Designing an Employee Wellness Program

An employee wellness program can dramatically improve the lives of your workers, resulting in a boost to your bottom line.

employee wellness program

More companies are instituting employee wellness programs every day because of their many benefits, from decreased sick leave to increased productivity.

Have you considered designing an employee wellness program for your team?

What’s the Benefit?

The advantages of an employee wellness program include better attendance, decreased medical costs and lower turnover rates.

Healthier employees are more engaged employees — and they don’t need as much sick leave. The Institute for Healthcare Consumerism reported that a company’s wellness efforts lowers the rate of absences due to sickness by 28 percent.

Health care won’t be as costly because prevention is the best medicine. According to the 2013 Aflac Workforces Report, medical costs decreased by $3.27 for every $1 an employer spent on employee wellness.

When employees are active participants in the employer’s wellness program, they’re less likely to leave voluntarily as well. At the Biltmore company, the turnover rate went from 19 percent in 2005 to 9 percent in 2009, due to the integration of an effective employee wellness program.

Each of these three benefits translates to cost savings for employers, making a wellness plan a smart way to invest in the success of a business.

Identify Needs

Before setting up a program, identify the needs of your employees. Take surveys to find out what your team members would value most. Programs can range from smoking cessation to financial management classes — any topic that will provide opportunities for personal development.

The following are popular classes and topics to incorporate into a comprehensive employee wellness strategy:

  • Heart health
  • Back and spine health
  • Allergy and asthma care
  • Diabetes prevention and treatment
  • Healthy diets
  • Men’s and women’s health
  • Understanding health insurance
  • Managing stress

Form a Team

Designing a program can be a significant time investment, so it’s best to involve multiple people. Forming a committee to establish and run the program can help ensure many opinions and preferences are incorporated, and it may encourage heightened interest and involvement.

Offer Incentives

It always helps to offer an incentive. Whether it’s a cash bonus for everyone who quits smoking or a reward, such as a Friday afternoon off to the person who walks the most miles during the week, incentives can help provide the motivation your employees need to start taking charge of their health.

Change Workplace Culture

Ultimately, implementing a wellness program is about changing your workplace culture. You want to create a productive environment where everyone works together toward a common goal, but puts their health front and center, not treating personal development as an afterthought.

Contact WTA, Inc., for information on how adding an employee wellness program could make your business a top choice for the most qualified candidates. Get hands-on help with the hiring process and flesh out your employee benefits package today.