A wellness program was once considered to be a glorified perk that larger companies would offer as a way to boost employee wellness, success, and happiness. However, wellness program offerings have grown in recent years, and now it seems that a majority of companies offer some added perk to boost your wellness.
A wellness program provides a wide range of benefits that are designed to meet as many pillars of your wellness. Your pillars of wellness serve as a guide to meeting your mind, body, and spiritual needs. Meeting every pillar of wellness with a single plan could be a challenge, however. With that said, how can companies have a wellness program that works for everyone?
Common Wellness Programs Offered
To say that a company offers a wellness program is simply implying that they believe in your overall wellness and they truly want you to be well-rounded. There are some major perks that companies can gain simply by offering wellness plans, but more on that later. Companies typically cannot offer a wellness plan that covers everything with one full option, meaning it’s not like signing up for a retirement plan or health insurance.
This can be quite tedious because there are eight dimensions of wellness that can be different for each employee. With this in mind, companies must be able to meet each pillar of wellness as best as possible. Common wellness programs vary depending on the organization, but highlighted below are some common ways that companies boost wellness among the team.
A discounted or fully-paid membership to a fitness center is a great way to start when offering a wellness program. Many fitness and health clubs are growing to improve client happiness, not to mention many larger gyms offer a wide range of services that can address many of the dimensions of wellness. Large gyms tend to offer spa treatments, massages, tanning, physical therapy, social events, and of course, typical fitness options.
A growing area that companies are seeing as increasingly value could be behavioral options. Some companies may offer discounts on counseling and other services as a way for employees to work through hard times.
It may seem a bit far-fetched, but many companies are changing how you do your work. Companies have started to offer ergonomic furniture for the office as a way to help prevent injuries. In addition, standing workstations are becoming popular as a way to prevent sedentary behaviors in the office space.
Benefits of Wellness Programs
There are a plethora of perks that employees (and employers) can get with any wellness plan. Let’s take a close look as to how a wellness program can benefit the employees and employer.
Every employee is going to have at least one time during their career when calling off of a shift is necessary. Whether it’s due to personal illness or injuries on the worksite, absenteeism is a great financial concern for many companies.
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Because of this, organizations could benefit from an employee wellness program as a way to reduce overall absenteeism. Additionally, studies have shown that a sound workplace program could help reduce disability among blue-collar workers.1 Disability is a great cause for concern with absenteeism in companies and reducing the impact of disability from the job can benefit both the employer and employee.
Worker Absenteeism Due to Illness
Another reason that employees miss time away from work is due to illness. Calling out from a shift due to illness can be taxing on a team-based organization, as one team member could play a major role in day-to-day duties.
With that in mind, it seems that physical activity may play a role in overall wellness. Studies have shown that sedentary behaviors are associated with increased absenteeism due to an illness.2 Consequently, offering fitness plans to employees can be a rewarding benefit that can help boost productivity in the workplace and prevent sedentary behavior.
A properly-implemented wellness program should be aimed at helping employees improve their overall quality of life. Employees spend a great deal of the week at the office, and it seems that this can take a toll on many workers.
With this in mind, finding ways to boost healthy behaviors among workers should be vital to any company agenda. Studies continue to show that offering workplace wellness programs can help increase overall health satisfaction, as well as life satisfaction.3 These studies point out that workplace wellness programs can help increase the amount of leisure time exercise that workers get, help change eating habits, and encourage proper sleep patterns as well.
Perhaps one of the most common issues among workers is that stress takes a toll on the mind and body. Wellness programs may play a role in helping manage stress levels, provided the proper plans are established.
For example, workplace wellness plans that offer fitness memberships with offer yoga or meditation may help employees better cope with stress from the workday. Studies show that yoga can help reduce overall stress and anxiety among those who regularly practice.4
In addition, some companies could offer massage therapy packages or discounts as a way to help work off excess stress.
The information above dives into the topic of why wellness programs should be a staple benefit offered by virtually all companies that offer benefit packages. Wellness programs are designed to boost all or parts of your dimensions of wellness so that you can have improved quality of life. The perks of adding a wellness plan are endless, and it seems that both employers and employees can both enjoy the benefits.
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