How to Design & Implement a Wellness Program
Workplace wellness is something that many companies try to achieve, but it can be difficult to start new health incentives if you don’t know what you’re doing. You need to make sure you have the right people for the task, give them access to information in order to make educated decisions, and implement programs that get your employees both excited and motivated about health.
For more information on designing and implementing a wellness program, or to request a quote, contact Beckham Insurance Group today.
Start a Wellness Committee
One of the first things you should do when implementing a wellness program is start a wellness committee. This committee will be responsible for determining the best program options, planning health-centric activities and workshops, communicating with employees and management, and conducting several other tasks related to the program.
The staff selected for this committee should all be valued employees who represent a wide range of your staff. Try to bring in people from differing shifts, departments, and age groups so that you can get the full picture of your employee workforce. Creating a committee this way not only diversifies opinions and wellness concerns, but also saves any one individual from shouldering the strain of managing the entire program alone.
Assess Your Current Trends
Once you have your committee, they’ll need to assess the current wellness trends in your company to determine which areas need the most improvement. If your workplace has a strong culture of junk food snack breaks, your committee may see a need to cut down on the number of vending machines and replace them with healthier food options. If your workers spend most of their days in sedentary positions, instituting a program that gets them moving around for a few minutes throughout the day can boost health and morale.
Understanding Program Costs
Before you can add new programs to encourage wellness, you need to determine both your budget for the program and how much the effective options will cost.
Many company-wide wellness programs cost between $3 and $7.50 per employee per month or about $36 to $90 per year. On the higher end, features like mobile apps, wellness campaigns, and even fitness facilities and devices may be included. But don’t think you need to invest in high-cost programs to see real change in your workforce. There are several program options that are far less expensive.
Choose the Best Program Options for Your Company
There are several different ways you can begin implementing wellness initiatives in your workplace. From education and health screenings to nutrition and exercise, the options are virtually limitless. The only thing you need to do is determine which features are going to be the most successful in your company’s environment. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular wellness program activities and features.
Providing your employees with optional health screenings can be a great way to start them on a new, healthier path. These screenings allow individuals to compare themselves to national health averages in blood pressure, glucose, body fat percentage, height, and much more. This enables them to make appropriate changes where they want to. Typically these screenings take less than half an hour each and can be conducted during work hours.
Nutritional Education & Overhaul
Teaching employees about the foods they’re eating and what they should consume to be healthier individuals can really impact their health. You can hold classes and conferences about how certain food types, like salt and carbohydrates, can cause genuine medical issues like elevated blood pressure or diabetes. These can help spark a new passion for healthy eating.
Further, you can substitute healthy food options in your cafeterias, break rooms, and vending machines to promote more health-conscious food choices amongst your employees.
Exercise programs can be a great way to get your employees actively invested in their wellness. A cost-effective approach is to provide your staff with short, designated exercise breaks during the day. This allows employees to take a walk or participate in a short, low-impact aerobics class to get their heart rates up.
If you have a higher budget, you can offer access to fitness centers or offer club memberships where employees have access to equipment and a safe space to work out.
Weight Loss Programs
Obesity is one of the biggest challenges facing Americans today, so it’s pretty common for wellness initiatives to include weight loss management programs. When you create these programs, this gives people the opportunity to connect with like-minded people and hold each other accountable for their weight-loss journeys. Programs like these can further help by providing employees with topic-specific coaches, online tools, and classes.
Stress is another wellness factor that impacts millions of people around the world. It can harm an individual’s mental health, productivity, and even physical health. Adding work/life balance initiatives, stress management services like counselors, and activities like yoga classes can go a long way towards engendering a less stressful environment.
Build Employee Motivation
Now that you have an idea of which programs you want to put in place, you need to figure out how to motivate your employees to follow through with it. Once you’ve provided your employees with the tools they need to start a journey towards greater overall health, you need to promote your programs. The more people hear about the programs, the more likely they are to participate in them–especially if they see management and their coworkers doing so. This motivation can be provided in the form of benefits, insurance perks, and even financial bonuses like paid holidays, coffee shop gift cards, or other appropriate prizes.