Is a healthy workforce a happier and more productive workforce? Do workplace health and wellness programs benefit the organization, as well as the employees? Will clients or customers notice a difference if an organization adds health and wellness programs?

Overwhelmingly, the answers are yes, yes, and yes. Well-chosen health and wellness programs can benefit everyone, especially when those programs are expanded to include mental and financial health.

Organizations have seen several benefits to workplace health and wellness programs, including:

  • Greater employee engagement
  • Increased quality of work
  • Higher customer/client satisfaction
  • Increased productivity

Health and wellness programs also improve an organization’s brand and public perception, which can improve your employer brand.

Health and Wellness: Workplace and Virtual

Whether workers are on-site or remote, many health and wellness programs have proven popular with employees.

  • Discounts on gyms/fitness centers
  • Discounts on weight loss programs
  • Discounts on insurance or other benefits based on healthy behaviors
  • Fitness center on-site
  • Healthy snacks and beverages available at little or no cost
  • Standing desks, walking stations with treadmills
  • Balance balls
  • Meeting with health coaches and other subject matter experts
  • Employee affinity groups, such as healthy eaters, exercisers, and others
  • Events, such as health screenings and risk assessments

Employers can offer some of the same benefits to remote workers, such as reimbursement for home office makeovers, virtual fitness events, and online group workouts.

Some organizations also organize events such as meditation or exercise classes, fitness retreats, and health fairs.

Evaluating Wellness Programs

Simply offering access to healthy options and wellness benefits isn’t enough. Organizations also need to establish metrics to help judge the success of health and wellness programs.

It’s equally important to have metrics for each component of the program. How many employees signed up for gym memberships after the organization offered reimbursements? How many steps did employees take, and how did the number of steps taken increase? How many people arrive at the workplace early to use the on-site exercise equipment?

When new programs have been in place for a while, measure the effect on the organization. Has productivity or employee satisfaction changed? Has the number of sick days decreased? Is the organization seeing any savings in healthcare costs?

One best practice is to survey staff before and after adding workplace health and wellness programs to gauge employee satisfaction and morale. Those surveys can also solicit suggestions for new or modified programs.

The easiest and most helpful metric is employee participation. By monitoring participation, organizations can also tweak messaging or the programs themselves to increase participation.

Boosting Mental Health

Because health and wellness include mental health, it’s important to think about strategies that will increase mental health as well. Workshops on yoga, meditation, and other activities that can improve mood and well-being are important. Equipment such as light therapy lamps and subscriptions to mental health apps can also be helpful.

In short, health and wellness programs can benefit both the employees and organization itself. For help in designing, and managing health and wellness programs, or to discuss other HR needs, contact the Lindenberger group at 609-730-1049 or send us an email.