"The bottom line: Every dollar invested in the intervention yielded $6 in health care savings," explained the Harvard Business Review in an article about wellness programs in the workplace.
The three main benefits of creating an employee wellness program are reducing health care costs for both employers and employees, improving the mental and physical health of employees and enhancing employee satisfaction. World No Tobacco Day falls at the end of May, which can serve as an excellent jumping point for starting an employee wellness program that includes overall healthfulness, from stopping smoking to increasing physical activity.
According to Forbes, four steps will allow for an effective wellness plan. First, employers must figure out what health needs the staff has and how they coincide with company's culture and operations. This can be done with health risk assessments and surveys. Once the data is collected, determine what wellness initiatives fit with the employees. What benefits would the staff take advantage of? Forbes suggested physical activity be paired with wellness education for full implementation. The third step is communicating the program in an enticing way. Lastly, there must be incentives to garner participation in employee wellness goals.
To attract employees to the program in the very beginning, start with promotional giveaways. Distribute stress balls with the company logo on them. To keep with the health theme, consider Doctor Promotional Stress Relievers. Once everyone is aware of the initiative and how it will work, there will need to be more incentives down the road to encourage dedication to positive lifestyle changes. A larger form of motivation would be reduced price gym memberships for employees who commit to the program. In the similar fashion, consider bringing yoga or fitness instructors to the office for a group exercise session.
Specific programs to try
- Weight loss challenge: A lot of places call these "The Biggest Loser" competitions because of the popular television show but feel free to be more imaginative. Weight can be a sensitive issue for some people so it's important to keep that in mind. Exact numbers don't need to be made public. Consider documenting just the percentage of weight lost or keeping the participants anonymous. Find out if employees are more interested in competing as groups or individually. Teams can be divided by departments, in pairs of two or simply in half. Encourage people to participate by handing out Double Wall Custom Acrylic Tumblers. Staying hydrated is crucial to weight loss and now employees can keep a fresh supply of water on their desks at all times.
- Smoke free initiative: In honor of World No Tobacco day, organize a program to encourage staff to stop smoking cigarettes. This can be done with a combination of education and goal-setting. Gather interested employees for a brief information session. The negative effects of tobacco are well advertised, so it probably isn't necessary to delve deeply into the subject. Simply remind smokers of the endless benefits to quitting, then present an initiative. Consider setting daily, weekly and monthly goals that have various giveaway prizes.
- Fitness competition: To get employees exercising more often, raise the stakes with a friendly competition. Create goals for staff to strive for such as consistently working out three days a week or being active for a certain number of hours per week. Another way to compare fitness level is with pedometers. Have every employee keep track of their walking distance every day and give prizes to the winners. A great fitness-oriented giveaway is a 24 oz. Wedge Water Bottle. Employees who enjoy their increasingly active lifestyle may be interested in Personalized Champion's Jump Ropes.