Wellness programs have become increasingly popular. In the past, only a handful of large companies gave out employee perks such as gym memberships. Now, wellness programs have proliferated into companies of all sizes. In fact, it’s more common than not to find some kind of wellness program included as part of a company’s benefits package.
So why have wellness programs taken off like they have? It’s because companies are finally realizing that a wellness program is an investment in the company’s future. There are many benefits of a wellness program that can be realized, no matter what size company you have. Here are some of the numerous benefits to consider.
Fewer Sick Days
Employees who exercise on a regular basis and engage in wellness programs are far less likely to take excess sick days in any one year. Employers value this because absent employees result in lost productivity. Since exercise is an essential part of overall good health, employees are also less likely to bring contagious sicknesses into the workplace.
Improved Mental Health
Many employer wellness programs include mental health programs such as counseling. This helps employees to work out problems that stem from home life as well as issues dealing with work challenges. Better mental health equates to improved company relationships with colleagues and clients.
Better Company Culture
Cultivating a positive company culture is increasingly becoming a center of focus for employers. Company culture affects everything from the day-to-day operations of the company to how easily the HR department can attract new job candidates, to the employee retention rate of the company. Wellness programs contribute to a better company culture in a variety of ways. First, employees get the message that the employer actually cares about the physical and mental well-being of its employees. Second, wellness programs help to round out employee benefits packages. The more benefits an employee receives, the more positively the employee will view the company.
Wellness programs provide a way for companies to offer an incentive that’s available to all employees; not just the ones who are the most productive or who are senior ranking. This promotes an environment of inclusivity, something that is on everyone’s minds in this day and age.
Lower Insurance Premiums
For companies that subsidize or sponsor insurance premiums, wellness programs are a huge benefit. Insurance premiums are at least somewhat based on complex algorithms that factor in the fitness and health records of employees. The premiums will be lower for employees who are in better shape physically, which the wellness program facilitates. In addition, some insurance companies offer special discounts to companies that offer wellness programs as part of their benefits package.
Easy to Manage
Most human resource departments are heavily burdened with managing employee resources and benefits. Wellness programs are surprisingly easy to manage, since very little has to be done by the actual HR department. Once the package details are provided to the employee, it’s usually up to them to take advantage of the benefits. The HR department simply has to make sure that the program is being made available and operating as it should.
There’s no one definition for a wellness program, so it’s up to the company to decide what’s included. It could be a gym membership, counseling services, a sponsored “fun run,” financial planning services or a variety of other things that fall under the general category of wellness. There’s infinite flexibility and room for creativity, which actually makes putting together a wellness program enjoyable for company executives or HR personnel.
With all these benefits of a wellness program, there are very few reasons why your company shouldn’t put one in place. To learn more about how to make your workplace more rewarding, please contact us.