Worksite health promotion is an investment in a company's most important asset - its employees. In a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Ron Goetzel of Cornell University found that employee wellness programs do work, recouping program expenses in five years if implementers can reduce employee health risk factors by a mere 0.2%. Benefits of wellness programs include: fewer absences, higher productivity, lower healthcare costs, increased morale and better employee retention.
With increased access to the Internet through smartphones, laptops and tablets, employers can look to online portals and social media to encourage and motivate employees. Online accessibility provides a familiar way for employees to discuss upcoming events, past successes and future goals. It may also add a competitive edge that will increase participation among employees.
Additional suggestions to consider when implementing wellness programs include:
- Providing healthy snack options that meet nutritional needs
- Negotiating a reduced-price membership to a local gym
- Offering short community exercise programs in the middle of the day
- Approving paid time off for employee health screenings
- Training managers on recognizing stress and mental ill health symptoms
What steps can your company take to create a healthier workplace?