Thinking about adding a Workplace Wellness Program? They are a great option for energizing your team, reducing costs, and building a more positive and healthy work environment.
Workplace wellness programs come in all shapes and sizes. They can be as simple as routine check-ins and small contests and competitions and they can include onsite fitness venues and sponsored events. But regardless of plan design there are several components that set the successful programs apart.
- You have to know what’s driving your largest claim costs on your health care plan – both among employees and their dependents. Weight-related health issues? Nutrition? Exercise? Smoking? Knowing what exactly is driving costs will help you develop meaningful and successful programs.
- Realistic program expectations are key. With wellness, what an employer depends on how well it plans, and how well it maintains communications and participation with staff (and the program provider as well), and (to a lesser degree) how much it spends.
- Maintain strong workplace wellness program communications. Programs that achieve the greatest success are those that are communicated aggressively from the start and are maintained consistently. Slack off the messaging and you’ll lose participation, making your program at the least irrelevant and at worst a failure.
- Integrate workplace wellness with other benefits. Real-life experience has shown that you should consider Are your Employee Assistance Programs an extension of the Workplace Wellness program? (Do you have EAPs? Should you have EAPs?) Studies show that wellness programs, EAPs and issues like absenteeism, disability and worker’s compensation are all pieces to the same puzzle.
- Leading by example. The key to ensuring worker buy-in is for management to lead the workplace wellness program by setting a positive example. When managers are unwilling to participate and address their own health issues, don’t expect many employees to take the workplace wellness program seriously.
At their core, Workplace Wellness programs require constant monitoring and periodic adjustments. Don’t know where to start? Lucky for you, we are experienced at developing successful programs.