Corporate culture encourages hard work, which leads many putting work before health. And while staying up late to complete tasks or showing up at work when you are sick show your commitment to your job, personal health should always come first. Along with improving quality of life, mental and physical health also makes people better employees. In today’s blog, I provide a step-by-step guide on starting a corporate wellness program.
Why Invest in Employee Wellness?
Designing and integrating an employee wellness program provides companies with a host of benefits:
- Lower healthcare costs
- Make the workplace safer
- Improve employee productivity, morale and loyalty
- Reduce absenteeism
As an employee, you have to provide health insurance, which is a significant expense. And you can reduce these costs by investing in a good corporate wellness program. Healthier employees will take fewer days off due to sickness and will also be more productive.
Plus, there will be lesser accidents at the workplace, which means can also lower the cost of accidental insurance, worker compensation and disability-related costs. And all this will improve your bottom line while improving the quality of life for your employees.
Here’s how you can launch a wellness program at your company:
Determine the Needs of Employees
The first step is to research and survey the needs of the employees. The best corporate wellness programs are those that take these needs into account. So start by creating a workplace survey. You can present wellness ideas for perks to get detailed information. These ideas can include:
- Flexible work hours
- Company-sponsored lunches (preferably healthy options)
- Leisure areas within the workplace (TV room, games room)
- Fitness area at the workplace
- Better work incentives
- Paid time off
- Pets at work
- Work from home availability
These are some easy to implement wellness idea. Note that during the survey process, employees will come to determine shared interests which will increase greater bonding and cooperation, leading to wellness.
Make Employee Involvement Easier
There are several barriers to good health and wellbeing. The major ones are time, money and planning. That is why employers should make it easier for employees to get started with their health goals.
This includes providing planning tools like questionnaires (as already described above) or organizing coaching sessions that employees to create milestones to reach their fitness goals.
Offering paid time off is also something that you can introduce in the short run. This way, employees can focus on their health without losing a paycheck.
The same holds true for flexible working hours. These can help employees to incorporate gym time or yoga, Zumba, aerobics etc. in their daily schedule.
Better still, you can consider providing fitness and wellness facilities at the workplace itself. You see, with a 40-hour workweek, employees are always running short of time. They spend even their final minutes at work finishing tasks, and then they have other priorities in life. That is why employees need to make it easier for employees to participate in wellness programs.
So you can add a small gym at the office, or put a ping-pong table where employees can socialize and also stretch their legs while enjoying a game. These steps enable employees to focus on wellness as part of their daily work schedule and they don’t need to make their busy lives busier with gym memberships or fitness classes.
Make Company Culture Healthier
Along with providing wellness perks, you can also work towards integrating health into the company culture. There are many ways to do this, including some ideas listed above, such as providing healthy snacks instead of vending machines, or stretching exercises after every team meeting.
On a deeper level, you should establish clear guidelines on employee wellness and incorporate them into the company policy as laid out in the employee handbook. In this way, new employees will automatically get on board with the wellness program.
Host an Event
A great way to launch your wellness program is to hold an event, like a wellness fair. You can work with local wellness providers and offer a selection of wellness-based activities to increase the interest of employees. It is also a good way of determining the future success of the actual wellness program.
Of course, this should not be a one-time thing. You should conduct ongoing educational and promotional activities from time to time to keep employees focused on their wellness objectives. Other activity ideas include walking clubs or marketing focused on corporate wellness.
Last but not least, you need to give your wellness program some time. Wellness is a process, not something that happens overnight. That is why you need to set realistic targets with the realization that things will take some time.
This also means that you should measure the outcome of the program. So you can measure productivity, absenteeism and overall mood of the workplace. You also have to collect health-related data with on-site blood tests, biometric screenings, or any other method that suits your company.
As an employer, you also need to measure how the program is performing cost-wise. So for instance, an anti-smoking program will only be beneficial if smoking-related issues comprise a good chunk of your healthcare costs.
To sum up, employee wellness programs positively everything from recruitment efforts to company culture as well as your bottom line. Following these steps will help you to smoothly implement a wellness program in your company.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.