At work, companies often give more attention to doing well instead of being well. We’re a society obsessed with business growth that sometimes personal health and growth are overlooked. That’s why it’s a must for companies to prioritize corporate wellness ASAP.
What is corporate wellness?
As the Dutch philosopher, Desiderius Erasmus once said, “Prevention is better than cure.”
Corporate wellness aims to promote illness prevention and reduce health risks for employees.
Sadly, traditional corporate wellness programs are limited to insurance covers, medical leaves, and subsidized healthcare services. Often, these come into play when the employee’s already sick.
And sometimes, people think eating right and doing workouts at the gym on Saturdays is enough.
Corporate wellness needs to be a holistic approach to improve the health and well-being of the company’s employees. Ideally speaking, this means health activities need to be part of the employee’s daily work schedule.
Why are wellness programs at the workplace important?
Poor employee health comes at a price not only for the employees but the companies as well. According to the Integrated Benefits Institute, a non-profit research organization, US employers paid a hefty $575 billion for illness-related lost productivity and nearly 1.5 billion days yearly in illness-related absence.
Can you imagine that?
That’s why it’s important for companies and organizations to have corporate wellness programs. Aside from avoiding the loss of money and productivity, there are several significant benefits, including:
Increase in productivity through corporate wellness
Studies show that having employees join wellness programs leads to better productivity overall. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine revealed that employees who participated in the program got 10.3 hours of productivity compared to those who didn’t join.
Moreover, a more recent study in 2017 quantified the increase in productivity of company wellness programs. In the said study, the researchers concluded that it gives each worker one (1) extra productive day.
Reducing stress and the risk of diseases
While many corporate wellness programs support physical health and well-being, some overlook important facets such as mental health, emotional resilience, stress management, and financial wellness.
It’s good that when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many companies saw the need to incorporate more comprehensive wellness programs. In fact, a 2020 survey of 150 large and mid-sized companies showed that they 69% offer telehealth, 49% had resiliency programs, and 50% had stress management programs.
It’s important to have well-rounded employee support since research shows untreated mental health issues can lead to an increase in absences and long-term disability.
Decreasing employee turnovers and improving retention
In a survey done by Optum.com that included 1,200 employees, they found that well-being programs were associated with better employee retention. Moreover, employees were 1.5x more likely to continue working with their employers if the company has a good health and wellness program.
So, what do you need to set up an effective corporate wellness program?
There are several steps you need to establish a corporate program. Let’s tackle them briefly:
Assess the current health status of employees
You need this in order to design something that could address the needs of the employees and reduce health risks. Plus, you’ll be able to know what kind of wellness program will fit your company.
Secure management support
Getting strong support from the management is critical for the success of the program. They would be critical in the funding process as well as in setting policies for the implementation.
Set goals, objectives, and allotted budget
It’s important to set clear and achievable goals and objectives within a set budget. While goals may be broad, objectives need to be time-bound so you can definitely know if you’re able to achieve them.
Design the wellness components and implement the program
In this step, you get to explore simple to multi-prong programs that may fit your company’s needs. You may also choose to partner with facilities that offer wellness technology.
With wellness programs, remember that you don’t need to be limited to what you currently have. Connect and collaborate so you can implement an effective wellness program for your company.