive work environment.