The idea of corporate wellness programs has been increasing in popularity lately, and for a good reason! The current work standards of sitting at your desk all day, eating quick takeout meals in-between meetings, and staring at a computer screen for long hours with no breaks only lead to poorer mental and physical health, and a decreased productivity.
Workplace wellness programs are essential to improving the health of employees while boosting morale, happiness and team bonding. In turn, this will lower the company costs in terms of employee healthcare, and improve productivity. After all, happy employees are hardworking employees. Check out our article on the key benefits of corporate wellness programs to better understand the rationale behind it.
In this article, we’ll look at ways to implement your corporate wellness program properly.
Understand the five facets of wellbeing
To implement a wellness program, you need to understand what it actually entails. Wellbeing can be split into five facets, or elements, that your program should target.
Facet 1. Purpose – Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve the goals you set for yourself.
Facet 2. Social – Having relationships which support you.
Facet 3. Financial – Effectively managing your finances to reduce economic stress and increase your sense of security.
Facet 4. Community – Enjoying where you spend your time and the people you spend it with, feeling safe, and having pride in the community around you.
Facet 5. Physical – Having good health and sufficient energy to get your daily tasks done without feeling exhausted by the end of it.
A holistic approach to employee wellness, where each of these five facets is weighed equally, will be the most effective way to reap the benefits of a corporate wellness program. After all, these facets are all interconnected. For example, employees that take pride in their work and feel a sense of community with their coworkers are more likely to participate in group wellness activities. Their participation will then reinforce their feelings of pride and community in a cyclic manner, while also improving their health and achieving all the other benefits associated with workplace wellness programs.
Of course, implementing an effective wellness program is easier said than done. Now that we’ve understood the multiple facets of wellbeing, let’s dive into the different approaches to ensure your employees’ wellness.
Employee motivation – show them you care
Having a wellness program is useless if your employees do not participate in it. We briefly touched on some of the reasons employees would be more inclined to participate in group programs – such as feeling a sense of community at the workplace – but there’s a lot more to it than just that.
Employees who feel like their employers truly care about them are more likely to participate in wellness programs and are also more likely to be top performers and produce high-quality work. When introducing wellness programs in your workplace, ensure you frame it in a manner that tells your employee that you are doing it for them and for their wellbeing, rather than for your own gain.
Aim to create a work culture that recognizes employee wellness as a necessity for success, rather than a hindrance. Encourage meditation breaks, afternoon workouts etc. In essence, show your employee that you care about them as a person, not just as a profit centre.
Lead by example
Remind your managers to be active promoters of the workplace wellness programs you have. Otherwise, your employees may not even know it exists! Plus, their participation will signal the usefulness of your programs to your employees.
Remember, the best leaders lead by example. When your managers begin to snack on healthier foods, host walking meetings, etc, your employees will follow suit.
Develop goals and objectives
To know whether your employee wellness program is working out, identify goals and objectives. Note that these should be measurable so that you will be able to understand the extent of your program’s effects.
Some goals you can set are:
- How many employees participated in each program this week? How about this month? Has the number increased?
- Has absenteeism increased or decreased, and by how much?
- Are employees producing better work?
Get feedback on your programs
The best way to understand the parts of your wellness programs that are working well, and parts that may need a bit of fine-tuning, is to ask for feedback from those participating in it! Use anonymous forms and get your employees to tell you what they like and what they dislike about your programs.
You can also ask for their input to identify the activities or measures to be adopted in the program. This has the added benefit of showing them that you do truly care about their wellness.
Some final tips
Helping your employees achieve wellness may sound like a daunting task, but once you get into the swing of it, it will become second nature – both for you and them. Plus, once they start feeling the benefits of your programs, such as a reduction in stress, an improvement in their physical and mental health, greater bonding with their coworkers, etc, they will be even more motivated to participate.
To ensure that your programs are successful, make sure you have both individual and group activities available. An example of individual activity is having massage sessions in the office, while a group activity would be a team step competition.
Also, note that your employees will be of a diverse set of ages and fitness levels. You should have programs that cater to all of them, so no one feels left out or embarrassed. Remember, inclusivity is key!
While it may take a few months to get your employee wellness program up and running, you will reap the rewards quite fast. And our piece regrouping 10 employee wellness program ideas will certainly inspire you to start on the right foot.