Wellness programs can benefit employers by:
Because of the ever-increasing costs of health insurance and the importance of employee health, employers should consider implementing a well-thought-out wellness program that benefits both the employee’s health and the employer’s bottom line.
Having a workplace culture that supports and encourages good health. You have to have things in the work environment — healthy foods in the cafeteria, places for people to exercise — to help people stay healthy and reinforce what they’re learning in a wellness program.
Some programs clearly do work. For instance Johnson & Johnson, with 125,000 employees worldwide, has 35 years of experience with a wellness program that has saved the company millions of dollars.
The primary aim of the employee wellness programs is to help the employees adapt to healthier habits to gain holistic wellness through different activities and wellness challenges.
Gym membership or office yoga classes might come to mind when someone thinks of an employee wellness program.
These are great activities to offer but a quality program can include so much more. Here are some activities and benefits you can offer that cover all areas of employee health.
Fitness activities: Anyone who works 40+ hours per week in an office setting needs to find time to move around and exercise. Some companies are fortunate enough to have an on-site gym or fitness classes but these perks aren’t feasible for most.
You can instead reimburse employees for fitness-related purchases or encourage your staff to form after-work exercise groups. Another idea is to use Fitbits or other wearable technology to track the activity of your employees and reward the most active people.
General health benefits: Exercise is good for the immune system but there is more you can do to help your employees fight off illness.
You can organize a number of health-related activities. From organizing health-related workshops, where health experts can train staff on topics around, healthy eating and lifestyle diseases to offering flu shots and making it known that employees are to stay home if they have a bug.
It’s also a good idea to have a stocked first aid kit and a private “wellness room” or nap room where people can tend to personal health needs.
Mental health & stress-release activities: Stress is a silent killer that can trigger serious health problems. It also goes hand-in-hand with mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
First and foremost, make sure no one is burning the candle on both ends. You can institute an office closing time to ensure everyone leaves at a reasonable hour. You can also require employees to take time off when they’ve incurred a certain number of PTO days.
And you can of course offer activities like yoga classes and massages that help people with mindfulness while working.
Trainings: At times with the work environment, our health might be affected in one way or another but we might even not know what our bodies are going through. Having regular health training can help employees foresee a health issue that can get treated beforehand.
Also with new workplace trends coming up more often, training on emotional intelligence and basic first aid training can come in handy for your employees
Social activities: Some employees prefer to sweat and blow off steam on their own and that’s totally fine. However, they still may enjoy activities that help them get to know their colleagues better.
Consider offering social activities like an office book club, game nights, and whatever else your employee enjoy doing.
Smiling and laughing is an important part of health too. While this might feel like a whole lot, you can have your teamwork from coworking spaces like Nairobi Garage, where such activities are held on a regular basis.
Team building activities: One of the secondary benefits of a wellness program is that many activities strengthen the bonds between team members. An after-work jogging group, a book club, and volunteer days will all make your employees closer than they were before.
Often, employee health is one of the principal reasons which not just affects their performance and productivity at work, but also impacts the overall workplace culture.
Now that we have an understanding of having a wellness program in place, here is how you can implement a successful program. Here are some basic steps for getting an employee wellness program going in your workplace.
Creating a wellness program is a fun project but don’t lose sight of why you’re doing it. Make sure every part of your program benefits both the company and staff.
Creating a comprehensive wellness program can take a lot of work and a long time so it’s a good idea to put a team on the project. The team will likely be led by HR but should also include executives, people from finance and others who are interested in promoting a healthy workplace.
With your team in place, start planning what your program should look like. Form a budget, research ideas, and get input from your employees. When the time is right, call a company-wide meeting to announce the new wellness program and get into the details. Make sure your employees know everything it includes so they can get the most out of it.
A successful employee wellness program is never done. Your team should always be open to feedback and new ideas so the program improves and employees get even healthier.
In conclusion, a healthy employee means a healthy workplace. An employee wellness program is more than just a cool employee perk. It’s an effective way to ensure your employees are in the right shape to do their best work.