Employee Wellness Program

Employees are valuable resources of any company, and productive employees lay the foundation for a successful organization. It is evident that happy and healthy employees are more productive than unhealthy or unhappy ones. Many studies have proven the direct impact of employee wellbeing on workplace productivity and business growth. And so, employee health and wellbeing have become a priority for many organizations to ensure workplace wellness and consistent business growth.

Many studies show how supporting employee wellbeing at the workplace can have a tremendous impact on business growth. An Allied Market Research study anticipates the global corporate wellness market to be valued at almost $66.2 billion by 2027.

Thanks to this realization, many employers are looking for different ways to improve employee health and wellbeing. One of the most effective ways to improve workforce wellbeing and workplace productivity is by investing in the right employee wellness program.

So, what is an Employee Wellness Program?

Also referred to by the terms workplace wellness programs, corporate health solutions, employee wellbeing programs, and likewise, the phrase 'Employee Wellness Programs' collectively refers to the corporate initiatives that boost employee engagement and help in improving the health and wellness aspects of the workforce, along with that of their spouses and dependents.

Company wellness programs are designed to correlate business and wellbeing goals while building a healthy workplace culture and promote work-life balance by implementing holistic approaches. These employee benefits solutions must be flexible, compatible with the latest technology, and tailored to align with the individual goals.

Ideally, corporate solutions are employer-sponsored initiatives that are intending at improving employee health and wellbeing. These initiatives help employees adopt healthier lifestyle habits to overcome chronic conditions and live a life of holistic health.Modern company wellness programs expand beyond the traditional resources and ideologies to cultivate healthy habits in the employees to achieve positive health outcomes, productivity, and engagement. More importantly, having a robust employee health program can give your workplace an advantageous competitive edge to attract and retain skilled candidates.

Previously, corporate wellbeing programs started as small offerings as a part of the employee benefits and perks package. Most times they involved aspects related to physical health alone, including exercising and healthy eating. However, over the years, employee expectations of workplace benefits have changed, and corporate wellbeing programs evolved from fitness programs to holistic solutions. In fact, these employee wellbeing programs have become a strong employee retention tool as employees are more likely to choose companies with better worksite wellness programs and also work with them for a long time, reducing turnover rates too.

Holistic health can be achieved only when all the different wellness dimensions are taken care of and managed well.

Common Wellness Aspects Contributing To Overall Employee Wellbeing

Workplace wellness program

Diverse Holistic Wellness Aspects

The moment one talks about getting healthy, the scenario of sweating out at the gym and eating salads comes to our minds, limiting the notion of wellbeing to just physical health. However, holistic aspects of an individuals are the outcome of a blend of different wellbeing dimensions, all contributing in its own way, providing various benefits while improving the overall quality of life.

For the workplace programs to be effective and productive, it must address all the crucial holistic wellness dimensions, promoting the overall workforce wellbeing. Here is a quick glance at the 4 most important holistic dimensions which we focus on improving through our company wellness program.

Physical

Simply put, being physically fit and healthy means having all the bodily functions running smoothly and regularly. Right from the respiratory system, to the digestive system, circulatory system, and the musculoskeletal system, physical wellness includes the proper functioning of all these body systems in harmony. One of the most easily manageable holistic dimensions, physical fitness can be promoted effectively with the rightly designed company wellness program since the concept of physical health is known to most people. Simple initiatives that can be included in everyday lives - diet, exercise, and sleep, all fall in the frame contributing to physical wellbeing.

Emotional

Often ignored by many since it does not show fixed symptoms, mental and emotional health are also crucial for holistic wellness. How a person thinks, feels, responds, and behaves in a certain situation and how they handle their emotions is termed as emotional wellness. On the same lines, WHO refers to mental health as the individual state of wellbeing that allows coping with daily stresses and still stay productive and calm. With the right employee wellness program elements, employee mental health, psychological, and emotional wellbeing can be effectively enhanced and maintained.

Social

Social wellness is broadly termed as your healthy relationships with the social community, connecting with others, and interacting with them. An important aspect of the holistic health equation, social welfare is vital for nurturing supportive social networks that build emotional resilience and boost morale. Employee wellness program modules designed for social and holistic prosperity can promote better social interactions that enhance teamwork, and boost employee engagement.

Financial

As the term states, financial wellness is the ability to lead a healthy financial life. Right from being able to pay off debts, to saving enough for retirement funds, financial abundance essentially contributes to holistic health. Offering financial literacy through workplace wellness programs to help your workforce assess and plan their short-term and long-term financial goals can contribute well towards overall wellbeing.

Wellness Program Components

Workplace wellness program

Workplace wellness programs are a broad term that includes many wellbeing-related activities and features, all of which play a huge role in improving employee health behaviors. Every one of these features and modules contributes to the running and success of the employee wellbeing initiatives.

In short, the employee wellness program modules are what drive the workplace program initiatives. Workplace wellness programs put to use web-based tools that help in administering and managing the corporate program modules. Apart from being delivered properly, it is also important that the chosen health and wellness program modules are well-suited to meet the specific health and wellness requirements of the workplace.

Building a successful worksite program can take time and many other resources. The right vendor will simplify the entire process of planning, designing, implementing, executing, and managing all the wellbeing program aspects. The compnay wellness program modules must be capable of accomplishing the four key objectives that allow employees to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors, and live a life of holistic health.

Create awareness

The corporate wellness program must include modules that create awareness about health and wellness, and educate employees about their benefits and ways to achieve them. Examples of such modules include health assessments, screenings, online resources, webinars, videos, and books.

Motivate

Employee engagement is crucial for the success of the corporate wellness program, and so, the program must include modules that motivate employees to participate in the program activities and encourage them to keep going on to achieve their goals. Examples: corporate wellness app, rewards and incentives, device integration, and more.

Wellbeing Tools

For the employees to let go of their unhealthy habits and adopt healthy habits, it is important to provide the right tools that illustrate how to be healthy and help them get on with their new changes. Such modules include wellness challenges, campaigns, healthy habit programs, and disease management programs.

Support

While offering all the tools and resources is important to motivate and encourage employees, it is also important to create a healthy and positive workplace culture that aid employees through their wellness journey. Offering social support modules through group discussions, forums, personal stories, family participation, and other communications are important to influence healthy employee behaviors.

Here are the key modules that contribute to these 4 major objectives of the corporate wellbeing solutions.

Customizable Wellness Platform

Making it suitable to meet your organization's branding and workforce wellness needs, our corporate wellness platform is designed to give a personalized touch to your employee wellness initiatives. Right from adding your company logo, specific colors, and other branding elements, you can customize the corporate wellness platform as per your choice.

Health Risk Assessment

A fundamental of the employee wellbeing programs, Health Risk Assessments (HRA) allow collecting the basic health information of the individuals, including their habits and medical history to evaluate the health risk status through a simple questionnaire. The HRA data can be used as feedback, and when coupled with the biometric screenings, it can help with disease management and wellbeing interpretation.

Biometric Screenings

Unlike HRA which is a self-reported analysis, the Biometric screenings give evidence-based data calculated from clinical reports and physical attributes like height, weight, BMI, cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure, and more. The outcomes from the Biometric screenings can be used to identify the population risk factors and effectively design the employee wellness program with modules to target specific workforce health and wellness conditions.

Disease Management

Aiming to help employees deal with specific chronic health conditions and live a better quality of life, the Disease Management programs involve assistance and guidance from health professionals, nutritionists, and physicians, along with regular counseling and clinical visits. Based on the HRA and biometric screening aggregate outcomes, employers can decide which ailment or its risk is more prevalent in the user group and can plan the employee wellness programs accordingly.

Promote Healthy Habits Programs

Holistic health can be achieved only when healthy habits are adopted and followed regularly to become a part of your daily lifestyle. To help employees cultivate healthier practices, our healthy habits programs focus on improving different aspects - nutrition, physical activity, stress management, better sleep, tobacco cessation, and responsible alcohol drinking programs.

Free lunch and healthy snacks

Offering healthy food is a great way to promote healthy eating habits. And if it is free and easily available around, the workforce will not hesitate to have them. Most workers may not find time to prepare healthy lunches or snacks, and may resort to processed or junk food. Free healthy lunches and snacks at the workplace with an easy-to-pick pantry loaded with vegetables, fruits, proteins, and dietary fiber can provide the needed daily nutrition.

Financial Assessment

As a part of the financial wellness program, these assessments help in evaluating the financial welfare of the employees. The financial professionals counsel and guide them in setting actionable short-term and long-term goals for a better financial future. Furthermore, employers can also contribute towards their employee's financial wellbeing by offering employee benefits like 401(k) plan, HSA, and cash rewards.

Employee Assistance programs

Employee Assistance programs support and help the workforce deal with multiple issues that impacts their productivity and welfare. Most EAPs offer counseling, consulting, and assistance for different holistic aspects, including financial help, emotional health, substance abuse, addictions, and others, to help employees flourish.

Wellness Challenges

An integral and important part of the workplace programs, wellness challenges play a vital role in employee engagement and to gain holistic wellness. It must include Wellness challenges ideas that are designed to focus on different holistic wellness aspects, including physical , nutrition, mental , and social wellness, for complete growth and wellness. Team challenges, individual activities, daily challenges, or long-term challenges - choose the one that fits your employee's wellness needs, and make it a fun activity.

Incentivize Smoking Cessation Programs

Regular smoking is associated with many cancers and heart diseases. Smoking cessation can reduce its related risks and mortality rates. However, quitting smoking is a remarkably tough habit to break, especially for addicted employees. Incentivizing smoking cessation programs can give the extra push they need to let go of their smoking habit. Be it financial incentives or gift cards, anything that employers can offer to help employees quit or at least attempt to quit nicotine or tobacco can go a long way in better health and financial perspectives.

On-Site Fitness Classes

Employees who do not have access to a gym, exercise equipment or do not find time to exercise outside working hours can avail themselves of the opportunity of on-site fitness classes for their daily physical activity share. Employers can consider employee interests to plan adequate capacity and facilities while considering the health and safety measures. Depending on the budget, employers can plan high-end gym equipment, fitness gear for employees, or plan low-cost yoga, pilates, or meditation sessions too.

Health Coaching

To help employees get more assistance with their health conditions, employee wellness programs can offer personalized sessions with health coaches. Usually offered for employees with high-risk possibilities, the one-on-one health coaching programs can benefit employees who are looking for guidance to improve their health. Also, seminars and talks by health professionals and nutritionists can help in supporting the idea of workplace wellness.

Promote Flexible Work Hours

A flexible working arrangement can allow employees to work from anywhere with a schedule that best works for them. Evolving from the conventional workplace culture with better telecommunicating channels and compressed workweeks will maximize flexibility, make employees proactive in their tasks. Run a trial period for the flexitime compressed working schedule. Communicate the changes and policies to your entire workforce - about the attendance tools, minimum working hours per week, and the proposed schedule. Seek employee feedback regularly, evaluate the performance, and address the concerns for better work-life balance.

Healthy Weight Programs

A Mayo Clinic study showed employees with weight risks had an average of $375 higher annual medical costs. Understanding the basics of weight management is the first step to addressing weight-related health issues. Employer-sponsored healthy weight management programs educate employees about their ideal weight, proper diet, and improve behavioral habits. These employee health programs can include nutritionist consultations, videos, webinars, brochures, and other communication channels to promote the importance and follow the art of maintaining a healthy weight.

Wellbeing Reimbursements

Reimbursing wellness resources encourages your workforce to take additional interest in their wellbeing journey. Employers can subsidize or reimburse the employee wellbeing expenses like gym memberships, fitness equipment, fitness classes, yoga sessions, meditation classes, nutrition consultations, and more. They can also collaborate with gyms or holistic centers to get a cost-effective premium discount for their employees, which is also tax-deductible under the annual necessary business expenses.

Flu Shot Programs

A CDC study reported in 2019 that almost 500,000 people were affected by the flu, causing absenteeism and healthcare expenses. Offering employer-sponsored annual flu shots to the employees will give them less chance to miss out on it. Since most health insurance companies cover the cost of flu shots, companies can readily sponsor them as a part of their employee benefits packages. Employers can conduct on-site annual flu shot clinics for employees and their families or dependents before the flu season starts. The flu shot programs can also be incentivized to ensure maximum vaccination.

Organize Health Fairs

Organizing health fairs at the workplace or for the workforce is a unique workplace benefit that can raise awareness about various health issues. Employers can conduct health risk assessments and screenings to identify the major health issues to plan the best-suited health fair events. Employers can arrange theme-based health fairs with sponsors who can give away freebies, hold demonstrations, workshops, or other giveaways. The company-sponsored health fairs can also include challenges and incentives to ensure high participation.

Benefits of Workplace Wellness Programs

The benefits of workplace wellness programs may not be apparent at the beginning, however, consistent engagement can be highly advantageous to the company in the long run. Healthier employees bring in a wide array of benefits to the organizations they work for in many ways. Here are some of the common benefits of implementing well-planned workplace solutions.

Higher Employee Productivity

Employees who eat healthily, exercise regularly, sleep well, and are stress-free are likely to be more productive at work than those who lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Many studies have proven the association of poor health behaviors with lost productivity and higher risks of chronic diseases. The right modules of health and wellness solutions can help the workforce in adopting and following healthy lifestyle behaviors that reduce health risks and improve employee productivity.

Better Workforce Morale

When employees are recognized and appreciated for their work, they tend to be more loyal and feel valued. Offering employee wellness solutions makes the workforce feel valued, and feel that employers care for their wellbeing. This boosts employee confidence and morale, making them enthusiastic at work, thus, improving productivity and workplace wellbeing.

Higher Retention Rates

In addition to boosting workforce morale, offering the best employee wellbeing programs can keep the employees loyal to their workplace. Studies show that employees who are unhappy with their employers are more likely to leave them for a company that is pro-employee. So, companies that offer corporate health programs as a part of their employee benefits package can easily recruit skilled candidates to work, and retain them, thus reducing the costs due to frequent turnover and recruitment.

Reduced Healthcare Costs

Most of the chronic health conditions like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and depression are associated with lifestyle behaviors. Studies show that employers can save up to $730 billion due to changed lifestyle habits of the employees. Well-planned corporate wellness programs with the right wellness challenge ideas can help employees to adopt healthy habits like eating healthily, exercising adequately, and avoiding addictive habits like smoking and alcohol consumption. When healthy lifestyle behaviors are followed, it can reduce the risk of chronic health conditions and save their workplace of high healthcare costs.

Low Absenteeism Rates

Absenteeism and presenteeism has been known to impact employee productivity and workplace growth in many ways. When employees are unhealthy or unhappy, they tend to lack focus at work, affecting workplace productivity. Also, falling ill can have them taken sick leaves, which impacts productivity. In short, higher absenteeism rates, higher will the troubles be for the company. Workplace health initiatives improve employee wellbeing, in turn, reducing their cause of falling sick, lowering their absenteeism rates. They are also active and happy at work, reducing the presenteeism rates too.

Better Workplace Culture

Comprehensive workplace wellbeing solutions include corporate wellness challenge ideas that allow employees to participate in activities that are not always related to work. For example, the team challenges activities improve communication between the co-workers, build stronger teams, and create a healthy camaraderie among the colleagues. Such positive bonding amongst the employees lays the foundation for a healthy workplace culture that builds a prosperous and harmonious organization.

Designing a best-fitting employee wellness program could be a daunting task, but with the right modules and tools, it becomes easier and effective. Keep in mind the culture of health at your workplace, the wellness needs, the company budget, and other company factors to ensure successful and productive employee wellness programs, along with high organizational productivity.

When planned and implemented the right way, most workplace wellbeing solutions will successfully boost employee engagement and welfare, reflecting better productivity and business growth. By incorporating effective employee engagement strategies into the corporate wellness solutions like incentives, wellness program platform, educational resources, holistic challenge , device integrations, and other modules, employers can do a pretty good job at improving employee health and wellness behaviors, mirroring business growth.