Employee Benefits & Compensation Articles

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Employee Communications: Employee Wellness Programs in the Workplace

26 May 2017
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Today, companies are embracing wellness programs and using them as a way to keep employees and the company in good shape. As employees continue to be more health-conscious, companies continue to encourage employees to stay healthy.

Employees are enjoying the perks in this emerging new health trend, and employers are becoming more innovative in offering wellness programs in employee benefits packages. It is a win-win for the employee and the company, and a big part of successful employee communications.

A workplace wellness program can be any type of workplace activity or company policy that supports good health in the work environment. The program should have a mission to improve the well-being and health of all employees. A company-sponsored wellness program may include:

  • Weight-reduction competitions
  • Health and education seminars
  • Exercise programs and events
  • Smoking cessation programs
  • Health and wellness screenings
  • Vaccination clinics
  • Nutrition workshops
  • Stress reduction programs

Benefits of a Company-sponsored Wellness Program

Employees who participate in workplace wellness programs are more productive on the job and experience less absenteeism when compared to employees who do not participate. Healthy and fit workers have more energy to do the job and maintain higher job morale, which results in better work, increased output, and more profits for the company.

The appeal in a company-sponsored wellness program is fueled by rising health care costs, and employers are seeking ways to reduce healthcare expenses associated with the chronic diseases of their employees. Workplace wellness programs seem to be lowering these expenses for many companies. According to a study by the American Journal of Health Promotion, health care costs increased at a 15 percent slower rate for companies that sponsored a wellness program to staffers as compared to companies that did not have wellness programs.

How to Create an Employee Wellness Program for Your Company

Companies that want to create a wellness program should engage their employees to find out what they want in a successful wellness program. It should be a collaborative effort that includes the following steps:

Perform an Employee Wellness Program Assessment

The assessment will enable the company to create a wellness program that benefits employee communications and the company. You will evaluate and formulate reasons to establish a wellness initiative within the company.

Seek Support from Key Management

Make sure your leadership is behind the program and encourage them to participate in the program. When employees see their bosses and other company management taking advantage of the wellness program, they are more likely to participate as well.

Establish Goals and Objectives for the Employee Wellness Program

The goals and objectives may include the need to improve the health of all employees, cut medical cost or improve the company's productivity. Make your goals and objectives unique to the needs of your company.

Create a Wellness Program Council

The goal of the council is to create an atmosphere and a culture for a company wellness program. The council should consist of company employees, who evaluate appropriate wellness programs for the firm and gauge other employees for their preferences regarding the establishment of a wellness program.

Maintain a Budget for the Wellness Program

Creating a budget for the program will ensure its success and continuation. The budget should include any costs to develop, promote, and implement the program.

Follow the Laws of Creating a Wellness Program

When creating a company-sponsored wellness program, you need to make sure you are operating the program within the law. There are many state and federal laws that govern wellness programs. You should speak with an employment law attorney who can ensure that you are following the laws that pertain to your wellness program.

Company-sponsored wellness programs are here to stay, and they will continue to play a significant role in the workplace. Employers are learning that healthy employees can benefit the company in numerous ways.

Employers should view wellness programs as a long-term investment in employee communications to keep not only the employees healthy but their bottom line too. Wellness programs may create terrific financial rewards down the road for your company.

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Eric Brown

Eric Brown is a writer, reporter, and television talk-show host. He researches and writes about many different employment topics. Eric has interviewed a variety of human resources specialists and employment experts for television programs. He has been a television host and commentator for several television shows and networks.

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