Wellness is more than a buzzword: employees are looking for (and need) wellness programs today and every day moving forward. Before I dive into the endless benefits of workplace wellness programs and initiatives, I think it would help to define what these programs are. Employee wellness programs or wellness plans are a form of health benefit that many employers provide–in one way or another–in addition to health insurance. More specifically, a wellness program helps employees stay healthy–or in some cases–helps them improve their health. Sounds pretty awesome, right?
The great thing is, wellness programs can look quite different and be specialized within different company cultures. Ideas can range from ones that have a specific purpose, such as helping an employee to stop smoking or to lose weight, or providing access to onsite gyms or gym memberships, or even offering incentive programs that provide rewards for participation in achieving the desired result. If you are interested, you can read more about employee wellness program ideas, varying from subsidized wearable fitness technology to healthy food in the office (more to come on this front!).
Employee wellness plans are rising in popularity, and for good reasons, too! Here at 6AM Health, we believe wholeheartedly in supporting everyone’s health and well-being, especially those at work. But, if our word isn’t enough, here are five (of the many) reasons you should consider implementing a new and improved wellness program:
1. Employees who take advantage of wellness are more productive.
Research Findings: Employees who participated in a health promotion program and improved their health care or lifestyle regained an average of 10.3 hours in additional productivity annually and saved their companies an average of $353 per person per year in productivity costs compared to non-participants.
2. Wellness programs reduce elevated health risks (elevated blood glucose, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.).
Research Findings: When individuals were helped to improve their nutrition and physical activity, health risks could improve dramatically in as little as six weeks. Those who maintained healthy behaviors experience lower health risks for six weeks, six months, 12 months, and even as far as 18 months out after this program began.
3. Wellness programs inspire significant behavior changes (eating healthier foods, eating smaller portions, exercising more often, smoking less, etc.).
Research Findings: The benefits of employee wellness programs include improvements in physical activity; higher fruit and vegetable consumption; lower fat intake; and reduced body weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.
4. Wellness programs can decrease absenteeism.
Research Findings: Employees with good health behaviors and who can control their stress have lower absenteeism. Employees with healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose have lower absenteeism. Employees who are not overweight or obese have lower absenteeism.
5. Wellness programs build and help sustain high employee morale.
Research Findings (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs): Employees are happy when they have a sense of control over their lives and their health.
Looking for some place to start in this fascinating world of workplace wellness? Ask us about our Fresh Fridge, the complete in-office healthy snack, food, and beverage solution. Worried about how to safely nourish your employees during COVID-19? We’ve got you covered! 6AM Health offers healthy convenience, contactless ordering and delivery, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
What types of initiatives have you tried out when it comes to employee wellness?