Workplace Wellness

10 Examples of Wellness Programs Employees Will Love

Written by Kate

The COVID-19 pandemic truly underscored the importance of supporting employee wellness in the workplace. Wellness programs, which were once considered employee perks, are now an imperative part of every company culture. They have evolved into data-driven, customized, and strategic wellness initiatives that can help in reducing employee turnover and boosting employee health. 

Take Nike, and its workplace wellness program, for instance.

The ‘Bo Jackson Center’ at Nike’s headquarters has an exceptional on-site fitness center for its employees. This 200-acre campus has weight rooms, yoga studios, an indoor basketball court, and a turf. But the most impressive part is its Olympic-sized swimming pool. And a rock-climbing wall! All on the office site — to promote employee wellness! 

These wellness programs can enhance an employee’s mental and physical health, which boosts employee productivity and employee satisfaction. So, it’s a win-win situation for both the employee and the company. 

cheerful colleagues in a happy workplace

A Comprehensive Guide on Corporate Wellness and Examples of Wellness Programs

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 80% of mid-size and large-size U.S. businesses offer corporate wellness programs. Why are companies including wellness programs in their priorities? The statistics speak for themselves: 

  • 87% of employees weigh health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer.
  • 67% of employees who get health and wellness programs like their jobs more.
  • 45% of employees are more likely to stay at their jobs for longer because of workplace wellness programs. 
  • 54% of Gen Zers and 58% of millennials evaluate employee wellness programs when deciding on jobs.

In this blog, we will take a look at examples of effective wellness programs and their benefits.

What is Wellness?

Most people think of health and wellness as merely not ‘being sick’. However, the concept goes far beyond the absence or presence of a disease. 

Wellness is a way of life. IncentFit defines it as an active practice of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead someone to a state of complete well being. It’s not a one-day action. Instead, it’s a deliberate, conscious, and self-directed effort you make every day to be in a healthy state of body and mind. 

Moreover, wellness is multi-dimensional. It’s not about treating a disease or being in perfect physical health. It commands about eight dimensions for you to achieve wellness goals. Let’s have an in-depth look at these dimensions in the next section to understand the concept of wellness.

The 8 Dimensions of Wellness

1. Physical Wellness

Physical wellness is all about taking care of your body and physical health. It involves regular exercise and physical activity, a balanced diet, and good sleep. This area of physical health and wellness also includes weight management, ergonomics, tobacco use, disease, and disease prevention. 

physical and mental wellness

2. Emotional Wellness

Emotional wellness encompasses one’s ability to understand, manage, and express feelings. Be it dealing with stress or nurturing positive emotions, emotional intelligence helps one achieve greater well being. Adopting practices to strengthen your emotional wellness can help in stress reduction.

3. Intellectual Wellness

Intellectual wellness is all about recognizing your intellect and strengths while finding ways to promote personal development. Staying curious, experimenting with new ideas, and skill development help in mind stimulation and enhance your critical thinking.

4. Social Wellness

Forming and maintaining a supportive network and maintaining healthy relationships come under social wellness. Taking steps to boost social wellness enhances your emotional well being and improves overall happiness. It involves being empathetic and developing meaningful connections with your social circle. 

5. Spiritual Wellness

While some people find life’s meaning in religion, spiritual wellness also covers engaging in activities that connect you with a higher purpose in life. Being deeply personal, it includes exploring beliefs, values, and ethics to understand one’s role in the world.

6. Environmental Wellness

Understanding your environmental responsibility and creating healthy and sustainable living surroundings comes under environmental wellness. It includes making sound eco-friendly choices and maintaining a space that relieves stress and keeps you happy, safe, and motivated. 

7. Financial Wellness

Poor finances are often a cause of stress. Financial wellness ensures wise money management to make informed financial decisions. Having control over your regular expenses and setting practical financial goals can help with stress reduction.

8. Occupational Wellness

We spend a better portion of our lives working, so it should be well-spent. Occupational wellness is about finding meaning, purpose, and overall job satisfaction in your work. It includes maintaining work life balance so that it may relieve stress in your work life.

examples of wellness programs

What is an Employee Wellness Program?

Employee wellness programs are structured wellness initiatives designed by a company to promote holistic wellness and healthier lifestyles in employees. Imagine a bunch of thoughtful and personalized health benefits that can promote various dimensions of wellness. They may include employee activities, guided support programs, health screenings, massage therapy, an on-site fitness center, and more. 

What are the Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs?

Employee wellness programs are increasingly becoming an integral part of a company culture. Here are the benefits a well-planned corporate wellness program can offer:

  • Corporate wellness programs promote the overall health and well being of employees. It not only increases employee satisfaction in the company but also paves the path for employee success. 
  • Employee health directly impacts the company’s healthcare costs. A 2010 study found that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs. If you invest smartly in an employee wellness program, you can save money in healthcare. 
  • The same study also found that employee wellness programs also cause absenteeism costs to fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent. When you promote healthy habits and focus on employee well being, employee absences due to sickness reduces. 
  • Employees value work-life balance, mental health, and overall well being. You can attract and retain top talent with robust employee wellness programs. 
  • Corporate wellness programs make employees feel their needs and well being are prioritized in the company. It leads to greater job satisfaction and boosts employee loyalty.

8 Examples of Employee Wellness Programs

1. Flexible Work Hours

You must have noticed young companies and startups are embracing the new work culture and allowing their employees flexible working hours. If you’re wondering why, it’s because the traditional 9-to-5 working model can be found limiting and unnecessary in many evolved job positions today. Moreover, employees today are far more concerned about work-life balance than the older generations. 

Flexible working arrangements may also include remote working or a hybrid work model. It allows employees to focus on their priorities while managing their work commitments. So, be it picking kids from school, taking care of a baby, offering care to an aged member, or attending to personal chores, employees get to design their work hours and enjoy the work-life balance.

2. On-Site Fitness Centers

On-site fitness centers are one of the best examples of employee wellness programs for large-sized companies. If you want to encourage employees to indulge in physical activity during the workday, it’s a great idea. 

Most companies offer gym memberships. While these are good options to boost physical health, they may not work with everyone’s schedules. Moreover, employees likely to take advantage of it may already have a membership in physical activity. Therefore, if you have the budget, space, and capacity, install an on-site fitness center at your office. 

Moreover, this wellness program allows employees to work out in groups with their team members, which can enhance social bonding and camaraderie.

3. Yoga Classes

Workplace stress is an unwelcome companion that can ruin your employee’s mental health. You can introduce yoga classes as a savior to promote both the mental and physical health of your employees. 

Yoga classes are a brilliant option for industries where stress and tension run high. The breathing techniques can help employees relieve stress and refocus on their work. Its benefits also help with boosting one’s physical health. Some companies also club yoga classes with massage therapy to help employees relax.

Usually, employees have to sit at their desks for long hours, which can cause workplace-related musculoskeletal issues. Regular yoga classes can enhance flexibility, help with treating posture issues, and relieve stress and tension in the body.

4. Smoking Cessation Programs

Smoking cessation programs are almost a need rather than an option. About 28.3 million U.S. adults smoke cigarettes. The good part is that almost half of this number wish to quit this deeply ingrained habit. 

Offering a ‘quit smoking’ program in your workplace is all about encouraging employees to ditch tobacco usage and adopt a healthier smoking-free lifestyle. This corporate wellness program is a win-win for both employees and employers as employees who smoke or use tobacco products cost more to the company than non-smokers in terms of health expenses. Moreover, smoke breaks are infamous for adding up to a significant amount of lost work time over long periods.

5. Healthy Food

We all have heard the old saying, “You are what you eat”, and it couldn’t be truer for the company’s wellness programs. Therefore, offering healthy food at the workplace can contribute significantly to employee well-being.

You see, employees love food perks. However, most companies offer salty chips and soda cans as evening snacks, which are unhealthy food options. According to research by the Centers for Disease Control, obesity and poor health cost US companies more than $225 billion per year in lost productivity. If you want to promote healthy habits, stock your cafeteria with healthy snacks with whole grains, healthy fats, and protein. You can also urge everyone to bring a healthy homemade lunch to incorporate healthy eating habits.

healthy food is an example of wellness programs

6. Financial Counseling or Planning

Financial literacy is one of the crucial aspects of an employee’s life but is seldom taught professionally. Not knowing how to make the most of what you earn can add to financial stress. As a result, money woes can burden one’s personal and professional life, impacting employee engagement and employee productivity. 

You can provide financial education to your employees and help them attain financial well-being. Don’t just educate them about the regular 401K and income taxes. Instead, go a step beyond by hiring a financial counselor who can help them learn about budgeting, investing, saving, and retirement planning. It’s crucial because financial stress can impact one’s mental health and overall job satisfaction.

7. Mental Health Counseling

If you want to incorporate wellness into your company and aim toward a healthier workforce, you can’t ignore the mental health of your employees. They have to manage their personal lives while tending to heavy workloads, long hours, and tight deadlines. High-pressure work environments can cause workplace stress and take a toll on employee morale and employee productivity.

Mental health counseling or therapy assistance is a critical part of employee wellness programs. Ensure you collaborate with licensed mental health professionals who can guarantee confidentiality and trust to your employees. You can also host workshops or training sessions to promote mental health awareness in your workplace. A healthier and stress-free mind boosts the quality of employees lives and enhances their work performance.

8. Physical Fitness Challenges

While physical fitness is vital for everyone, you can’t force it on anyone. And with tight schedules, employees tend to drop it to the last of their priorities. To ensure your employees stay healthy and contribute as little to healthcare costs, you need to incorporate wellness in a fun way. That’s where fitness challenges come into the picture.

You can pick wellness challenges based on your company culture and employee preferences. Step challenge is one of the most popular fitness challenges where employees have to achieve a specific goal of daily steps. Other wellness challenges can include weight loss challenges or team challenges like sports events.

Such wellness challenges promote employee participation and foster a sense of community. You can also introduce the concept of rewards once employees complete a certain milestone to make it more engaging.

Final Thoughts

Healthy employees are an asset to a company. And an employee wellness program is like a compass that supports your employees to perform efficiently. When your employees stay healthy, you can expect superior work performance, more profits, and a reduction in health care costs. 

And that’s not all. 

When your talent gets to know their company cares about employee health and employee wellbeing, they feel like a valued member of the team. This feeling is likely to reflect in their job satisfaction and enhance their work efficiency. So, if you want to implement a well-planned and tailored employee wellness program, reach out to our wellness benefits experts. We are a trusted choice in the employee wellness industry to create personalized and detail-oriented employee wellness programs. Our experts take employee health, budget, and current company’s wellness program into consideration and craft a plan that provides all the benefits necessary for the health and wellness of your workforce.

Corporate Wellness Benefit Managers having a discussion while looking at an electronic tablet.

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