Over 97% of American adults are living what’s considered a basically unhealthy lifestyle.
But America has been getting healthier as of late. Because most of our time is spent at work, employers can have a significant impact on that trend through the implementation of a corporate wellness program.
Although more and more employers are investing in corporate wellness, not all of them are doing it right. In order for your company wellness programs to be successful, you have to consider the needs of your employees and how you’re going to integrate the program into your culture (among other things).
If you’re ready to bring wellness onto the work floor, you need a few tips on how to be successful. Keep reading to find out where to start.
While it may seem obvious, a good place to start when you’re implementing a wellness program is to offer paid sick days.
Small businesses and businesses just starting on their wellness journey may not have the funds or expertise to cover every cost associated with wellness – nor should they be covering every health expense incurred by employees. But you can let your employees know that you care about their health by giving them the chance to take care of it when it’s needed.
Many people avoid getting help or treatment because they can’t afford to miss a day of work. People supporting families as well as themselves may not seek treatment when they know they won’t be paid for those missed days. This means that they can’t get the help they need and conditions often worsen.
Giving your employees paid sick days takes that pressure off of them. They can then go for help when they need it without worrying about their livelihood. This relieves any stress or anxiety around taking time off – and stress in and of itself can cause a host of health problems.
Your company benefits plans is closely linked to your employee’s wellness. Review your benefits plan with your provider and understand the limits and incentives.
There may be room to upgrade or change terms, offer preventative care options, or put incentives in place for exercise and healthy lifestyle habits like quitting sampling. Making these changes may encourage employees to get healthier, which saves you money in the long run.
Keep It Simple
You may find it difficult to fully implement your wellness program. When it’s complicated and based on processes and protocol, you’ll have a hard time getting employees on board. When wellness just feels like more work, they’re less likely to be excited about it and to participate wholeheartedly.
Instead, integrate the wellness program into your company culture. Start by making the wellness program easy to understand and follow. Make events easy to participate in and incentives easy to follow. Make sure you remove any barriers to participation because the easier it is for them to do, the more likely they are to do it.
You might also consider building wellness in your office. That means offering healthy food and snacks, activities like yoga or meditation, or even bringing ergonomic workstations onto the floor.
Tailor Your Corporate Wellness Program to Your Employees
This is one of the first and most important steps of a successful corporate wellness program. In the same way that you use data to make informed business decisions, you should use data to determine what your wellness program looks like and what it targets. And that data should come from the people the program benefits – i.e. your employees.
You can begin by listing all the initiatives you’re willing to take on. Give these to your employees and have them rank those items in order of importance and preference. Then, build your wellness program around that.
But sometimes your employees aren’t aware of what they need to be more healthy. To do get more in depth, you can conduct a health risk appraisal (HRA). This identifies risk factors based on the personal lifestyle choices and practices of your employees and gives you a more accurate account of what’s needed.
Communicate the Importance
Communication is the key to any successful corporate endeavor. Your employees should know what’s going on, why, and how and why they should get involved. A poster isn’t going to do that for you. You need to incorporate emails, printed material, your website, meetings, orientation for new employees, calendars, and newsletters.
You can’t stress your wellness program enough. Communicate about it in multiple ways and do so multiple times to get the word out there.
Don’t expect that you roll out your corporate wellness program and people take it up on their own. You should provide help in how to navigate the incentives and new benefits. Your plan needs to be accessible to all employees and communicated/led by experts.
Ensure you have the right people involved. Consider bringing in experts and other professionals to talk about the importance of wellness and explain how the program works and what’s involved. You’ll also want to be careful who you have leading the program.
By the same token, make sure your wellness program has the right people involved. You can’t have a full-time employee running the wellness program and expect success. That adds a burden to their day and either their work or the program will suffer in a result.
A sure way to get employees involved is to offer them incentives to do so.
Incentivizing works in 2 ways. You can either offer incentives for progress and healthy choices or you can punish poor behavior.
For a successful corporate wellness program, it’s recommended to use the former. Using punishment forces employees to improve their health, but it’s not sustainable. People respond better to positive reinforcement that rewards healthy living and also improves employee morale.
Bring Wellness Into Your Office
A successful corporate wellness program is built around the needs of your employees. Once you’ve determined what your employees require in terms of health and wellness, you need the right people to implement it, lots of communication, and incentives to get your employees on board. But you might also consider looking into improving your benefits program as well as paid days off.
And if you’re still not sure where to start, enlist the help of our experts. Check out our pricing and let us know how we can help.