All companies want happy, healthy employees; however, creating a culture of wellness where employees are unmotivated is often difficult to foster. Wellness programs are often seen as a costly perk, that lack measurable results. Faced with this opposition, wellness programs are often short-lived and badly implemented. So let’s unpack the problem, look at the facts, and find what works.
Dr. Roger Sahoury, author of Gladiator’s Guide to Corporate Health & Wealth, says, “It’s amazing to learn that 55% of workers identified a workplace wellness program as an instrument in improving their overall well-being. In fact it equates to $250 million in savings in lowered health costs and a 50% reduction in high blood pressure among employees.” In other words, while, in the past, corporate wellness was simply medical care and retirement benefits, employees now consider their overall wellness to be part of that equation. But wellness isn’t only about fitness and health, it’s also about emotional and mental well-being.
Emotional Wellness Program Strategies
Employee happiness is key in retaining talent. The number one reason most Americans leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. In fact, 65% of people surveyed said they got no recognition for good work last year” – Gallup, Tom Rath and Donald Clifton, How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life. While not as direct as employee recognition, wellness again plays a factor in rewarding employees and making them feel valuable at work.
Socially creating a culture of wellness can bring employees together. This fosters inter-office social relationships which can bind the fabric of the company together. A Wednesday night pickup game may do more for your bottom line than intensive training sessions: employees who have positive office relationships will have an easier time expressing concerns, and therefore, will have more productive interactions with colleagues.
Stopping the negativity works. A culture of badmouthing, complaining and gossiping is bad for the entire organization. People complain to avoid responsibility, and to stop from taking action. Getting employees to engage in healthy activities together, not only will relieve stress, but will encourage bonding and emotional support between employees. For example, running a team step challenge not only is a healthy option, but a mentally and socially healthy option for the workplace.
No matter which wellness program you choose, your attitude toward it is important. Wellness programs are not just about making your employees more fit. A step challenge is great, but it should be accompanied by the right culture. Wellness is not just a temporary solution; it’s a corporate strategy for promoting long-term growth.