Workplace wellness programs are an increasingly important part of the employee benefits program, designed to encourage employees to take steps to prevent the onset of worsening health conditions and eliminate unhealthy behaviours, through nutrition seminars and physical activity. While they are often touted a costly venture for employers, such investments can pay off handsomely for employers, by improving relationships, building work ethic and of course, cutting down financial costs long term.
Whether you are thinking about Workplace Wellness for the first time, or indeed considering a revamp of your current initiative, understanding the common mistakes and misconceptions associated with Wellness programs can help you and your employees deliver the results.
No plan at all
It may seem like a no brainer, but having no wellness program is probably the biggest mistake you should avoid making. Workplace Wellness programs are something of a fresh fad and were not always considered a requirement for Businesses. While there is not currently any legislation binding companies to promote workplace wellness, it is something that Businesses consider to be an important part of their overall benefits plan, heading into the future.
Businesses that decide against the promotion of a preventative scheme will run the risk of missing out on building relationships within the workplace by making employees feel valued. At the end of the day, wellness programs are something you implement FOR the workforce, not something you do to them. Neglecting the growing demand for wellness in the workplace can leave businesses standing still when they could just as easily be moving forward.
There is no point in ignoring the fact that a successful wellness program will cost you. In order to see results, employers must be committed to their workforce and prepared to meet the financial requirements of Wellness initiatives. If you fail to provide adequate funding, your wellness initiative will automatically be doomed to failure.
Failing to sit down and assess the budgetary requirements of introducing a workplace wellness scheme is a common mistake that companies make when first approaching a workplace initiative. It is important to understand that a wellness initiative can be a major undertaking and will require adequate funding, staffing and resources to provide meaningful results. It is important for employers to persist and provide consistent funding, if required, so that the long-term future of your employees and employee benefit costs are manageable and guaranteed.
One size fits all approach
One of the most important considerations to make when assessing the requirements of your workplace wellness initiative and deciding what it should entail, is that no two workers are the same and therefore, adopting a ‘one size fits all approach’ is something worth avoiding. Some employees may be in a different condition of health than others. Some may smoke while some may not. It is important to tailor your plan to fit each individual employee and if that involves individual profiling, BMI and fitness testing, then so be it.
Many companies that introduce general wellness plans that hold the physical condition of each and every employee in the same regard will see participation levels drop. Considering participation is key to the success of the wellness program, low participation levels mean it’s time to rethink your initiative.
Wellness programs should also account for issues such as stress management as well as emotional and mental wellness in order to fully acknowledge the diverse needs of the workforce. By understanding those needs and the obstacles to watch out for, you can introduce an effective, cost-efficient – in the long run – wellness program that can help boost morale, working relationships, reputation and ultimately, productivity.
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