Companies have been using wellness programs to help recruit and retain top talent for quite some time now. In fact, a survey conducted by the National Business Group on Health found that nearly 80% of employers offer some type of health and fitness benefits to an employee’s health and well-being. But, one in three employees doesn’t fully understand their plan, meaning they could be missing out on incentive opportunities.
To ensure your wellness program is as effective as possible, here are a few care tips to improve your company’s retention rates.
How wellness programs work
A wellness program is a plan that provides incentives to employees who participate in healthy activities. Employees can be incentivized for things like participating in an annual health check, maintaining a healthy weight, or completing an exercise regimen.
The goal of wellness programs is to encourage health and wellbeing in the workplace, decreasing medical costs and increasing staff satisfaction all in one.
To ensure your wellness program is effective, you need to make sure that your program works with the company culture and goals. The company must share its vision and values with the employees for them to understand the importance of the wellness plan.
Tips for implementing a successful wellness program
1. Create a company-wide initiative
If you want your employees to take advantage of your wellness program, they need to be aware of the benefits they are entitled to and how they can take advantage of them.
2. Offer employee incentives and Benefits
Offering incentives is an effective way to get your employees engaged in the wellness program and feel like their participation is worth their time. If you offer health and fitness perks, such as gym memberships or free yoga classes, your employees will be healthier and more motivated to work as the company provided them with something of value.
3. Make the plan clear
Your company should clearly explain what behavior will result in eligibility for rewards, or lack thereof. Letting employees know what behaviors are not appropriate will help minimize attrition from the wellness program and increase engagement over time.
4. Be flexible with your qualifications for rewards
If you’re offering a reward for participating beyond just taking part in activities like yoga or exercising regularly, your company must have a clear understanding of what constitutes success in terms of meeting those requirements before you start implementing any rewards structures into your wellness program.
Types of Programs and Benefits
There are two types of wellness programs available: company-provided and consumer-directed.
- Company-provided programs are managed by the employer to ensure they offer employees professional guidance, like exercise or nutrition counseling. These types of programs are typically more expensive than a consumer-directed program, but they provide more resources for employees and often include things like health screenings and dental care.
- Consumer-directed programs allow employees to take charge of their health, providing them with information about healthy lifestyle choices that would be helpful for their wellbeing. These plans typically have lower costs and require less oversight but have fewer medical benefits.
Introducing things like employee yoga classes once a week and promoting a Cycle-To-Work Scheme are great programs for physical wellness, but you should also consider how you’re going to tackle other aspects of employee health.
For example, having an on-site therapist for employees to have weekly sessions with is a fantastic way to offer mental support, and providing chaplain services can help promote spiritual and general mental wellness as they offer support in a way that many employees may find more accessible (and less intimidating!) than therapy.
The great thing about chaplaincy services is that it offers a more personal (but no less professional) and less clinical method of support that will appeal to some employees in a way that therapy won’t. It’s important to offer a range of programs so every employee can get involved.
If you’re unsure where to begin with introducing wellness programs into your workplace, begin by talking to your employees and finding out what they would like – communication is key to success and will make your employees feel appreciated! An employee that feels valued and cared for is an employee that will stay; so treat them well and watch your productivity soar.