It’s common knowledge that employees that are healthier are more productive, more engaged and less likely to miss work. Encouraging healthy habits and behaviors can greatly improve employees’ productivity, reduce healthcare costs and decrease absenteeism for employers. That is the idea behind employee wellness programs.
Employee wellness programs are growing more and more popular. In 2015, it was found that two-thirds of employers offered employee wellness programs, according to a report from the Society of Human Resource Management. And from 2016-2017, the Society for Human Resource Management found that nearly one-quarter of companies increased their wellness offerings. For more statistics that make the case for employee wellness programs, check out our infographic below, then read on for employee wellness program ideas.
What are Employee Wellness Programs?
Employee wellness programs differ from company, depending on your particular needs, what you can afford and the preferences of your employees. Many aspects of employee wellness programs are very affordable, however. They address all the factors involved in living a healthy lifestyle. These include physical fitness, diet, mental health, emotional well-being and financial wellness. They also often involve incentives or rewards for employees who get involved in what these programs have to offer and meet certain goals.
Employee Wellness Program Ideas
Here are six ideas for what to include in your employee wellness program:
1) On-site exercise classes and discount gym memberships
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week. Many people just don’t know how to get started, so offering on-site exercise classes and discount gym memberships are a great way to motivate your employees and show them how to get fit.
2) Offering healthy office snacks
Having unhealthy snacks can cause energy crashes that cause employees to be less productive. Providing healthy office snacks such as fruit, yogurt and granola bars is one of the employee wellness ideas that prevents this.
3) Having step contests
Keeping track of how many steps employees take each day and offering rewards for those that take the most steps is a way to get employees motivated and excited about getting healthy. This is one of the employee wellness program ideas that many employers use wearable technology devices for to track their steps.
3) Offer standing desks
Companies like VARIDESK offer an inventive way to prevent a sedentary lifestyle with standing desks. Employees are likely to be more energized, productive, engaged and focused when standing as opposed to sitting all day.
4) Stress reduction offerings
According to Cigna, worker stress accounts for 20% of direct costs and is associated with high job turnovers, work stoppages and absenteeism. Some of the employee wellness ideas that are likely to reduce stress are offerings like guided meditations, essential oils with relaxing aromas and on-site chair massages.
5) Financial counseling
According to PwC’s 2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey which surveyed 1,600 adults that are employed full time, 53% of employees are stressed about their finances. Another one of the employee wellness ideas is to bring in financial planners to discuss individually with employees how to budget better and deal with student loans and other financial debt.
6) Have a pet and/or plant-friendly workplace
Having animals and plants around has been proven to reduce employee stress levels. Let employees bring in their dogs, and if that isn’t feasible consider getting an aquarium to liven up the office atmosphere. Also get some plants for the office or encourage employees to bring in their own.
Encouraging your employees to develop healthy habits and lead a healthy lifestyle with these employee wellness program ideas. It will greatly benefit your company and your bottom line in the end.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.