6 Best Practices For Creating a Lasting Corporate Wellness Program

Over the past 10 years, the corporate wellness industry has grown by 30 percent, with revenues expected to continue to rise. Which is great for employers and even better for employees.

Engaging employee wellness programs have health and wellness benefits as a substantial part of the whole employment package, in addition to healthcare or vacation days.

But some programs are better than others. Here are six practices that will help your business initiate — and sustain — a wellness benefits program that’s a great fit for the whole organization.

Treat the program as a benefit, not a perk.

When you frame employee wellness engagement as a routine aspect of workplace life, employees will be more apt to embrace it — and reap the rewards. The program should be a part of the everyday norm, not a something that come along every so often. It is not simply a free chair massage or catered lunch. Including wellness in your overall benefits package sends a message to employees that you care about their well-being and that their health is an important priority.

Team up with the right platform.

Wellness benefits programs vary widely, but they all have the same goal: letting employees get and stay healthy, which of course increases employee satisfaction and productivity. A digital platform will make getting fit easy on team members by meeting them where they already are - this may include the use app through which they can accomplish every program-related necessity, from reserving classes to building fitness goals and tracking progress.A good wellness platform can assess your company’s needs, identify ideal wellness partners and then implement a program that employees can access with ease.

Adopt a results-oriented mindset …

Wellness program stats indicate that tracking results produces the best wellness outcomes. A recent report found that 66 percent of employers who tracked wellness efforts observed increased productivity — and that 67 percent of employees who took part were more satisfied at work.  Track the results of wellness outcomes to measure productivity and employee satisfaction. Take time to celebrate employees who achieve positive results. These employees can provide inspiration and motivation to others. 

Create a culture that celebrates wellness.

Integrate health and wellness benefits for employees into the larger workplace culture with regular, meaningful reminders of the importance of wellness engagement. Your office can set the tone with practices (informative weekly emails, intra-office discussion boards) and events (motivational monthly contests) that keep fitness at the forefront. Management should participate in well-being programs and make sure employees know it is okay to take time to attend a healthy cooking demo or a program on stress management, financial wellness or better sleep health. 

Ensure accessibility.

The corporate population is diverse — and busy. It includes working parents, people who have never exercised, people with disabilities and most everyone else. So how can companies foster inclusion — helping their best assets, their employees, access their wellness benefits? When the entire workforce has access to the same classes, more and more people are likely to join up as they see colleagues of all stripes participating. While the best inspiration may come from peers, leadership may play an even more crucial role. By making wellness readily available, highly visible and endorsing those employees who participate, you will create a healthy work culture and a healthy workforce.

Help people form habits.

We’ve all been there with the best of intentions at the start of a new plan. But if people are to stick with a wellness program, follow-up is critical. A wellness regime has to be repeatable for the long term. The wellness event have to eventually become a habit. To make that happen, make sure your program nurtures continuity. You can do this by having its employer partners pay for a certain number of wellness partner visits every month. When employees hear that part of their wellness visits are paid for they can be more motivated to participate if even once a week. Great wellness programs help employees make taking care of themselves second nature.