Employee-sponsored wellness programs provide organizations with many benefits. Designed to help employees maintain healthy lifestyle choices, wellness programs can strengthen staff morale, raise productivity and decrease health care related expenses for employers. To create a successful program, it is important to make sure the initiative’s focus is on helping employees get healthier rather than helping the organization save money—though both can occur.
An effective wellness program begins with involvement from a company’s leadership team. Like most business pursuits, employees are less skeptical to buy-in when senior managers and c-suite executives participate. There are multiple options to choose from when deciding to create a wellness program. Most are offered in partnership with an organization’s benefits provider, but agencies that specialize in developing and launching wellness programs are additional options for companies that want to create their own.
In addition to involving senior leadership, the start of a company wellness program should be communicated to all eligible employees through multiple channels, such as the company’s intranet and newsletter or a company-wide email. Organizations should also set and publicize goals that they would like the program to accomplish. Progress throughout the duration of the wellness initiative should be measured as well.
With careful planning and execution, a wellness program can help organizations lower insurance costs, reduce absenteeism and help employees improve their overall physical and mental health. Here are a few suggestions for creating a healthier work culture at your company:
- Offer Financial Incentives: reward employees who opt into the wellness program by offering them benefits, such as lower insurance premiums and contributions to their flexible spending accounts.
- Survey Employees: to gauge the effectiveness of the wellness program, as well as track employee morale, organizations can gather updates from staff members via employee opinion surveys.
- Encourage Team Spirit: help employees get motivated to pursue healthier lifestyle choices by personalizing items that inspire exercise and good nutrition. For example, organizations can order water bottles and pedometers personalized with the company logo or names of staff members.
- Throw It Out: If your organization provides poor food options in vending machines, replace them with healthier choices, such as low-calorie or reduced-fat snacks.
For more information on creating a wellness program for your organization, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.
Photo Source: Ben Sisto