5 Great Ideas for Employee Wellness Programs

A happy and healthy worker is a productive worker. Statistically, happy workers are also more likely to go the extra mile, more likely to be loyal to their employers, and less likely to do things like call in sick for a sporting event or a video game release. As a result, more companies are coming on board with the idea of having an employee wellness program, recognizing the simple fact that the resources spent in establishing and maintaining such initiatives will pay off in spades down the road.

Here are five great ideas for affordable and efficient employee wellness programs, which even smaller businesses can adopt:

Lifestyle Coaching

A broadly based and often introductory approach to employee wellness, lifestyle coaching refers to counseling services which are meant to be shaped and molded to fit an individual’s specific needs. If an employee is having trouble finding a social hobby, maintaining relationships, managing their personal finances, or otherwise “keeping it together,” a lifestyle coach can non-invasively offer help and support in their own efforts to self-improve, develop a heightened sense of self-discipline, and enhance their organizational skills. Such improvements extend to workplace performance as well, greatly improving productivity.

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Wellness Events

The concept of the corporate retreat is decades, if not centuries old. Expanding upon this existing idea, the introduction of wellness events can be used to boost morale and show people a good time, all while introducing them to a variety of wellness resources. Wellness events can include sports or athletics, as well as speakers and materials relating to the development of healthier habits. Add in a healthy and delicious catered lunch, and there is an event that people will look forward to repeating in the future, while potentially taking one or two useful ideas home from each experience.

Tobacco Cessation

Millions of Americans are stuck with a nicotine habit which they’ve invested substantial amounts of time, money, and personal energy in trying to quit, all without success. A recent rising star in the wellness program initiative is the concept of the tobacco cessation program: resources and counseling made available to employees who are trying to quit smoking (or other tobacco-related habits). An employee who isn’t craving a cigarette while working is more productive, and an employee who’s keeping that much more of their paycheck every week is inherently happier.

Weight Management

Obesity in America has reached crisis levels. Not only are low food quality and poor dietary choices to blame, but millions of Americans lack the time and the motivation to hit the gym — or otherwise engage in a healthy level of regular exercise. Weight management coaching, discounted memberships to local gyms, and other affordable programs are available to help people constructively plan healthy routines to help lose weight, and then to stick to them. The results? Healthier, happier employees experiencing greater overall satisfaction within their existing lifestyles.

Workplace Training and Education

Training employees to be able to work multiple functions within a workplace serves the interests of a company in the long run. If an employee can perform a wide range of tasks, they become more useful to their employer, and are a greater asset to their business or organization as a result. At the same time, the employee is able to recognize their increased value, as well as directly experience a growing skill set. Coupled with corresponding rewards, this leads directly to a feeling of personal growth, and is noteworthy for its improvement of employee morale and company loyalty.

The improvements in wellness, health and happiness which stem from an effective employee wellness program inevitably lead to dramatic improvements in company morale and worker performance. The Harvard Business Review offers additional information on the solid returns of an effective Employee Wellness Program.