Do All Companies Need a Wellness Program?
Why a Wellness Program Should be Part of All Benefit Programs
Wellness is a commonly used term in today’s employee benefits world. When faced with the question, “does your company offer some type of wellness program?”, it is common for most employers to give a “yes” or “no, but we would like to.” So, what keeps an employer from not starting a wellness program?
Typically, an employer won’t start a wellness program if they do not have enough employee resources, time or a large enough budget. Often, I’ll also hear that the employees at the company don’t necessarily care about a wellness program.
To be effective, wellness programs don’t have to be extremely expensive or sophisticated. Many of the best employer wellness programs that exist have started small and with a limited budget. The key reason to provide an employer wellness program should be to help the employees and overall company lead a healthier and more productive life.
We’ve found that it’s better to start smaller when creating a wellness program and continuously build onto your program over a multi-year planning strategy. In the beginning of your wellness program, it may be helpful to start with an informational based program. This informational program can include topics like wellness, what employees can do to stay healthy and how wellness can positively influence productivity.
Another way to measure the success of a wellness program is by implementing some form of a wellness biometric screening. These screenings can help an employer measure the overall health of the company and also measure where the company is having wellness difficulties.
The information that’s gathered from a wellness biometric screening can help employers shape what type of programs they may want to add in order to help improve their results. For example, if the results show the employer that the level of obesity within the company is higher than average, the employer may wish to start including fitness challenges to help obtain better results. Also, if smoking is a big issue for your company, it may be best to consider using a smoking cessation program to help the employees who are looking to quit.
The bottom line is this: when an employer is able to get 85% of employees or more to participate in the biometric screenings, not only do the employees benefit by getting their own personal results, but the employer also benefits by getting the aggregate results of the company. The aggregate results are very meaningful as it gives employers a look into where their future risks/claims may come from. Many more employees are now viewing their employer wellness program as a real benefit.
Overall, it’s important to remember that there are many paths when starting a wellness program. The key to creating a wellness program is simple: you must commit and not put it off. When you start your program, you can do it gradually so that the program can build with what works best for the employees. Any form of a wellness program is better than not having one at all.
Assurance can provide consultation on how to start a wellness program and what it will take to build that unique and valuable benefit for both your company and employees. Contact a member of the ‘A’ Team to get started.
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