What Are Employee Wellness Programs?
Employee wellness programs are programs that are implemented by an employer with the goal of improving employee health and helping individual employees overcome certain health related problems.
Employers can offer employees a number of different wellness program options, delivering those in compulsory employee training, staff seminars or by working with a third-party provider that manages employee wellness programs.
As an employer, your employees will always be the priority assets of your company. The health and wellness of your employees can directly have an impact on both productivity and profitability.
What other advantages can an employee wellness program give an employer? Let’s check them out.
Employee Wellness Program Benefits
There’s a number of important benefits employers can receive having their own employee wellness programs. While it can take time for your employee wellness program to see positive ROI, it’s a known fact that healthy employees are more beneficial to a company versus employees that are not healthy.
Let’s think about “health” for a moment. It’s a proven fact that people who live a healthier life are more productive than those who don’t. If you’re eating healthy, exercising daily and controlling your stress, your chances of disease are less than someone who doesn’t live a healthier lifestyle. Wellness programs can change the face of your company forever and the impact you can have on your employees can alter their lives positively forever.
Here’s some of the key benefits an employee wellness program can give your company.
(1) Reducing Absenteeism
Employers that have wellness programs experience less absenteeism due to employees being healthier and having less stress than their counterparts. Due to this, employees are less likely to be sick and it can reduce their risk for disease.
(2) Higher Productivity
When employees exercise on a regular basis and eat healthier, they’re more likely to be more productive than other employees. When you’re living healthy, most people claim to feel better, they have more energy and stamina. Studies have shown that poor health behaviors are often linked with high levels of unproductivity and can lead to higher health risks. In fact, it can also increase their chances of getting chronic diseases, something no one wants to go through.
(3) Reduce Health Risks
When you can help your employees create healthier behaviors and habits, it can lower their risk for health complications. Stress management, exercising and eating healthy are great for your health.
(4) Cutting Healthcare Cost
If your employees are seeing a doctor less, that’s going to help them save money on healthcare cost. It’s a known fact, people that are healthier see a doctor less than a person that isn’t healthy. If you have company insurance, this can greatly lower costs.
(5) Higher Employee Morale
A great wellness program can make your employees feel appreciated and valued. When you feel appreciated at work, it builds loyalty and trust. It also motivates you to be a better worker, give more effort and that’s a win-win for everyone.
(6) Building A Strong Community
One big benefit of belonging to a wellness program is the many initiatives employers can offer to their employees. When your employee wellness programs give your employees the opportunity to eat lunch together, exercise together, play sports together, it builds authentic relationships amongst employees. These relationships lead to a strong community.
(7) Improve Recruitment And Retention
Companies that have good wellness programs are attractive to prospects and can help you with both recruitment and retention. When you’re looking for an employer, many prospects will look for a company that has a wellness and health offering. Since a great wellness program can also build trust and loyalty, it can help you keep employees longer.
(8) Employees Live A Healthier Life
Your health is the most important element of living because without it, nothing else matters. If you’re sick, it becomes difficult to do small daily task. For many employees, it wouldn’t take much time off work to put that person in a bad financial spot. By providing an employee wellness program, you’re giving your employees one of the most precious gifts we have in life, our health. Education is key to showing your employees how important their health is.
Employee Wellness Initiatives
Employee wellness initiatives give your employees encouragement to interact with your wellness program. While you want your employee wellness programs to be valuable and impact everyone involved, you also want them to be fun.
To jumpstart the creativity of your wellness program, we wanted to give you a few examples of employee wellness initiatives that you may want to consider adopting for your own program.
(1) Fitness Activities
Sitting down at work for long periods is not healthy for your employees. Due to this, having fitness activities in your wellness program is a great idea. Some employers take this to the next level, offering employees on-site gym access, fitness classes, fitness equipment, yoga and other active activities.
(2) Healthy Lunch And Snacks
A lot of employees don’t get much time for lunch, this is one of the main reasons many of them opt for unhealthy fast food. It’s not a big investment to offer your employees something different, something small like healthy lunches and snacks. You can also encourage your employees to pack healthy lunches.
Another thing some employers are utilizing is healthy snack delivery services. These companies are starting to pop up everywhere and many of them provide nationwide delivery services. This would make for a great incentive if your company offers employees the opportunity to get a healthy lunch and snack for a fair price.
(3) Community Involvement
It feels great to help others and doing good deeds can give you a sense of fulfillment. Employers can take a day to organize volunteers to help out in the community and this is great for any company, local or not. You should be involved with the community and there’s many amazing programs out there that need your help.
(4) Fundraisers And Charity
Another element of getting the community involved can be fundraisers and charity. You can host events locally for fundraisers and charity. There’s a lot of amazing charities out there you can support and help. Your company gets to sponsor the event, which is always great for business and you get support your local community in the process.
(5) Assistance Programs
Another big benefit of employee wellness programs is that it allows employers to provide personal support for issues such as alcohol abuse, substance abuse, stress, anxiety, depression and obesity. Many of these issues and work-related stress can be addressed through guided support programs outside of work. When employees have peace-of-mind, they can perform at their best.
Studies have shown that most employees are more productive in the first few hours of work. After lunch, this production can greatly decrease. Some of the biggest companies in the world have specialized nap rooms for their employees as a quick nap can rejuvenate your energy and focus.
How To Launch Your Own Employee Wellness Program
While there’s many ways to launch your own employee wellness program, we feel these steps are the best way to make it happen.
(1) Planning And Goals That Benefit Everyone
You never want to start a wellness program without having a plan in place. If you need help with that plan, we’d be more than happy to help. Now, you should never lose sight of the main objectives a wellness program can bring to you and your employees. Your program can be a huge success at launch if you’re thinking “win-win” for everyone. You always want to make sure your wellness program benefits staff and your company.
Your company is also unique and has unique goals you want to achieve with your health wellness program. While we can’t speak for everyone, here at Kadalyst, our wellness coordinator and team dives deep into your company culture to help you create the right type of wellness program. By doing so, we’re able to help you create a program that has high engagement among everyone involved.
(2) Have A Dedicated Wellness Team
A comprehensive wellness program takes up a lot of time, effort and work to create it. If you’re going to have a wellness program, you want to do it right, that’s going to start and end with your team. Here at Kadalyst, we suggest a Wellness Committee that offers workshops and additional training for employees. If you work with Kadalyst, our wellness team also helps with program marketing, health campaigns, health education and employer IT support.
(3) Data And Analytics
If you want to make sure your wellness program is efficient, make sure you’re collecting data. There’s a lot of things you can learn through data collection to optimize your program. We recommend adding a biometric screening event and online health assessments so employees know their individual health status.
(4) Employee Feedback
You should always have an open policy as it pertains to feedback from your employees. Everyone wants to feel involved and feel like their opinions matter. This is a great way to interact with your staff and gain knowledge about what’s working and what is not. Furthermore, your employees will have ideas of their own, make sure you give them the platform to express their creative ideas.
(5) Use Surveys
While this can relate to step 3 and step 4 above, using employee wellness surveys can help you gather important insights about your wellness program. Some employees may prefer answering your questions via a survey rather than in person or in a group. Surveys are another tool you can use to consistently make your program better.
(6) Make It Easy To Understand
You should always communicate your wellness program to employees, ensuring they understand the different schemes of your program. It’s important that your staff understands how your employee wellness program can help them and how the program works.
(7) Making Adjustments
When you start employee wellness programs, none of them are perfect at launch. As long as you’re tracking data and getting employee feedback, you’re going to quickly learn what’s working in your program and what may need adjusted. As long as you’re following the steps within this guide, you’ll be able to constantly make your health and wellness program better.
(8) Review Goals And Objectives
Here at Kadalyst, we always recommend reviewing year end goals and objectives so you can make adjustments to your program as needed.
(9) Wellness Technology
Another big benefit working with Kadalyst is our wellness technology. With our health and wellness technology, you’ll have the opportunity to track;
- Team Wellness Challenges
- Wellness Activity Tracking
- Incentive And Reward Management
- NCQA Health Assessments
- Personal Health Records
- Wearable Integrations
- Health Content Library
- Biometric Reporting
- Message Content
With this specific health and wellness technology, your team will be able to easily track all the key components of your employee wellness program.
Key Takeaway Points
While some employers will never see the big benefits of an employee wellness program, they’re clear when you see it in person. Employees that are healthy and happy are more productive at work. They often have higher levels of trust and loyalty with the company. Wellness programs are a win-win scenario for both employers and employees.
If you’re considering adding an employee wellness program to your company, give Kadalyst a call. We’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and discuss how it can impact your business in big ways.
Let’s look at the benefits one more time.
- More Productivity
- More Engagement
- Healthier Employees
- More Loyalty And Trust
- Better Mood
- Better Work Environment
- Less Health Risk
- Higher Morale
- Higher Retention
- Less Absenteeism