Much like the health impacts of eggs or coffee, the positive effects of a wellness plan have been hotly debated for years. But in last week’s article, you can find five reasons a quality workplace wellness plan can deliver tangible, positive results for both your employees and your business overall. Still, creating an effective wellness program is far more difficult than many may believe.
So, in today’s article, we’ll detail the best practices your business can use to build a quality employee wellness plan that delivers real, positive results. Keep reading to learn the seven simple steps you can use to create a top-notch workplace wellness program that positively impacts the success of your organization.
Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Workplace Wellness Program
1. Make a Commitment
The first, and arguably easiest, step your business can use to create a first-rate workplace wellness plan is to make a firm commitment. Your employees, including management, need to commit to a culture of well-being and building healthy habits. As covered in last week’s article, healthy employee habits are critical to the success of not just your employee wellness plan, but your organization overall.
2. Create a Supportive Work Environment
The next step your firm should take to craft a wellness program is to create a supportive working environment. Your employees need a supportive workplace that’s optimized for the adoption and retention of healthy habits, to make sure these habits stick.
According to PwC, creating this supportive work environment involves inclusive teams, satisfaction with duties, and supportive management. As with committing to wellness, management’s buy-in is essential to developing a supportive work environment. Your leaders need to create a work environment of inclusion and belonging.
Fostering an inclusive workplace that supports each other helps your staff on their journey to thinking about and engaging in healthy habits. Plus, a supportive work environment makes it more likely these well-being habits stick with your employees.
3. Use Gamification and Incentives
To maximize the effectiveness of your workplace wellness program, you need to engage as many of your employees in your wellness plan, as possible. And, to best engage your employees in your wellness plan use gamification and incentives to engage active users and make wellness more fun. Your well-being program should integrate with your culture of wellness to promote healthy habits and make your workplace wellness plan enjoyable to engage in.
Fun games, unique activities, and worthy incentives can help boost wellness program engagement. No matter what games or incentives you choose, make sure they tie back to well-being and remind employees of the actual health benefits they’re gaining from the wellness plan, not just these rewards.
4. Ensure Compliance
Wellness plan compliance is a little talked-about but immensely important aspect of any well-being program. Depending on your workplace wellness program, employers need to ensure they’re not violating ERISA, HIPAA, the ACA, EEOC rules, and more. Requirements between these Acts and Offices can often be both confusing and contradictory.
Because of these compliance challenges, maintaining your wellness program’s compliance can be difficult, even to those familiar with these individual rules and regulations. Failing to do required tasks such as government filings and notifications to employees, can lead to potentially exorbitant penalties and fines.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the more basic the wellness plan, the fewer risks. The more advanced the wellness program, the more complicated the legal implications. So, if you want to implement a more sophisticated well-being program, make sure you have a compliance expert available to assist you.
5. Cover All Aspects of Health
One of the most necessary steps you can take to build a quality wellness plan is to make it a holistic program that covers all aspects of employee health. Your employees want you to help them with every aspect of well-being, including physical, mental, emotional, financial, and social health.
Mental and financial health is especially important for your workers from younger generations. Today, one in five American adults is living with a mental health condition. Additionally, mental illness is now the single most significant cause of worker disability in the U.S. and accounts for 62 percent of missed workdays.
Depression alone costs employers up to $44 billion annually, and an estimated 200 million lost workdays each year. Similarly, anxiety, by itself, costs employers an estimated $35 billion from lost or reduced productivity in the workplace. Clearly, mental health issues are affecting both your employees and your business overall.
So, if you want your wellness plan to be effective as possible, make sure it covers not just physical well-being but emotional, financial, social, and mental health too.
6. Get Input and Develop Goals
Like relationships, communication is critical to the success or failure of your workplace wellness program. And the first communication step you should take when establishing your wellness plan is to ask your staff what they think. Survey your employees to determine what they want in a wellness program, and what activities they’re most likely to participate in.
From this input, your firm should be able to develop a personalized wellness plan that better matches the interests and personalities of your employees. Similarly, using the information given by your staff, you can develop customized goals for each participant. Having custom goals, as opposed to general ones, helps better motivate your employees by aligning their personal wellness goals to those established by your business.
7. Connect it to Positive Outcomes
The final step your organization can take to improve your workplace wellness plan is to connect it to tangible, positive outcomes. It may be difficult to connect your wellness plan to ROI on your insurance premiums. Still, there are several positive outcomes a quality wellness plan can bring to both your employees and your business overall.
Make sure your employees and leadership team know about these possible positive outcomes. And make sure you can draw a direct line between your team’s engagement with your wellness plan and the positive outcomes that are possible.
Regardless of what you think about workplace wellness programs, there are real reasons why a quality employee wellness plan can improve individual performance, make healthier employees, and boost overall organizational productivity. So, if you’re ready to implement a wellness program of your own, make sure you follow the seven steps above to ensure you’re building the best plan possible.
And, if you need help implementing your employee wellness plan, contact The Olson Group, today!