Inspire Employee Well-Being: 3 Tips for Corporate Wellness Programs
Simply offering a corporate wellness program to your employees will not automatically result in favorable outcomes. Too often, employers rush to implement the latest trend in wellness – and it may or may not be a good fit for their corporate culture. Many employers tend to overlook the basics that lead to long term success. Here are tips for an effective corporate wellness program that will engage employees and produce outcomes.
Avoid punitive penalties. There was a time when employers thought that by paying people to comply with a wellness plan there would be, in effect, a shift of the cost from willing participants to non-participants. Those who participated would reap rewards and those who did not would pay a penalty. Unfortunately, employees won’t improve their health simply to avoid financial penalties and most view the penalties as a punishment. It can create resentment and make employees accountable for the wrong reasons. For wellness programs to work successfully, employees need to know they are complying because it benefits their health, their pocketbook, and, in the long term, their own personal growth at work. Positive motivation is a better way to reward employees and creates long-term engagement and employee retention. Avoid superficial commitment to the employee wellness program. Elevate and inspire employees by demonstrating management’s commitment to the plan. Most employees want not just a sense of purpose at work, but also a feeling of community, value and mastery. With a voluntary health and wellness program, employers can meet these expectations. Making a wellness program part of the fabric and culture of the company will create a healthier and more productive workforce and improve employee engagement.
Embrace the whole person. A holistic approach to wellness that focuses on all elements of what makes an employee healthy will result in lower overall healthcare costs. If the goal is employee retention and productivity, offer ways to boost emotional and mental well-being, provide financial tools and workshops that improve employee financial health, and introduce ways to improve physical health through nutrition and exercise.
Companies that address overall well-being, reward employees for making healthy choices, and get commitment and involvement from the top of the corporate ladder, will see improvement in employee health and productivity and impact their bottom line.