How to Create an Employee Wellness Program: What You Need to Know

Did you know that more than half of U.S. businesses — 52% — offer wellness programs?

If your company isn’t offering a program that aims to improve employees’ and management’s mental, physical, and psychological health, you’ll want to ask yourself why this is the case.

According to the source above, 72% of employers saw a drop in healthcare costs after rolling out a wellness program. And 87% of workers consider health and wellness when selecting an employer.

But how do you create an employee wellness program that is effective? Keep reading for some tips to help you make the right program.

Don’t Only Focus on Physical Health

When working on a wellness program, remember that it goes beyond physical health. Focus on physical and mental health, for starters. That’ll make for a more comprehensive program to meet the needs of your workforce.

It’s easy to overlook your employees’ mental health. But that’s a mistake since employees struggling with mental health won’t function at their full potential.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost each year globally due to depression and anxiety. The hit to productivity is a whopping $1 trillion annually. So, mental health is essential.

You’ll also want to include wellness program elements that cater to financial, environmental, and occupational matters your workers care about. Get feedback for wellness programs from employees. You’ll get some good ideas.

Offer Exciting and Healthy Food Choices

You’ve no doubt heard the saying that you are what you eat. If you want to create a healthy work environment, offer healthy food options for workers. Healthy workers take fewer days off work and are more productive.

Do you have a dedicated break room where workers go to eat their lunch or spend their breaks? Why not ensure there’s an ample supply of healthy food? You can include fresh produce, nuts, and granola bars.

Let them have their coffee. But ensure they have healthier alternatives like water, fruit juice, and milk.

Encourage workers to enjoy healthy food options rather than spend their breaks chowing down on fast food, pastries, and other unhealthy things. Getting them on board will be easier if you supply a range of healthy food options.

Also, ensure you have a fridge in the break room or cafeteria so that employees have somewhere to place food they bring from home. That’ll help them avoid buying less healthy food during their lunch breaks.

Encourage Physical Activity

Did you know that adults require 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity weekly and two days of muscle-strengthening physical activity weekly?

One way you can help employees achieve better health and wellness is by organizing sporting competitions company-wide. Get everyone involved, and get input so you can select sports staff members are interested in.

Whether taking time off during a workday or scheduling time at a park on the weekend, you can create teams and arrange for games of soccer, touch football, baseball, volleyball, basketball, or any other sport.

Employees will spend time outdoors, become more familiar with their co-workers, and get the physical activity they need for optimal health. Improving employee wellness doesn’t have to be dreary. It can be fun.

Sports aren’t the only way you can get physical activity. You can also encourage workers to walk during their lunch breaks or enjoy bike rides as a group.

If your budget allows it, you can offer gym memberships to workers. You can encourage them to use it before or after work or whenever it fits their busy schedules. It’s about providing opportunities for them to stay fit.

Yet another way you can help workers stay the course is by equipping them with the right technology. An employee wellness tool will help them with physical activity, preparing nutritious meals, and other essential things.

Create a Safe Space for Mental Health

Another good idea is to create a wellness room where workers can go whenever they need to destress and collect their thoughts. It can make all the difference for employees who need some emotional support.

In addition to having a designated area for destressing, you can encourage workers to take breaks throughout the workday. You can also help workers by recommending professionals in the community they can go to for more help.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

It’s a good idea to keep the line of communication open with your employees. You’ll want to know how they feel the company’s wellness program is going. Have them fill out surveys and hold meetings where workers can speak freely.

You can make changes or stay the course based on the feedback. You’ll need to tweak things on occasion so the wellness program continues to have the desired impact on your workforce.

You Need To Create an Employee Wellness Program Today!

If your company doesn’t have a formal wellness program, that needs to change. And if you do have one, it’s a good idea to review it periodically to ensure that it’s still helping the people it was designed to help.

Remember that it pays to create an employee wellness program that meets more than just your employees’ physical health. A piecemeal approach won’t work. Your program needs to be comprehensive.

Once you have the right program, your workers and your company will see the benefits.

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