Business: Wellness in the Workplace

Employee WellnessInterested in lowering your cost of doing business? Want to improve employee performance and boost morale? It’s long been said that employees are your organization’s most valuable assets. And with evidence tying the well-being of employees to a business’ fiscal health, we’ve pulled together some information on employee wellness programs and how to institute a program at your organization.

An employee wellness program can take many forms, but generally falls into one of two categories, 1) activity only programs and 2) outcome-based programs.

An example of an activity only program could be something as simple as providing employees an extra half hour at lunch to go for a walk or offering gym membership discounts or adding an onsite fitness center.

Outcome-based programs utilize a set of incentives, such as insurance premium discounts to improve the overall health and well-being of employees. With these programs the employer assumes a larger role; measuring and tracking indicators like blood pressure, cholesterol levels and weight and then works with employees to prevent potentially dangerous side effects.

Helping your employees improve their health with lifestyle changes and education goes a long way towards improving many aspects of their lives by reducing or eliminating the prospect of heart disease diabetes, and some forms of cancer. And if you’re a decision maker at a large firm employing hundreds or perhaps thousands of employees, you can also feel good about the positive impact you could have on the community as a whole.

A wellness program can also demonstrate a level of care and concern for employees as individuals, and is something they might not receive working at another organization. Which could be one of the factors contributing to the lower turnover rate at companies with wellness programs in place. While we’re talking about statistics, it’s worth noting these programs can also improve productivity and lower absenteeism.

If these benefits aren’t convincing enough, how about these results from a Harvard University study, which details the return on investment and cost savings of employee wellness programs.

How to Get Involved

Interested in starting a similar program at your business? Maryland-based organizations can find more information on the states’ Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website. While, The Center for Association Leadership has a checklist and a step-by-step process for businesses in other states looking to jump on the fitness bandwagon.

Will your business institute a wellness program in the future?

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