What Effective Employee Health and Wellness Programs Do Differently

Hannah Greenwood | | Health and Wellness

Learn why wellness programs are successful in the workplace

employee health and wellness programs

What makes health and wellness programs successful?

Have you ever dreamt of a job that offered perks like a free gym membership, a state-of-the-art espresso machine in the break room or just more vacation time? In 2019, it’s becoming more common for major companies to offer, not only great office perks, but complete health and wellness programs for their employees. To senior employees, this new-age approach may come off as a way to cater to millennials and younger generations, but it’s effective for all.

According to Forbes: “77 percent of employees think that employee wellness programs positively impact the company culture.”

Health and wellness programs are more than a convenience. They can provide balance and enrichment in employees’ lives leading to longer employment with less turnover. When a millennial prospect is in search of a new position, they’ll consider a company that offers these types of benefits over those that don’t because it indicates the company is progressive. It means that company cares about the employees and their overall health. Everyone knows when plants are watered and given proper sunlight, they’re more likely to flourish.

These offerings benefit employees, but employers wind up seeing some advantages too. According to a survey by SFMIC: “60 percent of employers said workplace wellness programs reduced their organizations’ healthcare costs.” Not only will these programs cut costs, they'll also provide healthier, happier employees who are more productive at work. Adding enrichment or self-development options can demonstrate to employees that you want them to grow in all aspects of their lives, not just within your company.

So, what do companies like Google, Asana, Microsoft and Draper do differently that make their health and wellness programs stand out?

mental health needs to be part of health and wellness programs1. They focus on the mental health and wellness of their employees

Major corporations are offering more than a few yoga classes to get employees’ minds in check. They understand the stresses of the job and how stress needs to be addressed on a deeper level. Fitness classes are provided, but so are therapists, acupuncturists, nap pods and more. This may seem far-fetched for some, but these types of offerings can change the way people work in 2019.

2. They are flexible

Not all employees take advantage of these perks, but these employers provide flexible options to cater to those individuals, so they’re still able to enjoy programs that interest them. This could include more remote work, PTO or vacation days.

3. They emphasize personal and professional growth

When employers put effort into seeing their employees succeed, both as a member of their establishment and as a person, the morale of workers will skyrocket. Building programs that focus on industry skills AND personal growth, can build stronger, more focused staff.

Internal Communications4. They build community

Brainstorming sessions over lunch, company outings, happy hours and get-togethers can build camaraderie within your organization. These (optional) events are a great way to build relationships and reward employees for their hard work. It shows that you value them individually and as a team.

When you concentrate on making your business more people focused rather than revenue focused, you can shape a strong workforce that will, in turn, produce valuable products. Start small and see what works for your company and your employees. Not every workplace can be like Google. But companies can take steps in the right direction to create a corporate culture that inspires, cultivates and unites.

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