Is your perks program disguised as a wellness program?
Wellness can be a smart addition to a benefits package, but many companies are blurring the lines between "perks programs" and wellness programs. Designed to improve employee morale and retain employees, more and more companies are offering perks and calling it wellness. The rationale behind it is often quite creative. See below:
Perks are great for improving morale and attracting new talent, but they often don't have a lasting effect on employee health, or your bottom line. When paired with a comprehensive wellness program, you can expect to see long term benefits. A study of the impact of wellness programs has show that when a company implements wellness initiatives:
88% of employees feel positive about their company's culture
75% of employees are more energetic and productive
64% of employees feel more appreciated
58% of employees are more engaged at work and feel more loyal to their employer
So what is a comprehensive wellness program? Here are some ideas to get you started:
Conduct needs assessments to find out what your employees are struggling with. This can be done with a health risk assessment. Even better, integrate biometrics with your HRA to get a full picture.
Plan activities around the needs assessment results and target unhealthy behaviors that are prevalent in your population.
Make it social! Team challenges, healthy potlucks, and celebrating each other's successes are a great way to start. If your employees see co-workers, and especially those in position of leadership participate, the program is more likely to gain traction.
Focus on behaviors, not outcomes. Having an emphasis on creating healthy habits will help people improve their quality of life and not be defined by their biometric numbers.
Don't make everyone participate in everything. Plan campaigns that will appeal to the healthier population, and have other activities that are designed to help those who are just beginning their journey to wellness.