What are Workplace Wellness Programs and Why do Employers Need Them?

This article outlines what employee wellness programs are and what they provide for an organization such as yours. So, read on and learn what you can gain by building one into your workplace culture.

At present, almost two-thirds of all organizations in the USA have started to use wellness programs. You may have heard of corporate wellness initiatives and thought about putting one in place. To do so, you might need to answer the question, "What is a corporate wellness program and why do we need it?"

What is Workplace Wellness?

Wellness in the workplace is a cultural stance that suggests that the physical and mental health of employees is paramount. The concept aims for there to be a top-to-bottom shift in how we think about employees and employee culture. It suggests that all levels should consider their well-being at all times.

This is not only a health and safety issue, but considers benefits for all employees, even if they are physically fit. It also includes a dramatic shift in how companies consider mental health and work/life balance. The intent is to try to ensure that employees are not harmed by work culture.

What are Workplace Wellness Programs?

Such programs aim to educate employees on how workplace wellness can come about. They give employees the tools, strategies, and incentives to achieve a better physical outlook and state of mind. They also encourage organizations to consider offering social support to people in the company too.

In the past, the treatment and prevention of ongoing ailments were only considered to be the purview of doctors and health clinics. Nowadays, people are looking more at the causes of such issues. These include workplace stress, social conflict, and exertion.

There are many forms that wellness programs take. These include:

  • Exercise programs and classes
  • Mental health resources and therapy
  • Health assessments and biometrics measurements
  • Smoking cessation programs
  • Stress management courses
  • Weight management challenges
  • Financial well-being programs
  • Telehealth
  • Nutrition education and meal planning guides
  • Sleep hygiene support
  • And more!

Oftentimes, wellness programs that specialize in a single area of health and well-being, known as point solutions, become cumbersome for employers to implement as they may require multiple solutions to address employees' range of wellness needs. Wellness programs that consolidate a variety of well-being initiatives, such as CoreHealth's, tend to see higher engagement and broader health outcomes. 

Why use Wellness Programs?

A company wellness platform almost always has significant upsides. On top of a positive reputation for looking after employees, these include:

Improve Unhealthy Behaviors

Many people working in offices, especially in sedate roles, can start to pick up unhealthy working behaviors. Snacking, drinking sugary drinks, eating unhealthy food, and smoking are all examples of these.

A good wellness program will want to address these less desirable habits and attempt to work with people to improve such aspects of their life. These can all lead to better health and a positive outlook on both work and home life. Once a person is engaging in healthy behavior, programs should switch to a maintenance role instead.

Improve Retention

One of the main reasons that people leave roles, aside from the offer of higher pay, is a belief that the company does not care about them beyond their ability to perform. There is only so far that using the phrase "we are like a family here" will help, and instead, proof of such loyalty from an organization is often needed.

Launching a wellness program shows that you are serious about your employees' holistic health and well-being.

On top of retention, you can also use such programs when you advertise for recruitment. Many people now see such initiatives as a major workplace benefit and they can often pull people off of the fence about your company.

Improved Productivity

When employees feel more healthy, it can start to improve their productivity in the workplace. As wellness programs aim to boost both employees' total well-being, they should be the first place to look for help.

One of the major issues with low productivity at work is when people turn up but do not take an active role in their tasks. This is often called "presenteeism".

Research studies often show that such presenteeism relates to how healthy people act and the kind of work environment that they are a part of. By working to improve such environments, a wellness program can get people back in the saddle of work once more. There will be fewer days of either sickness or presenteeism, therefore increasing productivity.

Reduce Health Risks

Modern life has many attached health risks if people engage in a 'normal' lifestyle. These include smoking, poor diet, or drinking excessive alcohol.

A wellness program works with your employees to identify a variety of health risks and find the best way to reduce the amount of unhealthy behavior that people engage in. These are not only broad "get fit" goals, but can have a real and dramatic impact on an employee's biometrics. 

Reduced Healthcare Costs

If your organization involves itself in its employee's insurance, you will often be paying for some benefits already. By encouraging employees to use wellness programs, you may reduce the amount that they rely on such initiatives.

Starting Your Wellness Program

Now, you should have a much better idea of how wellness programs work, what activities they're comprised of, and their associated benefits. Depending on your organization's size, employee wellness needs, language requirements, and more, consider a digital wellness program that covers multiple dimensions of well-being. 

If you would like advice on how to launch your workplace wellness programs, talk with us. Our specialists have expert knowledge on how to implement engaging workplace wellness programs and would be happy to provide answers for you.

Contact CoreHealth

About CoreHealth

CoreHealth by Carebook is a total well-being company trusted by global companies to power their health and wellness programs. Our wellness portals help maximize health, engagement, and productivity for over 3.5 million employees worldwide.  We believe people are the driving force of organizations and supporting them to make behavior changes to improve employee health is in everyone’s best interest. With the most flexibility, customizations, and integrations of any software in its class, CoreHealth’s all-in-one wellness platform helps achieve great wellness outcomes. 

From simple to sophisticated, it's up to you. For more information, visit the CoreHealth website.