Employee wellbeing is a top concern of every business owner. You want your staff to be healthy for their own benefit in addition to being physically and emotionally able to do their jobs. After all, productivity is directly related to employee state of mind and body. Employers are recognizing this and are implementing employee wellness programs, consciously investing in efficiency and productivity.
A recent study revealed that although 70 percent of employees report that corporate wellness programs are important to them, much fewer participate in what is offered. This is likely because employers do not understand what their staff is looking for and how to get them interested. Overall, 86 percent of employees surveyed said that stress management help is important in a wellness program. Jobs are the primary cause of stress in day-to-day life so it only feels natural that an employer joins the fight against it. Coming in second is physical fitness at 85 percent, with the closely related weight management in third place with 80 percent. All of the things that employees say they need help with are also leading causes of a myriad of other health issues that can quickly spiral out of control.
The Workplace Wellness Program Study sponsored by the United States Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Family Services reports that about half of employers in the country offer a wellness program, and those typically include wellness screening activities that aim to identify health risks and promote healthier lifestyles.
The result of this is a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in exercise frequency, smoking behavior, and weight control among program participants. Participation in a program over a five-year period has also been linked to lower healthcare costs and a reduction in the need to use the healthcare system.
Corporate wellness programs are not a one-size-fits-all solution. When choosing a program, consider your unique corporate culture and what is important to your employees, and incorporate that into the plan. Programs should fit your employees’ lifestyles, which also means giving them the downtime needed to enjoy these benefits. Use the program as a fun way to encourage and inspire your staff by fueling their competitive fires with contests and goal incentives.
The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities to educate employees and offer them support in taking advantage of these programs. Encourage them with incentives today while making a plan for the future, as it really takes a forward thinker to consider long-term gains. Partnering with a professional corporate wellness service provider can help business owners and executives properly create, implement, and manage an effective (and cost-effective) employee well-being program.