Healthy employees are happier, more productive employees. Healthier employees translates to less money spent on insurance premiums, and with the ever-increasing costs of healthcare in the United States, this is a worthwhile goal towards which to work. Employee wellness programs can help you achieve these goals, and here are some tips for putting one together for your employees.
Implementing a practical and successful program requires careful planning. The goals are noble, but without a specific set of steps to achieve them, you will get lackluster results. You must get some input from employees, and this can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the size of your company. Smaller operations can achieve this through informal meetings, while a larger business can conduct surveys to get an idea of health issues employees are facing, and what they would like to improve about their wellness. You need to reach out to management and present a strong case as to why this is a good investment for the company and get them on board fully. You will need staff and resources, which means you need money. Do some serious number crunching to determine how much the program will cost. Gather some data on the benefits of wellness programs and how it will positively impact the company, from reduced absenteeism to fewer dollars spent on healthcare costs.
Don’t Just Focus on Weight Loss
Being overweight increases the risk of many serious health problems, and is often a primary target of many wellness programs. Helping your employees shed those extra pounds is a worthwhile goal for sure, but reviews of the most successful employee wellness programs in the country have found they focus on a broad range of health issues, and not just weight loss. They take a more holistic approach that targets the mind as well.
Set Specific and Measurable Goals
Just saying you want to help employees lose weight, quit smoking or achieve some other specific health goals is a good place to start for sure, but a successful wellness program sets specific benchmarks for the achievement of these goals. Clearly define the objectives of the program and aim for certain results by a certain amount of time, such as having X number of people quit smoking by X day. By setting specific goals, you will be able to better evaluate the program to see what is working, what is not, what changes need to be made and how it can be improved.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things health and wellness in the workplace, from Illinois healthcare reform and how it will affect businesses in the state to how to promote wellness in the workplace.