A recent RAND Corporation study found that over 85% of U.S. businesses employing 1,000 people or more offer some sort of workplace wellness program. That’s great. Until you consider the fact that only 60% of employees are aware that their employers offer a wellness program – and only 40% of those who are aware actually participate in it, according to Gallup research.
As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, Adams & Garth knows wellness programs can be expensive. However, when done right, they can help offset the rising cost of health insurance while boosting employee morale and productivity.
So if your company has a wellness program with lackluster results, here are a few ideas that can help you improve it:
Create a Communications Plan
Support your wellness program with a strong communications plan. According to a white paper – “Well on the Way: Engaging Employees in Workplace Wellness” by Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co. – barriers to engagement can oftentimes be overcome through championship of the program by the CEO and co-workers who are identified as health ambassadors by their enthusiastic participation in wellness initiatives.
In addition, the paper also points out that enhancing communication via one-on-one benefits counseling can also help drive participation in a company’s wellness program, as well as improve understanding and appreciation of the entire benefits package.
Invest in Incentives
Employee incentive programs provide rewards – financial or otherwise – for those team members who engage in healthy behavior. A growing trend is to cover an additional percentage of a worker’s health insurance premiums for achieving certain health goals, such as lowering blood pressure or losing weight.
Go Beyond the Physical
According to Gallup and Healthways, which have developed a comprehensive source of well-being measurement, the five essential elements of well-being are:
- Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
- Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
- Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
- Community: liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community
- Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily
When employees are thriving in several of the above elements, it becomes simpler for them to achieve things that are in their own best interest, such as maintaining good physical health. For instance, if an employee has strong financial well being, they are less likely to be stressed out and fall into bad habits (such as overeating and smoking) that undermine physical health.
Many businesses simply focus their wellness programs on physical well-being. However, by focusing wellness programs on all five elements above, companies can enhance their bottom line.
Other tips for strengthening your workplace wellness program include:
- Find out what the top drivers of healthcare costs are for your employees and create incentives for wellness initiatives to help deal with those risks.
- Incentives should be determined based on the demographics of your team members. For instance, what appeals to a workforce that skews older may not be as effective for a company with a younger workforce.
- Make sure that the incentives are attainable by your employees. They won’t participate if criteria for earning incentives are unrealistic.
- Make the incentives and what the employee has to do to earn them easy to understand and easy to communicate. Communicate early and often about what participants need to complete to earn the incentives.
Need more help recruiting and retaining top employees? Contact Adams & Garth. As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, we can take the hassle out of hiring for you, so you can focus on managing your team. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.