How Employee Participation in Wellness Programs Increases Engagement

Employee wellness programs boost employee engagement /
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Approx. 4 min. read
Last updated: January 16, 2018

At your company, do you provide opportunities for your employees that support their well-being at work? We suggest you should, as it has numerous benefits for them as individuals and for the business.

Have you heard of employee wellness programs? By implementing one at your organization, you can have a direct impact on your staff’s mental and physical health. Healthy minds result in happiness and productivity, which go hand in hand with increased employee engagement and improved business performance. Not to mention the fact that it can result in a competitive advantage over other employers. An employee wellness program increases your chances of attracting top talent and reduces employee turnover.

What exactly is an employee wellness program and how can it be incorporated into your culture?

Related: Internal Initiatives to Boost Employee Engagement

What employee wellness programs are and why they’re important

An employee wellness program is a package created for employees that adds value by addressing their personal health. This type of program can be designed beforehand, for example in the form of 1) screening and assessments, 2) lifestyle management, 3) disease management, or a combination of any of these. Parts of the program can be executed individually or in teams. These programs might consist of body and mind measurements, exercise options and plans, nutritional advisory, lifestyle guidance, ergonomic office equipment, health apps and much more.

Incorporating an employee wellness program is crucial to decrease costs spent on company health care. A Harvard Business Review article describes that it serves as a preventive solution to avoid employees becoming sick, being absent and to make their health more stable. A wellness program also helps to fight against common mass diseases, such as diabetes, overweight, high or low blood pressure, and even depression.

Incorporating employee wellness programs

How to get started with an employee wellness program

A wellness lifestyle at the workplace can be achieved by encouraging people to make habits of small health-supportive things and acts. You might want to start off by providing healthy snacks to your employees. A study conducted by Health Enhancement Research Organization, Brigham Young University, and the Center for Health Research at Healthways shows that employees who eat healthy food throughout their workdays are 25% more likely to have higher job performance. It might also be a good idea to provide employees with research and lists on eateries that offer healthy and nutritious food in the neighbourhood.

Besides developing healthy eating habits, ensuring regular exercise opportunities also result in work productivity and effectiveness. Having an agreement with a local gym that offers discounted membership prices is a smart way to encourage employees to hit the gym more often. Participating in fitness challenges, like a 5K run, with the team as a whole brings employees together, as they can exercise and socialize at once. You could also turn meetings into walking meetings. People’s blood circulation is better when moving than when sitting, and their brain functions faster and better that way.

Whether you consider adding functional ergonomic furniture to the office, think of standing desks, treadmill desks, spine-supportive chairs, or tech support tools to keep the body in harmony, as well as adjustable lighting for different activities or times of the day. Keep in mind that workplace design is also part of well-being at work.

To sum it up

Employee wellness programs are highly recommended to be implemented in the workplace to retain current employees and attract top talent by differentiating your business in the market. The main benefits of promoting wellness programs at work are:

  1. Increased productivity and efficiency, resulting in high job performance
  2. A more positive company culture with a feeling of happiness and being socialized
  3. Higher employee satisfaction, therefore positive employer branding
  4. Elevated employee engagement and work experience.

P.S. Find more employee wellness program ideas here.

A free guide on how to boost employee engagement with employee communication tools