How to Implement a Health & Wellness Program for Your Business

Employee Wellness is vital for a company’s success; not only can this help save you costs in the long-run, but it can also help build the foundation for a strong company culture. Employee Wellness programs show you care about your employee’s mental and physical health in and outside of the workday. While there isn’t ‘one correct way’ of building an employee wellness program, we can offer some insight into what a successful program looks like.

Tips for Developing a Successful Employee Wellness Program:

  • Survey Your Employees: You don’t want to spend a significant amount of time creating a wellness program only to realize that your employees don’t see the value in it. Thus, it’s always a good idea to survey your employees to better understand what’s important to them and what will motivate them in the company.
  • Focus on Holistic Approaches: While healthy snacks and gym reimbursements are great for the physical health of your employees, it’s equally if not more important to consider their mental wellness as well. Start by identifying activities that can help with stress management as this can be crucial for your employees wellbeing. It can also have a positive impact on daily performance which can be a benefit to your business too.
  • Make It A Team Effort: HR may be one department, but they should not be the only team leading this initiative. Get different team members and company leaders involved with the planning and execution as this will motivate even more employees throughout the company to buy into the program.
  • Start Slow: To make this successful, it’s important to start slow so you don’t overwhelm your employees with these new programs and initiatives. Once your employees see the value and it starts gaining momentum, you can work towards growing it.
  • Know the Costs & Benefits: We understand cost can be a crucial factor in deciding whether to implement a wellness program. Therefore, we recommend talking to your broker or health insurance carriers to see what advice they have. Some carriers offer different incentives for initiating a wellness program and most brokers can help identify cost-savings elements.
  • Leverage Internal Resources: Another way to save costs and time is to make sure you are leveraging your internal resources. If you look throughout your company, you may often find that you already have employees with a background in wellness — such as yoga teachers or physical trainers. This can become an asset to your cause, and many times they are more than happy to offer classes or trainings for your team.
  • Track Employee Engagement: After planning out your unique program, make sure to turn your focus on employee engagement. A program without engagement from your team is ineffective.

How to ‘Gamify’ the Program

There are also many fun, creative, and cost effective ways to get your employees engaged in the wellness program to increase participation:

  1. Point System→ This is where you set a specific amount of points you want your employee to achieve for a specified benefit. For example, if they reach their point goal by tracking steps, dieting, or attending a class, they may receive a discount on their healthcare coverage or a gift card of their choice.
  2. Fitbit Contest/Steps Contest→ If employees have a Fitbit or any device for tracking steps, you can host a daily, weekly, or monthly contest where the individual with the most steps receives a prize or is entered into a drawing for a prize.
  3. Walking Event/Contests→ The primary difference between this an an ongoing step tracking initiative is that everyone walks at the same time in an event format, similar to a “Walkathon”. This can either be a company sponsored event or a race that everyone signs up for. Often, the winner of these events picks a charity that the company donates to. This not only motivates employees, but it aids in social responsibility for the company.
  4. Raffles→ Offer raffle entries for employees who complete specific wellness tasks such as getting a physical exam or reaching a certain exercise goal. Enter the monthly or quarterly winners into a raffle to win a prize that’s of bigger value.
  5. Weight Watchers→ Pairing up with a leading health company is also a great tool for accountability. That’s why some companies partner with Weight Watchers. If an employee signs up and loses a specified amount of weight or completes the program, the company might pay the initial Weight Watchers membership fee.
  6. Lunchtime Learning Classes→ Take advantage of lunch breaks in the workplace by hosting exercise classes or health awareness seminars. Some fun examples may be a yoga workout, an essential oils class, a stress management seminar, or a ‘how to pack a healthy lunch’ class.

At the end of the day, the key to a successful wellness program is employee engagement. That’s why you want to make sure you have buy in from each department and team member and act as a unified example for present & new employees. If you are interested in developing a wellness program and would like to learn more, please feel free to call us at (619) 222-0119.

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