More businesses are making it a priority to encourage and support their employees in adopting healthy behaviors. This means businesses are providing preventive support, convenient treatment options, and the tools employees need to take control of all aspects of their health.
Here are 6 ways top-performing companies are supporting employees and fostering wellness on the job.
1. Develop a holistic approach to health
Wellness is more than managing acute or chronic medical conditions—it extends to all elements of an employee’s life and your business. For example, it can and should go hand-in-hand with safety training programs, tie ergonomics training with exercise programs, and connect to worker compensation loss prevention training. Work with your health plan to evaluate your employees’ needs. Consider all of these factors:
- Physical (sedentary or active)
- Emotional (stress, depression)
- Social (work-life balance)
- Financial (student loans, retirement planning)
- Cultural (dietary and lifestyle)
- Family (single-parent, dual-income households)
2. Make your wellness programs visible
Visibility is key for implementing a workplace wellness program that works.
- Develop a communication plan that outlines services—highlighting areas that appeal to your employees, including topics like weight loss and healthy eating, smoking cessation, physical activity, stress reduction, and work-life balance—and create a suite of communication materials.
- Consider your channels: Go beyond posters in the breakroom or hallways. Use every channel your employees use to communicate—Facebook groups, LinkedIn, email, even text reminders and printed flyers can be used to motivate, inspire, and support your workforce.
- Have leadership executives host a kick-off event so employees can be informed and inspired in person.
3. Learn from others’ success
Implement best practices and policies that have worked for high-performing companies to create an environment that values health and wellbeing. Your health plan can provide examples of successful programs they’ve worked on with other clients.
Strategies that top-tier companies use to incentivize better health care:
- 76% of top performers offer weight management programs.
- 73% of top performers provide flexible working hours.
- 51% of top performers institute a ban on use of tobacco on-site.
- 44% of top performers use data for targeted outreach on health and well-being programs or gaps in care.
- 32% of top performers offer/reward use of online lifestyle behavior coaching programs.
- 20% of top performers offer/reward use of stress or resilience management.4
- Lifestyle behavior coaching.
- Stress or resilience management.
- Weight management programs.
4. Reward your employeesIncentives can drive behavior—as long as the effort to qualify for an incentive matches the perceived value of the prize. Here are a range of incentives you may want to consider:
- Reduction in insurance premiums
- Points towards insurance premiums or airline tickets
- Discounts at certain retailers
- Special mentions in a company newsletter
- Lunch with the CEO
- Award in recognition of a commitment to health
5. Identify what your employees need and want to achieve their health goalsSurveying employees is the easiest way to identify their needs when it comes to achieving their health goals. Your health plan should have the tools to help you ask the right questions and compile the results.
You might be surprised by what you learn. Millennials facing student debt, employees caring for young families or aging parents, or employees who are nearing retirement are all going to need different tools, services, and support.
Creating a culture of health also means continuously keeping the pulse of the company and refining wellness offerings or creating new ones that prove your commitment to employee health and wellbeing.
Personalized support for your employee population is a major component in creating a culture of health in the workplace. Companies need to offer a variety of ways to access support, from a traditional online directory of links, to meetings with one-on-one integrated health care representatives, or the development of a mobile app.
6. Provide the right tools and services
Tools to keep your employees healthy:
- Free, online health assessments, with confidential, personalized results.
- Webinar or on-site workshops on a holistic range of topics to motivate and educate.
- A commitment to and ongoing support of a healthy foods policy, with nutritious meal and snack options on-site to help employees make smart food choices.
- On-site flu shots and health clinics.
- In-house dry-cleaning or banking services remove the stress of daytime errands.
- Offering time off for fitness.
- On-site emergency daycare.
- Gym memberships or reimbursements.
- On-site financial counseling.