Employee Wellness Programs
E mployee Wellness Programs are essential to the long-term viability of all businesses. Employee Wellness Programs have been proven to reduce health care costs, absenteeism and presenteeism thus resulting in improved productivity. Research has also shown that Employee Wellness Programs offer a positive Return-on-Investment making them a benefit that costs more to avoid than to provide.
Smart employers understand this and have already taken steps to implement and/or enhance various types of health promotion initiatives. Unfortunately most are not very cohesive and often lack the tracking necessary to really determine how effective the initiatives really are.
How do you develop a workplace health and wellness program for the workplace?
Workplace health and wellness programs should be a part of the overall company strategy for a healthy workplace. Health and safety legislation and other workplace policies or programs can provide a basis for a workplace health (or health promotion) program. When setting up any program, remember to include training and other support (e.g., time to attend sessions) and choices where possible.
Remember that for health and safety programs, there are specific laws and regulations that must be complied with. Workplace health programs are a different from traditional health and safety programs because there is no legislative mandate. However, the purpose of a workplace health and wellness program is to offer a comprehensive health service for all employees. Therefore it is important to remember that employees are potentially exposed to a wide variety of health hazards or situations at work on a regular basis. As such, it is impossible to deal with workplace health / wellness issues in isolation from health and safety, and vice versa.
What are some key elements of a workplace health program?
When planning the workplace health program, remember to be clear about your :
- Objectives: know what you want to see happen as a result of your efforts.
- Target audience: who is the program for? All staff? Only certain groups?
- Type of program or campaign: what tone will your program have? Informative? Fun? Fearful?
Health and Wellness Programs : Wellness Programs and Corporate Culture.
Effective health promotion programs recognize the importance of building a supportive cultural environment. the workplace culture includes shared values/heartfelt beliefs about what is important. It includes social standards of expected and accepted behavior called “cultural norms.”
It includes coworker support from family, friends, and coworkers. This support can help one adopt healthy life choices.