Employee Health Wellness Program
Employee health wellness programs are designed to encourage healthier lifestyle behaviors in your employees and reduce your health care spending. The focus is on preventing illness and injury, promoting health and productivity, and lowering the total cost of health care. A successful employee health wellness program benefits employers by developing and maintaining a healthier, more productive workforce and community. It benefits employees by improving their health both physically and emotionally.
Health wellness programs at work are intended to improve and promote health and fitness they are usually offered through the work place, although insurance plans can offer them directly to their enrollees. The program allows your employer or plan to offer you premium discounts, cash rewards, gym memberships, and many other types of incentives to participate. Some examples of wellness programs include programs to help you stop smoking, diabetes management programs, weight loss programs, and preventive health screenings. Some employers offer discounts on your health insurance premium if you meet certain requirements. Ex. Walking a certain amount of steps, working out a certain number of days, meeting weight guidelines, quit smoking.
Healthy employees cost companies less. Studies have shown that employees that participated in programs were less likely to leave and seek other employment. Employees are absent less, savings on health care costs, greater productivity, higher morale, and employee pride are just a few of the benefits of health promotion & wellness programs.
In the past wellness programs were viewed as a nice perk, not a necessity. Times have changed and evidence shows they are successful both to employees and in employers bank accounts. With the Affordable Health Care Act, companies can use wellness programs to decrease their enormous health care costs and provide healthier more productive employees. It’s a win win.
Every company or organization should have an expert who develops and implements a clear, comprehensive wellness program. Be sure and check HIPPA regulations. Programs are created to reduce health risks, improve quality of life, enhance personal effectiveness, and benefit the organization’s bottom line. You can’t just implement a program it has to become a companies way of life. Health & wellness programs are always a work in progress. I’ve read that Virgin Mobile has meetings with no chairs. Of course, you need to make the meetings brief and to the point. Encourage use of stairs if you have them.
Some ways of encouraging employees in health & wellness programs are:
Offer a discount on their insurance premium. Memberships (or discounts) to fitness clubs, provide healthy snacks, having walking meetings, have a team contest, start a stretch break or two every day, provide incentive gift cards. Put up fun posters with healthy tips throughout your workplace to keep healthy living to the forefront. Give out apple stress balls to promote healthy snacks. Offer discounts on activity trackers and set specific goals. Use exercise bands to promote exercise. Provide health journals to employees to keep track of progress on their goals. Celebrate with a Health & Wellness Day with fun games and play. Have a company 10K walk and provide FM radios. Compile a healthy company cookbook or provide each employee with one that is already printed. If you want a really fun, competitive prize have a team challenge (team that loses the most weight, inches or exercises the most) with a nice large prize for the winning team. Maybe the prize could be a trip or a night out on the town in a limo.
Once you get started, you will find employees motivate one another and it grows outside of your company to friends and family. What a great start a healthier life.
If you would like more ideas for make your worksite health & wellness program a success you can check out our website www.form-tech.net, look under showrooms – health & wellness program ideas or give us a call. We would be happy to help you.
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