What Is A Corporate Wellness Program?
A corporate wellness program or employee wellness program is a holistic approach to the wellbeing of the employees by creating organizational habits that promote a healthy lifestyle. The importance of employee health (both physical health and mental wellbeing) on the productivity level of the employee has been talked about time and again. It is important to go beyond the traditional employee benefit program and genuinely invest in programs that can positively influence the wellbeing of your employees, after all, they spend most of their waking part of life at the job place.
It is only fair to invest in the wellbeing of your employees when they are investing their time and energy for the benefits of the organization. A good wellness program not only educates the employees about their health problems, but it also provides them with tools to tackle that problem. A corporate wellness program shouldn’t be limited to the curing of a disease, it should encourage the employees to have an overall healthy lifestyle practices.
These practices are easy to incorporate in everyday routine when there is an external stimulus that motivates you. Making fitness and health a group activity can be helpful in creating habits that are long-lasting and sustainable.
What Are The Benefits Of A Corporate Wellness Program?
Your employees are the backbone of your organization. Investing in your employee’s wellbeing not only increases their productivity which benefits the firm, it also creates a happy work environment that attracts and retains talent.
Some of the benefits of incorporating a good wellness program are:
1) It promotes healthy behavioral characteristics
Smartly designed wellness programs help employees easily adopt healthy habits. A healthy mind increases productivity. Once the employees make these habits a part of their daily lifestyle, the overall improvement in mental health is remarkable. A happy and healthy mind makes the employees better able to deal with stress.
They also help them with fighting their bad habits like smoking or excessive drinking. When people try to quit these habits, they are usually drawn back to it with even a little bit of trigger. These wellness programs help people quit these habits for a long time.
2) Lowers Absenteeism
There are various papers that have linked effective wellness programs to lower absenteeism. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that if people are healthy they will take less sick leaves.
Corporate wellness programs help employees deal with their stress in a very efficient way and this helps them from experiencing burnout.
3) Lowers Health Care Cost
A well in place corporate wellness program can also lower the health care cost of the employees. There was a study that reviewed the financial impact of a corporate wellness program on health care cost which suggested that the ability for the corporate wellness programs to reduce health care cost depends upon the effectiveness and personalization of the corporate wellness program. Almost all the studies show a very positive return on investment.
4) It Improves Productivity
Corporate wellness programs inculcate healthy behaviors in employees, good wellness programs are specifically designed to improve the health of the employees and help them with stress management. It is an established fact that a healthy body and mind are more productive compared to when you feel ill and stress. You can focus more and better on work at hand when there is nothing else troubling you and occupying your mind.
How Can You Make Your Corporate Wellness Program More Effective?
Personalization is the secret ingredient for any corporate program to show its magic. One size fits all strategy doesn’t really work well when it comes to corporate wellness programs. When we look around, all the products and services offer personalization. It is like a secret sauce that is required to make a tasty pasta.
Every company is different and every employee as well. Your corporate program should be customizable to fit in your employee’s habits and problems that they are facing. What strategy may work for other companies may not be an effective solution for you. If you want your corporate wellness program to be successful then you will have to invest your resources in understanding your employees and their pain points better.
Personalization and customization of corporate wellness program serve the following benefits.
1) More Motivation
Employees will feel more motivated by the triggers when the triggers make sense at a personal level.
2) Better knowledge
3) More Engagement
When the activities are designed according to the individual gains and habits, the amount of engagement on these activities increases.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for personalizing the corporate wellness program.
● Biometric Screenings
Biometric screenings measure the overall health of the individual employee. It includes measuring weight, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels. In addition to the above-mentioned health measures, it also includes personal reporting of exercising frequency, diet, the amount of alcohol and tobacco consumption, etc. Employees can set their personal health goals and can start working towards it.
The next step into making a successful corporate campaign is to personalize the outreach program. Once we have the results from health screening and biometric screenings we can understand which employees need what kind of intervention. We can even identify employees who need immediate intervention. Getting guidance from a professional for a problem that is actually affecting you can be a great motivator to take immediate action. It is important to note that only giving out solutions can not be enough motivation. Taking follow ups from the employees and making sure they are following the program is a very necessary step.
● Digital Approach and Personalised Microsites
In today’s world for any campaign to be a successful one, we need to make sure that it is online. Organizations can make a company microsite for its wellness program where employees can find information and news related to the program. The digital platform can help with goal tracking of the desired results. It can also contain video tutorials and downloadable brochures for various health concerns. In addition to that, we can dedicate a section to quires where people can post their doubts and get it solved by the experts.
● Nutritional Support
Nutritional support can be personalized through artificial intelligence. Following a diet not only depends upon the need of the body but also the convenience of the employees. Not everyone has the leisure of cooking up a 5-course meal that can fulfill their nutritional needs. A diet plan has to be customized based on that person’s convenience, dietary habits, and restrictions. To give an example, many people face lactose intolerance, so giving them a thumb rule of drinking milk twice a day will put them in trouble.
Here Are The Two Things That Companies Should Keep In Mind While Developing A Wellness Program
1) Look Up To Companies Who Are Rated Employee Friendly And See What They Offer
While compensation that the company offers remains the key factor for employees to select a job, overall benefits offered by the company are not far behind. People are getting more and more conscious about their health, and a well in place corporate wellness program will help you attract the right talent and even retain them.
If employees are happy at their jobs they are less likely to look for a new job, in addition to that, healthy and happy employees are more productive and efficient at the job.
2) Ask Your Employees For Their Input
The entire point of developing a corporate wellness program is to keep your employees happy and healthy. What better way to make your employees happy and understand what your employees want than directly including them in the designing process.
Involving your employees will make them feel empowered, which will make them more likely to follow the program. Involving your employees will make you understand their pain points better and will put you in a better position for solving their problems, so that is a win-win situation.
3) Make It Rewarding
The best way to encourage employees to be fit is to make it rewarding. Develop a system where employees set their fitness goals and reward them when they achieve their targets. This is going to keep them motivated. Employees will feel a sense of satisfaction when they achieve the targets set by them which in turn will keep them satisfied with the job.
3 Trends That Many Companies Are Catching On When It Comes To Health And Fitness Are:
1) Tie-ups With Gyms
Gyms offer different services like outdoor activities, massages, Zumba, yoga, and many more. Companies can have a corporate tie-ups with such gyms and can offer their employees a wide range of services that they can select according to their preferences and goals.
2) Flexible Reward System Suited To Different Health Needs
A reward system works like magic when it comes to keeping the employees motivated about the fitness program. Offering a very well planned fitness or wellness program won’t really show you any results if the employees are not motivated enough to follow it.
You can even have tie-ups with companies like the CXA group, that offer personalized wellness programs for each employee and even have a reward system in place.
3) Digital Health Coaching
Here Are A Few Examples Of Wellness Services That You Can Offer Your Employees
1) Flexible work-hours option
Different people feel motivated and productive at different times around the clock. In addition to that, there are different responsibilities that a person might have to take care of. Offering flexible work hours,and on top of that, remote working options can really make your employees feel more in control and stress-free.
2) Well in place leave system
Human beings aren’t machines that can function efficiently without breaks round the clock. Humans work best when they are well-rested.
A good vacation can improve their mood and also increase their productivity. A break from the routine every now and then can make following the routine more stress-free.
Offer your employees a decent number of holidays that they can access at their convenience. Encouraging the employees for taking planned leaves can also give you time to adjust your work efficiently.
3) Smoking cessation program
Basically, a program to help your employees quit smoking. Smoking causes many health problems in employees and in addition to that smoke breaks can take up a considerable amount of time from their working hours.
4) Paramedical services
Paramedical services that improve the health of the employees like massage therapy, aromatherapy, and many more. These services help in dealing with stress and can improve productivity in the employees. This can also be like a short mini-vacation to wellness centers.
5) Lunch and healthy snacks
People also tend to consume unhealthy and oily fatty fast food in the form of snacks.
Offering employees a well-balanced healthy lunch and stalking up the counter with healthy snacks can go a long way in improving their health. Also having healthy snack options available at hand will reduce the consumption of unnecessary junk food.
6) Emotional Assistance Program
Like mentioned earlier, wellness programs should not be limited to physical health. Employees’ mental and emotional wellbeing is just as important. Hiring a psychologist or counselor and taking care of the well-being of your employees is very important. Your employees are assets as well as your responsibility. Ensure that they are stress-free and are in a good mental capacity to handle their problems.
7) Wellness challenges and adventures
These challenges and adventures make exercising and eating healthy a fun activity.
There are many health challenges that your employees can take up, depending upon their health issues and concerns and the reward of completing the challenge can be a motivating factor.
Another way to get your employees start working out is by turning it into an adventure activity that is fun.
If you really want to make sure that the wellness program that you are developing is a good one, then ask yourself these two questions – Does the corporate wellness program that you are developing provide real value to your employees? Does the program make it easier for your employees to get healthy?