Wellness programs are generally initiatives sponsored by employers and designed to improve the mental and physical health of employees. The goal is to maximize workers’ productivity by ensuring that they are fit in mind and body. For example, a company may provide free gym membership as part of its remuneration package. Usually, these initiatives help employees feel that their employers care about their well-being, and as a result, they are motivated to perform better.
Prompt Detection of Health Problems
Wellness programs in the workplace generally focus on the early detection of disease and other health-related problems. They may include teachings and on site screenings for hypertension, diabetes, some cancers and other common conditions. Early identification hits two birds with one stone: ensure workers’ health and productivity and reduce medical claim costs. Of course, healthier workers are also more likely to stay within the company for longer, which means the management can save on the costs of hiring and retraining new employees.
Promotion of Healthy Habits
Wellness programs encourage workers to adopt a healthier lifestyle through different initiatives, like conducting in-person lifestyle coaching services, stress management or weight loss classes or smoking cessation seminars and support on site. With all of these brought to the workplace itself, employees feel more important and are more likely to reach or even exceed the level of productivity that is expected from them.
In some workplaces, there are wellness programs that include offering employees the chance to complete relevant educational courses and seminars that can be beneficial both to them and the employers. Examples of such courses include CPR and AED (Automated External Defibrillation) training. These courses equip employees with the necessary knowledge and skills to address distressful or life-threatening situations, whether in or out of the workplace, until professional help is possible.
Workplace wellness programs also help reduce the incidences of injuries at work, especially in naturally risky environments, as when workers are required to do heavy lifting. Based on research, slips and falls and back strain are two of the most common injuries in the workplace today. Through wellness programs, employees are taught proper lifting techniques, as well as techniques that help them avoid worsening any preexisting injuries and conditions they may have.
With growing attention to employee health, workplace wellness programs are becoming more and more important. According to research, people who exercise regularly skip work at an average of 2.11 days yearly, compared to 3.06 days a year for those who are more sedentary. Just by these numbers alone, it is impossible to miss the big role that corporate wellness programs play. Employers are now expected to take solid steps in ensuring safe working environments, healthier workers and more efficient cost-reduction strategies.