NO MATTER THE SIZE OF YOUR COMPANY, OFFERING AN EMPLOYEE WELLNESS PROGRAM IS A SURE-FIRE WAY TO SHARPEN YOUR COMPETITIVE EDGE…
What if there were a fail-safe way to create a healthier and happier workplace for your employees? What if you could attract and retain skilled talent while slashing your company’s health-care costs? There is a tool that can help you achieve these objectives, and then some: an employee wellness program.
According to the 2015 study from the Society for Human Resource Management, the popularity of company health plans has surged in recent years. In fact, 70% of companies surveyed offer a general wellness program. This stat is a major increase from a measly 58% in 2008. A related study from Rand finds that half of all companies with 50 or more employees have a wellness plan. In the meantime, small businesses have found creative, cost-effective ways to offer such support while ultimately cutting their health costs.
What is this trend about? Companies are realizing that healthy employees are happy employees. Happiness leads to greater engagement and productivity. So the beauty of it is this: investing in your workforce’s health is a strategic move to ensure long-term growth. No matter the size of your company, a wellness program is a sure-fire way to sharpen your competitive edge!
“What I care about is the well-being of our team… I believe healthy, happy employees will allow us to do our best work.”-Jean Bourgeois
The primary benefit of a wellness plan, arguably, might be its effect on health-care costs. Another Rand study finds that every $1 invested into wellness yields a return of $1.50 in health-care savings for the employer.
How can such a plan reduce health-care costs? It’s simple. It incentivizes your employees to remain healthy and active, reducing their dependence on health care. The more fully employees participate, the more rewards they earn and the healthier they become. Ultimately, this incentivization reduces your employees’ risks of major problems like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
“Health care costs have become such a large part of the expense pie for companies that offering cost-effective wellness programs to employees make a lot of sense…”-Tim Church
Additionally, it can help you attract and retain skilled workers. If you’re interviewing a prospective hire, you can tell them about your program. Extra compensation and benefits for moderate exercise? A true win-win. They’ll be much more inclined to work for a company that offers this kind of support.
TIPS FOR BUILDING YOUR EMPLOYEE WELLNESS PROGRAM
So… are you sold? Are you ready for your next big collaborative initiative of building this competitive edge? Keep the following tips in mind as you start the long and rewarding journey of creating an employee wellness program:
INVOLVE YOUR EMPLOYEES
Your employees will be the ones participating in this plan, so let their input inform the structure of your program! What perks interest them? They may want compensation or rewards, such as extra vacation days, tickets to local events, or even longer lunch breaks. Send a survey out to your employees asking the important question: what benefits and rewards would encourage a healthier lifestyle?
“Organizations need to look at their employee base and get a sense of what makes most sense. And they need to collaborate. It won’t help if they offer a program that’s not what employees want or need.”-Evren Esen
Create a committee of employees to help with the process of building out your program. Their input will ensure your goals and incentives are informed closely by your workforce’s preferences.
‘Wellness’ is a general term that encompasses a variety of areas. Your program needs to be guided by a specific set of goals to be effective. These objectives will shape your entire program, so it’s important to have a clear vision!
For instance, do you want to reduce workplace stress? Do you want to decrease your workforce’s risk of chronic issues like heart disease and obesity? Do you want to improve your their strength and durability, reducing workplace injuries? Gather your executive team and identify the fundamental goals of your wellness program. Again, send out a survey asking your employees about their personal health goals.
Once you have identified fundamental goals, brainstorm the activities that might foster them. and enact the rewards and benefits your employees have chosen to kick off your initiative.
CREATE A REPORTING STRUCTURE
Reporting is an important component of any new initiative. How will you verify that your employees have actually completed certain activities? Management software such as MediFit, Welcoa, or TotalWellness can streamline tracking and reporting.
Some companies also use technologies such as FitBit. FitBit even offers personalized health programs that track, manage, and monitor activity as it relates to your program.
KEEP YOU EYES ON THE PRIZE
A wellness program is a promising long-term fix for attracting and retaining talent while managing health-care costs. For industries within competitive labor markets, a skilled workforce is vital for success. Consider the competitive edge that this program offers in securing this workforce. Huffington Post even calls ‘corporate wellness’ the new ‘competitive advantage’.
But first and foremost, it is a straightforward way to prove your commitment to your loyal workers. Investing in your skilled workforce’s health and well-being is the most practical way to build your company for long-term growth. This growth is the true prize.
“Essentially, it comes down to this: take care of your talent, and your talent will take care of you.”-Alan Kohll
Point and case. If you’re looking to do the following…
- Attract and invest in the right talent
- Increase productivity and efficiency at work
- Develop a more positive company culture
- Cut costs on insurance and employee health-care packages
Then what are you waiting for? Start building the program that will give YOU the competitive advantage for the long haul.