Research has shown that healthy employees are more productive. This means that it is worthwhile for employers to invest in the health of their employees. The best way to do this? An employee wellness program. Such a program benefits employers by increasing employee productivity and morale, as well as saving the company money on health insurance costs. And of course, employees benefit from actually being healthier!
By definition, employee wellness programs are vague, and can include a large variety of actual services, such as nutrition education, exercise classes, a quit-smoking program, blood pressure screenings, stress management, etc. Moreover, the ability to customize these employee wellness programs can end up being an invaluable benefit to employees.
If you are thinking of adding an employee wellness program to your benefits package, here are some considerations to take into account.
If your employees don’t know about your wellness program, how can they participate in it? Make sure you communicate exactly what is being offered in your program and what employees can gain from it, with weekly or monthly reminders to take advantage of its various offerings.
Emphasize the positives
Instead of focusing on the risks of unhealthy behavior, emphasize all the benefits employees can receive, such as improved quality of life and empowerment.
Include biometric screenings
Biometric screenings work well for employees and employers. They offer employees a snapshot of their health situation by testing for cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index and more. They offer employers valuable information – when employers analyze the pooled data, they can discover certain trends and offer benefits that address them. For example, if the biometric screenings of most employees show high BMIs, employers can offer a healthy lunch program and exercise classes.
Offer incentives, but don’t force participation
Employee wellness programs are meant to be voluntary. This means that employees can choose to participate in them, or not. Some employees opt not to because it means sharing certain medical information with their employers. But many employees are seeking something that can help them improve their health. By offering enticing incentives, you can attract employees to participate. (On the flip side, forcing employees to participate can land you in legal trouble, so you need to be careful about penalizing employees who don’t participate.)
Listen to your employees
An employee wellness program that isn’t relevant to your employees is worthless. And while you may think you know what your employees want, the only way to be sure is to ask them. So go ahead – ask them what programs they would like to see implemented, and do your best to make them happen. You may not be able to please everyone, but if you listen for common threads instead of specific ideas, you have a good chance at creating a unique wellness program that the majority of your employees can enjoy.
Not sure where to start?
Corporate Financial works with clients to provide guidance on wellness programs. We help set up engaging wellness programs for employees so that employers realize an ongoing return on their wellness program investment. If you’re interested in getting started or in improving your current wellness program, contact us today.