7 Benefits of an Employee Wellness Program

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals

Office work can be mundane and can drain enthusiasm. Companies are aware that the traditional salary and healthcare packages are not enough to lure and keep the brightest and most qualified talent.

Corporations and businesses of every kind want to show staff that they are important not only while they are at work but in their time outside of the office. Many employers recognize the benefit of offering wellness programs for their employees. Maintaining a healthy workforce has a positive effect on a business’s bottom line.

Here are seven benefits of providing an employee wellness program.

1. Improved Fitness
Providing onsite workout facilities not only allow staff to gain the benefits of exercise, it also allows employees time away from their desks. Employees stay fit and can socialize in a healthy way that does not involve work tasks.

In addition to or in lieu of a separate workout room in the building, many office parks have onsite running and walking trails. Some offices have meet-up times throughout the day where workers are encouraged to take walks or run. Employees can shed those lunchtime pounds and return to their work refreshed and with enthusiasm.

2. Reducing the Cost of Healthcare
Staying physically fit lowers the cost of healthcare to the company. Studies abound that prove regular exercise reduces sick time, injuries and doctors’ visits. The side effects of regular exercise are leaner, fit bodies and a healthier heart. This leads to less downtime and is a win for the business and for the worker.

3. Increased Morale
When employers offer wellness programs it shows workers that the company cares about more than the bottom line. Employees feel that they are valued when the company shows that they want workers to stay at their best.

Employers should frequently encourage employees to participate in the company wellness programs and asks workers to provide feedback about ways to improve on and add to current offerings.

4. Productivity Boost
Time away from work related tasks invigorates the employee and helps them to maintain focus. Even the most dedicated employees struggle to maintain attention after looking at a monitor, standing at a counter or performing repetitive tasks for hours. Providing workers to step away periodically makes for a more productive workplace.

5. Promotes Healthy Living
Wellness programs offer more than exercise. Employees are given tips for healthy eating, offered counseling for substance abuse problems and domestic issues. Workers spend a major part of their day on the job. By expanding wellness programs to consider total lifestyle, companies show they care about their workers not just on company property but always.

6. Stress Reduction
A major reason for employee burnout, turnover and personal time off is stress. In an attempt to drive production and meet quotas workers can be driven beyond their capacity, leading to low morale, lack of inspiration and perhaps a physical breakdown. Turnover is not only expensive to the company as they go through the repeated cycle of rehiring and training. The revolving door effect crushes the moral of existing workers.

Wellness programs provide a number of options that can alleviate some of the symptoms of stress. The company has established that they understand that the job can be stressful. Participants can take time away to re-charge and return to their tasks with a clear mind and better focus.

7. Balanced Lifestyle
Wellness programs provide a multi-pronged approach to living a healthy lifestyle in ways that go beyond the workplace. These programs present a menu of offerings, customizable to the individual’s needs.

Nutritionists may work with participants on weight loss, dietary options for diabetes and high blood pressure and safe vegan eating plans. Some companies offer sports leagues or after work gatherings. Childcare assistance, help with moving, transportation and even easier and cost efficient ways to vacation are some of the opportunities a good wellness program provides.

The best thing about participating in a wellness program is that it makes living a healthy lifestyle a habit. Employee involvement can boost self-worth; create a more fit body and mind. Wellness thinking extends to the employees overall lifestyle.

When companies encourage workers to take care of their health the employee feels like they matter, which garners a sense of company loyalty. Workers may be more inclined to consistently perform at the top of their ability. This is evidence that company wellness programs are an enhancement for both workers and businesses.