Does your company have a wellness program? If not, you need one! Your competitors may already offer a wellness program.
We’ve touched on wellness programs on the Boon Blog before (you can read that post by clicking here), but here’s a brief recap: A wellness program is a program, typically offered through the workplace, that has the goal of promoting wellness and overall healthy habits. So why do you need one?
A Workplace Wellness Program, By the Numbers
What better way to save on healthcare than preventing the need for it in the first place? In 2017, healthcare costs increased in seventy-nine percent of organizations with an average yearly increase of eleven percent. Healthcare costs make up a huge chunk of the yearly expenditure of a company and wellness programs are becoming an increasingly popular way to reduce that cost.
Nearly fifty percent of Americans have one or more chronic health conditions. An overwhelming majority of these conditions are associated with general unhealthy lifestyle choices: smoking, poor stress management, and eating habits that promote obesity to name a few. Wellness programs tackle these core issues at the ground level, leading to lower costs in the long run.
Seventy-three percent of employees say they’d be interested in a company wellness program, and fifty-nine percent of those who have access to a wellness program credit that program with improving their overall health. How do you like those numbers?
Start With Snacks in Your Wellness Program
A healthy diet is the absolute foundation of our overall health. Many workplaces, however, are filled with temptations and unhealthy snacks: vending machines and other company provided treats.
Taking the reins on encouraging healthy eating is a super simple and cost-effective way to promote general health in your employees. Compile a list of healthy out-of-office lunch options near your workplace. Coordinate a “healthy snack of the month” club or host a contest for the best healthy recipes. Arrange for fresh fruits and veggies to be available in the break room, in lieu of cookies, chips, and vending machine sodas.
An overwhelming majority of workplace environments are sedentary with nearly all employees operating from a desk. Encourage some physical activity to get your employees up and moving. It will be better for their health and will stimulate their productivity!
Encourage employees to use the stairs. Hold the occasional “walking meeting”. If these solutions don’t work for you, consider starting a club for encouraging physical activity and making employees aware of health opportunities in the surrounding community like nearby walking trails or the Zumba schedule from your local fitness club.
Make Employee Health a Cornerstone of Your Company Culture
Your company is a complex community made up of individuals. All of your employees are working together and building a culture. Use that human element to promote health and wellness. Wellness will ensure that your employees will be happier, healthier individuals and the network of relationships within your company will flourish.
A great place to start would be with creating an office “wellness” club. Walking. Running. Yoga. Find out what your employees are interested in and sign them up! Want to tap into everyone’s competitive spirit? Introduce a wellness challenge. Set goals and tasks that your employees can measure and get a leaderboard going. Winners get prizes, maybe a gift card! Your employees will have fun and take strides towards better health.
Here are some wellness challenge ideas to get you started:
- A “Daily 30” Challenge – document 30 minutes of exercise, every day for a month
- Maintain, Don’t Gain – For two weeks, don’t gain any weight! (While not putting on the pressure to have to lose a certain amount)
- Beauty Sleep – Make sure your employees get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night
Wellness programs are more than just an effective way to reduce your healthcare expenses; they build relationships in your workplace through healthy living and fitness. Let your employees sound off on what health initiatives will be meaningful to them. Keep it simple and have fun.
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