There’s an increase in employee wellness programs across the United States, and with good reason—a well-executed, comprehensive wellness program can reduce healthcare claims and absenteeism, and help employees cut down on smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, and continually consider work/life balance.
But without a wellness strategy and some thinking about the “big picture” of health in businesses, wellness programs can fall flat.
Here are some key issues to keep in mind as you approach employee wellness at your organization.
- Incentives work. Studies show that incentives work at influencing positive employee behavior when it comes to wellness programs. Thinking about including a step or calorie counting challenge in your program? Why not give away free fitness trackers to your employees before they begin. Of course, financial incentives and gift cards are also great motivators that can help steer your employees in the direction of good health.
- Consider ALL of your employees. That step program we just mentioned is great for the runners and walkers in your organization. But what about those employees who prefer low-impact exercise, like swimming or biking? It’s important to develop fun challenges that cater to different employee groups. Consider a wide variety of contests and activities that encourage all of your employees to participate.
- Want to know what your employees want? Ask them. The best way to get honest feedback and ideas from your employees is to ask them. Before committing resources to a year-long wellness program, survey your employees to determine which strategies might work best. What you learn might surprise you… or stop you from launching a program no one is interested in.Additionally, surveying your employees can help shape your program. Questions that aren’t directly about health, such as how employees are feeling, can offer insights into physical health, stress, happiness, and satisfaction.
- Always follow up. Providing free health assessments or biometric screenings can be a great starting point to help detect any potential health issues. But the screening you provide won’t do your employees any good unless you follow up with ways they can actually improve their health. Most people who are a little overweight know they need to drop a few pounds, and the smokers know that what they’re doing is bad for their health. Provide your employees with the necessary resources to take action.
- Communicate often. In addition to health screenings and challenges, a comprehensive wellness program should incorporate employee communications. Your employees won’t attend your Wednesday yoga program if they aren’t reminded of it. Employee newsletters are a great way to share event information, healthy recipes, and information about various health awareness weeks or months throughout the year.
Just like any other large-scale, company-wide program, an employee wellness program needs a strategy behind it to ensure you achieve health and cost-saving goals.
Contact us at 215.441.4600 or Email if you have questions or would like to discuss how this topic may impact your business.
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