The greatest wealth is health, according to the ancient Roman poet, Virgil. What was true then is certainly true today. It’s critical employers help promote health and wellness in the workplace. The benefits of having wellness programs are clear: healthy employees are more productive, miss fewer days of work, have better morale, and save companies time and money.
What can you do to initiate a corporate wellness program?
- Start by learning more about Blue Zones, areas of the world where people live longer lives.
- Ask other employers how they’ve successfully implemented wellness programs.
- Conduct a survey to tailor your wellness program to fit the needs of your workplace.
- Appoint a committee to study the unique health risks of your workforce. Is job site safety a concern? What is the average age of your staff members? Are most of your employees sedentary? On average, how many sick days do employees take each year?
Determine your goals, timeline and budget for implementing a corporate-wide wellness program. What can you offer your employees as an incentive to become involved in worksite wellness? How can you reduce stress and boost wellness in the workplace? Depending on the size and scope of your business, examples may include:
- Free campus exercise programs
- Chair massages
- Discounted memberships at local gyms
- On-site Weight Watcher meetings
- Cooking classes
- Blood pressure checks
- Visits by speakers to discuss health topics
Once you’ve outlined your goals, it’s important to have buy-in and support from senior leaders. The next step is to provide clear and concise information to your employees.
- Will participation be voluntary or mandatory?
- How will you track your wellness campaigns?
- Will health information be handled internally or by a third-party vendor?
Think of the questions your employees are likely to ask and provide the answers in an FAQ format. Find champions in your organization to spread the word about wellness programs. Use all your internal communication channels—including newsletters, the intranet, social media, blogs, and word of mouth—to share information about wellness initiatives.
After you’ve successfully shared your corporate wellness strategy, it’s time to implement your program. For prospective employees, this may involve pre-employment testing. For current employees, your wellness program may incorporate a combination of testing, education, contests and incentives.
Finally, you’ll need to measure whether your wellness goals have been met. Based on survey results and health screenings, you’ll have the data you need to evaluate successes, areas for growth, and areas for change. Remember that the first year of a wellness program is always the learning year. Going forward, you’ll be armed with the information you need to set wellness goals and improve the health and wellness of your workforce.
For more information about a wellness program, contact Weland Clinical Laboratories.