by Cameron Douglas
Workplace Wellness

Wellness programs focus on employees’ overall well-being, resulting in improved productivity, better health, boosted employee morale, engagement, teamwork…

In this modern era, job seekers do not primarily focus on the salary or paycheck their prospective employer will reward them at the end of the month. They want jobs that will care about their physical and mental well-being. Employees thrive in an organization that caters to their personal goals and needs.

Organizations are increasingly aware of how the employee’s poor mental health can affect productivity, hence the need to develop workplace wellness programs. Wellness programs address your employees’ overall health, boost morale, and increase productivity and teamwork.

Don’t worry; this article is not some graduate school pamphlet covering the science of wellness. Rather it gives you an overview of what wellness programs are and why having one is beneficial to your organization.

What is an employee wellness program?

The wellness program encompasses activities organized at the workplace to improve or support your employees’ overall health and fitness. These activities could include health screenings, fitness programs, and preventative care. Other activities you can embrace in your workplace include:

  • Exercise programs- where employees can join workplace gym.
  • Stress management education
  • Wellness assessments
  • Weight loss competition
  • Smoking cessation programs.

Benefits of workplace wellness programs

Employees are human beings with feelings and a desire for care and empathy. Wellness programs will undoubtedly prove beneficial for them and benefit management. Here are some reasons to implement a wellness program at your organization:

It enhances employee health behaviors

Healthy employees will improve productivity, which is the goal for many employers. A wellness program aims to improve or change employee behaviors, helping them lower the dangers of bad habits. Employees on a wellness program improve their life even off the office.

For instance, a smoking cessation program will reduce employees’ risk of cancer and other health problems related to this habit. Wellness programs can also help your employees better manage or alleviate depression symptoms and promote their overall well-being.

It increases productivity

The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine published a study showing that organizations with wellness programs experienced employees’ productivity levels. The study also showed that wellness programs motivated employees to save money for their employers through positive actions.

Productivity is also negatively impacted by employees’ poor health. Wellness programs improve employees’ moods, thus reducing stress-related diseases and subsequent absenteeism. Tired and sickly employees are less motivated to work and are often wasteful, resulting in avoidable losses.

 Adopting practical wellness programs such as regular exercise will enhance your employees’ performance. They will be more focused on the task, thus increasing productivity.

It promotes employee engagement.

Wellness programs like walk groups and weight loss competitions will likely keep your employees engaged. They will feel like part of the company and give their all at their respective jobs. Additionally, your employees will connect, hence improving teamwork.

Employees that harmoniously work together are an army that can propel your business to greater heights. Improved engagement due to the wellness program will also improve the employee-manager relationship, resulting in better performance with minimum supervision. Employee engagement also improves employee retention, meaning your organization can keep its talents longer and reduce hiring costs.

High employee morale

A motivated workforce is the dream of every employer. You can keep your employees’ morale up by introducing wellness programs. It tells your employees that you value their health and want them to be happy. Your workplace enthusiasm will be heightened when employees know that they are rewarded with an exercise program or some healthy competition after work.

The wellness program also adds various activities to an employee’s workday. They will be looking forward to learning something new, which could be fun. Learning opportunities boost morale among your team, thus improving performance.

Improved employee health

A wellness program that focuses on changing bad habits and encouraging healthy habits will reduce health complications for your team. Business is a battlefield, and employees are your soldiers; you want them to remain healthy to help you weather competition storms.

 Wellness programs that promote healthy eating and exercise will eliminate the risk of chronic diseases for your team. They will feel more energetic and joyous all their workdays.

Mental health problems affect 14.7% of today’s workforce, and wellness programs can help reduce these numbers. We often hear of suicides at the workplace resulting from unspoken employee problems. Wellness programs can reduce the chances of an employee taking their lives since they can share their problems with management or fellow employees.

Reduces absenteeism

One motivational speaker joked that most people experience a heart attack every Monday morning. Some employees decide to miss work, giving lame excuses to avoid Monday dread. Wellness programs will reduce Monday blues effects and improve attendance.  

Wellness programs also improve employees’ health, thus reducing frequent sick leaves. Elevating your employees’ overall health and minimizing stress through a workplace wellness program will enhance work satisfaction and encourage employees to invest in their work. They will likely feel motivated to come to work and give their best, reducing absenteeism.

Attract new talent

Prospective employees who know their value, especially experienced and talented employees, will want to work for an organization that takes good care of its staff. A wellness program indicates a healthy and supportive working environment any job seeker would want to work for. Most job seekers value wellness programs, often listing them among the benefits they want in a hiring organization.

Reduces the organization’s healthcare costs

A wellness program will help reduce employees’ health risks, resulting in savings for the company. The organization will not spend a lot of money on healthcare. Since these employees will likely not get sick frequently, they will reduce healthcare expenses for the company and for them. Healthy employees save valuable working time and save money in the long run.

Improve teamwork

A disorganized workforce that relies on individual effort cannot help an organization. You need a united team to improve work quality and productivity; otherwise, your organization will fall short of its objectives. However, you can build a team with a wellness program since your employees know each better.

 Teamwork has several benefits, including:

  • Improved creativity through collaboration and development of ideas
  • Strengthened employee relationship
  • Better accountability
  • Enhanced team bonding and camaraderie
  • Improved communication at the workplace, thus saving time and enhancing corporation.

Final thoughts

An ideal wellness program focuses on employees’ overall health and personal growth. It should make your employees feel part of your organization and cared for. When you invest in these programs, the results are obvious. Your organization’s bottom line will improve productivity, employee engagement, health, and teamwork. A wellness program also benefits your company’s image since people will know your organization as a place with great working experience.

Does your organization have a wellness program? What type of wellness programs would you want to implement at your workplace?

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