Offering a Wellness Program
“Why should I offer a wellness program and what are the benefits?” If you are at the point where you are asking this question, you are on the right path! The standard definition of a wellness program is, “A program intended to improve and promote health and fitness that’s offered through the workplace.” However, wellness programs go so much further than just promoting physical health. They nurture the vibrancy and growth of individuals within your organization and support them in all seven areas of well-being; mental, physical, social, financial, spiritual, environmental, and occupational. It is a whole person approach to well-being. So, to get back to your question, there are numerous benefits of offering a wellness program and outlined below are a few key benefits of incorporating one:
Improve Employee Health Behaviors
Inspiring healthy employee behaviors is the main goal of wellness programs. By improving the behaviors of a workforce, you can help your team members lower their health risks and adopt healthy habits that will benefit all areas of their lives. Research shows that wellness programs can encourage employees to smoke less, eat healthier, exercise more and manage stress more effectively.
Attract and Retain Top Talent
As stated by Jeanne Meister, Founder of Future Workplace and Executive Vice President of Executive Networks, “Employee well-being benefits are now one of the most important criteria for employees when applying for or accepting a new job.” In fact, a recent study shows that well designed employee wellness might just be the solution to The Great Resignation. Participants in this study reported struggling with financial and emotional well-being the most, so organizations that include financial and emotional well-being benefits within their wellness program will be best situated for attracting and retaining top talent.
Improve Employee Engagement and Productivity
Research from Gallup shows that organizations who prioritize employee well-being have higher employee engagement and productivity. All three of these elements are highly reciprocal and additive. Each influences the future state of the other to a similar degree and high rates of well-being are directly linked to higher levels of engagement and productivity. Not to mention, nearly 90% of business leaders say that promoting wellness had a positive effect on the overall performance and productivity of their employees.
Improve Teamwork and Morale
By encouraging your employees to participate in wellness programs, particularly team-based activities, it can help strengthen their relationships. It also allows them to support each other and hold one another accountable for their goals. Taking part in wellness activities outside of the workplace can also help with team bonding and camaraderie, which further improves communication and collaboration in the workplace. In addition, educational programs and wellness activities teach employees new things and add an element of fun into the work environment to generate enthusiasm and boost morale.
Reduce Healthcare Costs
Wellness programs can result in measurable savings for a company in the form of reduced healthcare costs. By improving the health your workforce, your employees are less likely to get sick or be injured on the job. This means that your employees are receiving medical care less frequently, saving both themselves and your organization money in healthcare expenses. While the number varies on your goals and overall design of your wellness program, the CDC estimates that well-implemented workplace health programs can lead to 25% savings each on absenteeism due to illness, health care costs, and workers’ compensation and disability management claims costs.
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