How to Set Up a Wellness ProgramAugust 20, 2015 - By: Andrea Meyer
Employee wellness is a hot topic for both employers and employees looking at long-term health care costs. Wellness programs are one way that can help cut overall company costs, boost corporate culture and increase productivity. With many options to choose from, we are sharing some key factors to consider when you are ready to implement a new program, or when you revamp your current company wellness program:
Participation vs Outcome
- One important factor when creating a wellness program is to determine what type of wellness program to offer: participation based or outcome based. Participation-based wellness programs are more relaxed and introduce employees to simple activities with financial incentives. Outcome-based wellness programs reward employees for meeting specific health outcomes.
- To encourage and sustain positive behaviors that support a healthy lifestyle and quality of life, show employer support for employee and family wellness in these three different ways:
- Communicate regularly about wellness and your wellness program to help employees understand its importance. Encourage the use of employee benefits like annual wellness exams and preventive care screenings.
- Allocate wellness resources such as a fitness or wellness area for employees and their immediate families. Consider dedicating a budget for wellness that discounts health memberships for employees’ families.
- Be a role model for your employees. Plan healthy snacks for meetings, take the stairs, and break the habit of eating at your workspace.
- The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) notes, “organizations with effective approaches to wellness have programs with a substantial return on investment (ROI) that typically grows over time.” But how can ROI be measured in unique wellness programs across businesses? Success or failure of a wellness program can be measured by productivity, absenteeism, medical leaves of absence, engagement and stability of healthcare costs over time.
- Nearly 80 percent of employers offer incentives or financial rewards to employees who take steps toward getting healthier. Incentives for both participation and outcome-based programs, such as achieving goals or completing activities, will help the wellness programs’ participation rates and keep employees motivated. There are many incentives that can be offered including: corporate swag, discounts on premiums, and gift cards or cash.