employee wellness program

9 Tips to Upgrade Your Employee Wellness Program

The effectiveness of an employee wellness program is dependent almost entirely on who you ask. If you ask an employer, they may point to an ambiguous ROI as a reason why they dislike employee wellness programs. Ask an employee, and they may tell you a wellness plan is not just essential but is an employer’s responsibility to provide.

According to the 2019 Staples Workplace Survey, 78 percent of employees say it’s their employer’s responsibility to help them stay mentally and physically well. Your employees want wellness plans, even if you don’t.

But, for all those business owners and CFOs, it’s important to know that your organization, not just your staff, benefits from an effective employee wellness program. In this article, we’ll tell you what a wellness program is, how it helps both employees and employers, and what you can do to build the best version of one of these programs.

 

What is an Employee Wellness Program?

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a wellness program is a coordinated and comprehensive set of health promotion and protection strategies implemented at the worksite. These programs are designed to encourage the health and safety of all employees.

healthy foods

 

How Does a Wellness Program Benefit Employees and Employers?

The first benefit of employee wellness programs is the most obvious. If your wellness program is working, your employees will be healthier. As employees improve their health, they also spend less money on their healthcare.

This reduction in healthcare costs also improves employee’s financial health which reduces their financial stress. And this financial stress is likely weighing on many of your staff. Per the Financial Fitness Group, over 80 percent of employees have been affected by stress.

Both advantages to employees are also benefits for employers. When your employees reduce their healthcare costs, your company’s overall healthcare spend decreases. Similarly, any significant reduction in employees’ financial stress is impactful. Financial stress costs U.S. businesses close to $300 billion a year in unscheduled absenteeism, employee turnover, and reduced employee productivity.

Read more about the adverse effects of financial stress and how you can conquer them.

Employee wellness programs also help to align employer and employee values. A wellness plan demonstrates your business cares about the well-being of its employees. Hopefully, this sense of well-being is shared with the individuals. The more your employees feel aligned with their employer, the more likely they are to be satisfied and productive in their role.

woman doing yoga

Also, engagement in a wellness plan translates to increased loyalty which can contribute to improved productivity and a stronger bottom line. Even employees who work at an organization with a wellness program, but don’t participate, are more likely to recommend their company as a place to work.

According to a 2019 Optum survey, 29 percent of these employees said they’d recommend their company as a place to work. Only 18 percent of employees who aren’t offered programs at all would suggest working for their employer. So, providing a wellness program helps retain talent, even if they don’t always use it.

 

9 Tips to Make a Rewarding Employee Wellness Program

1. Make Your Program Holistic

The first tip to improve your wellness program is to make it holistic. Your plan needs to address every facet of well-being: physical, mental, emotional, financial, and social health. In fact, according to BenefitsPro, more than 60 percent of workers think employers’ wellness offerings should support total well-being. So, make sure your wellness program uses a holistic view to address employees’ health.

 

2. Utilize Technology

Technology allows your company to provide employees with instantaneous, up-to-date information and wellness updates. The better and quicker you provide relevant information to employees, the more they will engage in their wellness plan. Plus, your company can use technology to gather valuable data throughout the wellness process.

One such piece of technology that’s relevant for wellness programs is wearable fitness trackers. These fitness trackers serve as a visual reminder for employees to be healthy and collects valuable personal data about their health. Your company can use this data to monitor the wellness plan’s overall effectiveness.

wearable technology

Virtual reality, gamification, and mobile devices are all examples of technology that can boost engagement in your wellness program. Technology makes your wellness program more fun, easier to use, and allows for increased focus. Integrate technology into your wellness plan to maximize employee engagement.

 

3. Personalize Your Program

Another tip for improving your employee wellness program is to personalize your plan as much as possible. Today’s employees demand their benefits, including your wellness program, to be personalized and relevant to their experiences.

For example, advanced analytics can help you better understand your employees and identify gaps in their care. This identification, in turn, allows wellness coaches to provide support and resources that have the most substantial impact.

 

4. Measure Plan Engagement

The next tip to boost your employee wellness program is to measure your plan’s engagement. It’s imperative your firm defines precisely what engagement means for you, and how you will measure it. Additionally, your business must standardize its engagement measurements to ensure these measurements don’t change from person to person.

measuring tape

There are two different levels of engagement your company must recognize. Administrative engagement, such as enrolling in a program, measures how often a participant is in contact with his/her wellness coach. Value-based engagement is the degree of interaction required to achieve critical health, behavioral, or cost outcomes.

 

5. Promote Health Literacy

Health literacy is the capacity a person has to manage and prevent disease. In America, health literacy has hit new lows. Per the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, only 12 percent of adults have proficient health literacy. For your wellness program to maximize its effectiveness, your employees must be as health literate as possible.

Boosting employee health literacy is vital because it’s a predictor of increased patient engagement and improved health outcomes. Conversely, low health literacy prompts high health costs through less use of preventative services, poor treatment plan compliance, and more emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and readmissions.

 

6. Social Recognition

Integrate social recognition in your wellness program to augment its success. Social recognition can foster a team-friendly atmosphere and encourage employees to perform to the best of their abilities. Posting, sharing, commenting, and other social interactions help motivate employees through a sense of collective encouragement and competition. This kind of social interaction can also boost intra-team competition which helps improve your wellness plan’s performance.

 

7. Get Employee Feedback

It’s vital to the success of your employee wellness program’s success to secure your employee’s feedback. But most employers skip this crucial step. Per a survey by LightSource, only 30 percent of employees say their employer asked for their input on a wellness program before implementing it.

woman listening

Gathering employee input also helps your organization to better personalize your wellness program, the importance of which we’ve already detailed. Additionally, this input can be used to gain a better understanding of why it is employees aren’t participating in wellness programs. Get your employees involved early and often to dramatically improve the results of your wellness plan.

 

8. Offer Multiple Plans

The number of different wellness plans you offer at work matters to employees. Per the Optum survey mentioned above, 53 percent of employees said they’d recommend their company if it provided seven to eight wellness programs. These percentages drop significantly as the number of plans drops. Employers with four to six programs were only 30 percent likely to get employee recommendations.

 

9. Improve Communication

The final tip to improve your employee wellness program is better communication. They say that communication saves relations, but they never mention it also saves wellness programs. It’s vital to educate employees on the benefits of your wellness plan for the plan to succeed. Your company must inform employees why good health is important, what your wellness program will provide, and how employees involvement is imperative.

MetLife’s Employee Benefits Trends Study discovered employees are most interested in one-on-one communications to help them understand their benefits. The second most popular option was through a mobile app. Ultimately, the best solution is to combine and use multiple methods of communication. The better you reach your employees, the more they’ll engage in your wellness plan.

 

The Wrap

If you follow these nine tips, you’ll have a solid foundation for your company’s employee wellness program. And the results of an effective wellness plan are more than satisfied employees. Research done by three Harvard professors found overall medical costs decline by $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs. Similarly, costs from absenteeism fall about $2.73 for each dollar.

wellness program

5 Simple Steps to Fix Your Wellness Program (Infographic)

A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 75 percent of companies offer some sort of wellness program. These wellness plans may be popular, but that doesn’t mean they’re effective.

There is currently a sizeable disconnect between the popularity for employers and employee engagement in these plans. According to a Gallup survey, participation in wellness programs was around 24 percent in 2014.

The less engagement there is, the less effective your wellness plan will be. In order to get the most out of your program, you have to engage your employees. Motivate your staff to participate in, and reap the benefits of your wellness plan.

 

What is a wellness program?

Before we fix your wellness policy, we first have to define what this phrase actually means. A wellness program, as defined by Healthcare.gov, is a program intended to improve and promote health and fitness that’s usually offered through a place of work.

wellness - running

 

These plans usually allow your employer to offer health insurance premium discounts, cash, prizes, gym memberships, and other incentives for participation. Examples of wellness plans include smoking cessation, diabetes management, weight loss, and preventative health screenings.

In theory, wellness plans work to benefit both employers and employees. These programs help your staff become healthier. Healthy employees save their company money by reducing absenteeism and healthcare claims.

Conversely, healthy employees pay less in healthcare and are rewarded through the wellness plan incentives.

 

How to Fix Your Wellness Plan

Here are five simple steps to fix your broken wellness program:

 

Your Wellness Plan is Broken

Feel free to share or embed this infographic on your own site. To embed click “Share” on the bottom left corner of the infographic, then simply copy and paste the code.

Learn more about how to fix your wellness plan.

financial stress

5 Benefits That Will Ease Your Employees’ Financial Stress

The almighty dollar. Money makes the world go ‘round, but it can also make your head spin ‘round. For a vast majority of us, a primary cause of stress is our finances.

According to PwC’s 2016 Employee Financial Wellness Survey, employees are at the highest level of stress, due to finances, in five years. A Harris Poll conducted for Purchasing Power found that 80 percent of employees are under financial stress.

This stress has a negative impact on both employees and their employers. Stress costs businesses an average of $300 billion a year due to stress-related healthcare and missed work.

workplace stress

Similarly, financial stress also causes employees to lose sleep. According to a study by Financial Finesse, 6 out of 10 employees lose sleep over their financial situations. As a result, the average employer suffers a loss of 11.3 days of productivity per year, per employee.

Helping your employees manage their financial stress is critical to a healthy and successful business. These are the top five benefits that will ease your employees’ financial stress.

 

1. Financial Literacy Education

One of the first, easiest, and best things your company can do to lessen your employees’ financial stress is to educate them on financial literacy.

The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy defines financial literacy as “the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being.”

Financial literacy aids employees by giving them the knowledge and ability to reach self-sufficiency in their daily financial lives. If your employees are financially illiterate, according to Investopedia, they can fall victim to predatory lending, subprime mortgages, fraud, and high-interest rates.

All of these results of financial illiteracy can lead to poor finances and large amounts of financial stress. Your financial literacy education plan should teach employees the basics of personal finance that apply to their everyday lives.

 

2. Financial Counseling

The next benefit you can provide your employees to decrease their financial stress is credit counseling. Credit counseling allows employees to discuss their debt and credit with a trained financial professional.

This counseling can be hugely beneficial to your employees as national debt continues to rise. Credit card debt is especially prevalent in the U.S. As of December 2016, the average U.S. credit card debt reached $16,061, according to NerdWallet.

workplace stress

Additionally, in a study by the Alliant Credit Union, 37 percent of respondents named paying off credit card debt as one of their top financial goals. Your staff wants to eliminate their debt, and personalized financial counseling can help them do so.

Going through credit counseling gives your employees a personalized action plan, budget, repayment strategies, and targeted advice to help them deal with their credit and debt.

These tools allow your staff to understand their financial situation, and develop a plan to achieve their financial goals.

 

3. Retirement Savings

The most obvious, yet arguably the most important, benefit you can offer your employees is a retirement savings account. Retirement savings accounts come in two forms: defined contribution and defined benefits plan.

Defined contribution plans, such as a 401(k), give employees tax benefits while giving them an easy path to save for their retirement and their future. These accounts offer tax-based incentives that make it worthwhile for employees to save, and to save sooner rather than later.

Saving for retirement is an enormous issue for your staff today. According to Time, 1 in 3 Americans have $0 saved for retirement. On average, the median for all families in the U.S. is only $5,000, and the median for households with some savings is $60,000, according to CNBC.

Retirement savings are a serious source of stress for many Americans. A survey by Schwab Retirement Plan Services found that 40 percent of employees named saving enough money for a comfortable retirement as a significant source of stress.

 

4. College Savings Account

A college savings account, or 529 plan, is beneficial for anyone who plans on attending college or wants to support a relative or a friend who plans on attending college. College tuition is rising, and it is important to save, to prevent accruing massive amounts of debt.

These 529 plans give employees tax advantages for saving for college. Earnings are not subject to federal tax and are not subject to state tax when used for qualified education expenses.

Qualified education expenses can include tuition, fees, books, room and board, computer technology, and related services such as Internet access.

Students in the U.S. have racked up a collective $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. College savings accounts help your employees to avoid the stress of exorbitant school loans.

 

5. Student Loan Repayment

Similar to 529 plans, student loan repayment assistance helps your staff to ease the stress of accumulated student loans. The average graduate will leave college with $37,172 of student loan debt.

Student loan repayment is a voluntary benefit, offered by an employer, that pays back a portion of an employee’s student loan debt on a monthly or annual basis.

Typically, a company agrees to pay a specific amount each month, or in a lump sum after a certain amount of time. This money can be applied directly to the principal, which also helps to lower the amount of interest each month that an individual has to pay from that point on.

The American Psychological Association has reported that every year, since 2007, Americans have named money as their top source of stress every year. These five benefits can help your employees avoid the negative impact of financial stress.

 

Resources

https://www.irs.gov/uac/529-plans-questions-and-answers
https://www.credit.org/credit-counseling/
https://www.cambridge-credit.org/financial-stress.html
https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/employees-financial-issues-affect-their-job-performance.aspx
http://www.benefitspro.com/2016/08/26/top-7-causes-of-financial-stress?ref=mostpopular&page_all=1
http://www.benefitspro.com/2016/08/23/how-much-is-employee-financial-stress-costing-your
wellness plan

Your Wellness Plan is Broken: Here’s How to Fix It

The bad news, your wellness plan is broken. The good news, you can fix it.

Wellness programs have been growing in popularity, and are now a staple in most workplaces. Businesses have increasingly looked to a wellness plan to slow the steady rise in healthcare costs.

In a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 75 percent of companies had a wellness program. Despite the popularity of these plans, there is still a significant discrepancy when it comes to engagement.

According to a Gallup survey, participation in wellness programs was around 24 percent in 2014. The less engagement there is, the less effective your wellness plan will be. Here are five tips to fix your wellness plan.

 

1. Use Technology

Technology allows your company to engage employees in the wellness plan better, and get valuable data in the process. A popular technology for wellness programs is wearable fitness trackers.

These fitness trackers give employees a visual reminder to be healthy, give them valuable personal data about their health, and gives the company data that can be used to monitor the wellness plan’s overall effectiveness.

social media

Virtual reality, gamification, and mobile technology have created more options for companies looking to improve engagement in their wellness program.

An example Employee Benefit Advisor uses is, give employees a self-assessment tool that will quiz and then guide them to educational resources to meet their specific health and wellness needs. This type of tool engages employees in the process and personalizes the experience for everyone.

Technology makes your wellness program more fun, easier to use, and allows for increased focus. Integrate technology into your program to maximize employee engagement.

 

2. Improve Communication

Another way to improve your wellness plan is better communication. They say that communication saves relations, but they never mention that it also saves wellness programs.

Educating your employees on their benefits is crucial to the success of your wellness plan. Your company has to inform employees on why being healthy is so important, what your wellness program will provide, and how their involvement is imperative.

MetLife’s Employee Benefits Trends Study discovered that employees are most interested in one-on-one communications to help them understand their benefits. The second most popular option was through a mobile app.

Use this knowledge to advance your wellness plan communications. Your HR team or benefits consultant can hold one-on-one meetings with your employees.

You can also use new HR apps and technology. Your company can reach more of your staff, more quickly, through the use of this mobile technology.

 

3. Set Specific Goals

A critical part of any successful wellness program is the setting of attainable and specific goals. If your program has no goals set, there will be no way to tell whether it is successful or not.

Make sure that each staff member has different goals that are unique to their wellness. Applying broad goals to all your employees does nothing to drive engagement. A personalized set of goals is more applicable and will serve as greater motivation.

Mobile technology, including fitness trackers and apps, are a terrific way to measure goals. The ability to measure and track goals anywhere you go also improves engagement in the process.

Personalize goals for each individual staff member. Specific goals motivate employees much better than generic group goals.

 

4. Healthy Rewards

Rewards have been a method for obtaining engagement since the beginning of time. It is no different for wellness plans. You can use the proper rewards to immerse your employees in your wellness program.

The trick here is choosing the right reward. As an employer, it is your job to understand what your employees want, what motivates them. It is important to keep in mind that your rewards can, and should be different for different groups of employees.

Rewards that motivate one work group will have a negligible effect on another. Similarly, a reward that motivates your employees one year, may be something they shrug off the next.

Do your employees want more work-life balance? Make an extra day of PTO your reward. Your staff prefers recognition? Give awards and company swag as rewards.

Remember no matter what you choose, try to make your wellness rewards healthy. An extra day of PTO, a free massage, a gift card to a health foods store. All of these are examples of rewards that promote a healthy body or mind.

 

5. Financial Wellness

An integral part of wellness and one that is often neglected is employee financial wellness. Financial wellness is a state of well-being where an individual has achieved minimal financial stress, established a strong financial foundation, and created a plan to reach financial goals.

A strong foundation is essential when looking to improve financial wellness. This foundation comes from having the right set of knowledge and tools to promote your financial well-being.

Educate your employees on being better healthcare consumers. Medical expenses rise every year. Being an educated and informed health care consumer allows your employees to lower the amount they spend on healthcare, and the amount your company spends too.

Create a customized training curriculum for each employee. Tailor each employee’s financial education to their individual needs. This customization will improve learning as the information will be more relevant.

Education should include being an informed healthcare consumer, and other essential financial information such as how to take out a loan, how to improve your credit score, etc. This type of basic financial information is critical to developing financial wellness.

Money can cause a great deal of stress. According to Financial Finesse, six out of ten employees lose sleep over their financial situations. Improved financial wellness results in improved overall wellness.

 

The Wrap

If you’re not getting the return, you expected out of your wellness program, look at the plan’s engagement levels. To get most from your wellness plan engage your employees with these five steps.

Your wellness plan can ensure that your employees aren’t just doing good; they’re doing well.

communication

How to Use Healthy Rewards in Your Wellness Program

The decision to use the carrot or the stick is one people have been making for centuries. It should not be surprising then, that in 2016 employees are still deciding when planning their corporate wellness programs.

While recent court decisions have backed employers’ right to penalize employees who don’t participate, it remains unwise to use only the stick.

Employees can be coerced into joining wellness programs but may become disengaged and unsatisfied if only the stick is offered.

Additionally, the EEOC has shown a willingness to file lawsuits against employers who harshly penalize their employees for not participating in wellness programs.

healthy rewards
Even if your company wins a lawsuit, it paints you in a negative light and will cost your business a significant amount of money in legal and court fees.

If your company chooses to dangle the carrot, it is important to note that this is not a cure-all for increasing the participation in and effectiveness of your wellness program.

Healthy rewards need to be carefully designed to fit each organization. There are six main types of incentive programs that employers use today.

 

Types of Incentive Programs

1. Targeted Incentives

Through targeted incentives, employers offer personalized wellness programs and incentives for each employee. These “targets” are derived from analyzing employees’ health risks, healthcare claims, and other data.

2. Outcome-Based Incentives

Under outcome-based incentive plans, companies link incentives and penalties to health metrics. Employees pay more for health care until they reach certain cholesterol, blood pressure, or body mass index numbers.

 

3. Progress-Based Incentives

Progress-based incentives provide rewards for employees to take steps to reach ideal levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, or weight. These actions can include beginning a weight-management program or reducing body mass index.

 

4. Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Incentives

Employees receive incentives for completing various assignments. The more challenging and beneficial the task is the bigger the incentive.

healthy rewards
5. Action-Based Incentives

Workers are required to take action to better their health to become eligible to earn rewards or avoid penalties. The action is planned after the employee has completed a risk assessment (like a weight-management program or a preventative screening).

 

6. Educational/Awareness Incentives

Employers reward workers for finishing activities such as filling out an assessment of their personal health and risk factors or completing a diet and fitness routine.

 

Strategies for Designing Incentives

There are several strategies that employers can use when designing healthy rewards for their wellness programs to maximize effectiveness.

 

— Make the process for obtaining rewards fun. Find ways to better the journey to the incentive, and not just the incentive itself.

— Make sure the rewards are desirable and motivate your employees.

— Personalize your rewards to the employees in your company. Make incentives fit the culture of your organization and what your employees value. This personalization is how you ensure rewards motivate.

— Make the rewards a social process. Recognize accomplishments quickly and publicly. Employees need to receive positive recognition.

— Reward employees as quickly as possible. Do not delay gratification, and make employees wait weeks to receive their incentive.

 

Other Considerations for Healthy Rewards for Your Wellness Program 

There are two important considerations to make when designing your wellness program incentives. The first is that, under the ACA, companies can include financial incentives only up to 30 percent of the yearly cost of coverage for an individual employee.

It is also important to consider that incentives are just one aspect of a wellness program. If your program as a whole is poorly built, it does not matter how well your incentives are designed.

Build your incentives based on your wellness program, not the other way around.

 

The Wrap

Choosing the right healthy rewards for your wellness program can be the difference in its success. Well-structured rewards can increase employee participation and engagement.

When designing your incentives it is important to decide what type of juicy carrot your employees will savor the most.

 

Resources

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323393304578360252284151378
https://www.modahealth.com/pdfs/wellness/incentives.pdf
https://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/fswellnessprogram.html
fitness trackers-meeting

How Fitness Trackers Can Improve Your Wellness Program

You’ve seen them everywhere. At the gym, at restaurants, even at work. Wearable fitness trackers. Those little electronic bracelets that now come in almost every shape, size, and color imaginable.

Fitness monitors look cool, but do they have any tangible advantages? Can companies use them to improve their wellness program?

The answer to both these questions is yes, but (as with most answers) there are several stipulations. There are certain methods companies can use to ensure that they are getting the most out of the incorporation of fitness trackers into their wellness program.

 

Fitness Trackers

Fitness trackers are wearable devices that record and measure an individual’s activity. These devices use sensors to track your motion and then convert this data into quantifiable results. The more sensors your tracker has, the more accurate the results.

Each brand and model has a different amount and set of sensors. Additionally, each brand uses a different algorithm to convert the data it collects, meaning no two devices will give you the same results.

fitness trackers

Top Brands

When it comes to picking a particular fitness tracker; there is no right answer. Fitness monitors vary by size, style, function, and price. This variation means the right fitness tracker for your wellness program is dependent on your needs and budget.

As with any electronic device, the more you spend, the more features you will receive. To view a list of the top fitness monitors of 2016 visit here, here, or here.

 

Advantages of Using Fitness Trackers

There are several advantages to using fitness trackers as a part of your wellness program. The data collected by fitness monitors can help to reduce employees’ health care costs by improving their well-being.

These results are a win-win for an employer as it means a decline in both health care expenses, and expenses related to sick employees missing work or performing at subpar levels.

At Jawbone, a maker of fitness technology, the incorporation of fitness trackers into their wellness program has had a sizable positive impact. On average, employees have been getting to bed 23 minutes earlier and moving 27 percent more during the day. Fitness trackers allow your company to track and quantify results, such as these.

healthy employees

Fitness trackers also provide motivation to employees. These trackers serve as a visual cue to go to bed or to move more. They are a continuous reminder that employees should be working to be healthier. Seeing your results on your computer or phone give you an objective sense of your health, which can act as motivation.

Another benefit of using fitness trackers is they give you actual data to present to your company, to show that the wellness program is working. The data that fitness trackers collect can be given to your business leaders to show the positive results of the wellness program. These numbers can help justify the program’s existence to upper management and other stakeholders.

 

How to Implement Fitness Trackers Into Your Wellness Program

The implementation of fitness trackers into your wellness program is critical to whether these devices prove worth their cost. There are several ways this implementation can improve the utilization of these devices.

 

            Individualized Wellness Plans

The point of these trackers is that they collect data from you, and you only. A healthy employee who consistently exercises will get drastically different results from their tracker, than an employee who eats poorly and doesn’t exercise regularly.

fitness trackers

The company should use this data to each individual’s advantage. Employees will get better results, and be more motivated to follow a wellness plan if it is tailored specifically for them.

 

            Make it a Social Process

Your wellness program should allow employees to socialize with one another and promote a sense of belonging. This socialization will drive engagement and help sustain long-term results.

Employees need a system where they can share their performance and accomplishments, give encouragement, and challenge other departments and individuals.

 

            Set and Recognize the Right Goals

Goals should acknowledge and celebrate the whole group rather than the top athletes in your company. The average employee will not be motivated to participate through incentives that reward only the fittest in your organization.

The goal of these fitness trackers and your wellness program should be to motivate every employee. Goals need to be attainable and promote all employees to better themselves.

 

The Wrap

Fitness trackers are a great tool that can be used to promote greater well-being, decrease medical costs, and improve your company’s wellness program.

For the best results, your wellness program should use fitness trackers to individualize wellness plans, make it a social process, and set and recognize the right goals. The smart technology in fitness trackers can be hugely beneficial if it is used smartly.

 

Resources

http://www.wareable.com/fitness-trackers/how-your-fitness-tracker-works-1449
https://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/benefits/articles/pages/health-analytics-tracker-data.aspx
http://www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/column/sustainable-wellness-program-not-fitness-trackers-created-equally/
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fitness-trackers-are-everywhere-but-do-they-work/
healthy employees

9 Proven Ways to Easily Promote Healthy Employees

Technology has created a 24/7 work environment. No matter where an employee goes, they are tethered to their jobs. This constant pressure to work can have a hugely detrimental impact on employees.

Research has found that working over eight hours a day can result in a 40 to 80 percent greater chance of heart disease. Businesses can improve organizational wellness by promoting healthy employees.

Healthy employee habits benefit staff and their employer. More than 13 million working days are lost every year because of stress-related illness. Encouraging healthy employees can raise organizational satisfaction, increase productivity, and decrease absenteeism.

 

1. Form run or walk groups

Push employees to bring a coworker on a 15 or 30-minute walk, to break up the day. You can incentivize this process through challenges, for which employees can win healthy lifestyle related prizes.

Gender-Gap-in-Life-Insurance

2. Promote efficient teamwork

When your work teams are productive with their time in the office, there is no need to work after hours. Additionally, an efficient team can help to reduce the stress of an individual, if that individual has an off-week. Efficient teams not only make work easier for each individual but also improve the final result of that group as a whole.

 

3. Increase natural lighting

Increasing employees’ exposure to natural light can boost productivity and improve their sleep. If your office doesn’t have many windows, consider making an outdoor break space or incorporating natural lighting into meeting areas or conference rooms.

 

4. No emails after hours

Encourage employees not to send or respond to work-related emails after office hours (unless in an emergency). Responding to emails late at night especially, can increase stress and ruin sleep quality. These emails can also lead to employees doing other work after business hours, which can raise stress.

* Ensuring employees don’t do work after hours will be especially critical to employers looking to avoid employee-overtime under the new FLSA rule. *

 

5. Create bike storage

Adding space for workers to store their bikes is an easy way to promote riding a bike to work. Bike storage also allows for workers to share their bikes and let employees who live too far away to bike, the chance to take a break and go for a quick ride during the day.

healthy employee habits

6. Use the company intranet

Use the company intranet (or create one) to share healthy recipes, helpful exercises, stress management techniques, and financial wellness tips. A company intranet is a simple way to promote employee wellness and foster a closer work-environment.

An internal internet is a perfect method for employees to get to know one another better, while also benefiting the company as a whole. Employees can interact with one and improve organizational morale. This boosted morale helps improve both company productivity and employee health.

 

7. Permit regulated naps

Research has shown that naps can boost alertness, learning, and problem-solving while decreasing stress and fatigue. Allow employees to take a 10-20 minute nap, no more than once a day, when they feel it would help them.

 

8. Switch to healthy vending machines

Replace chips, candy bars, and cookies with nuts, granola bars, and protein bars. Change soda for flavored water or iced tea. A healthier vending machine promotes healthy eating among your employees.

healthy employee habits

9. Change your culture

Every company should develop hard work as a part of its culture; however, this hard work has to be within reason. Encourage employees to take regular breaks, create work schedules and stick to them, and discourage late night or after-hours work.

Management has to be the driving influence behind this culture shift. Leadership has to lead by example and promote a healthy lifestyle by living one. If your staff sees the leadership setting the example they are more likely to follow suit.

 

The Wrap

The average person spends 90,000 hours at the office over his or her lifetime. Businesses should be doing all they can to guarantee these 90,000 hours are spent as healthy as possible.

It is important for companies to keep in mind that employee wellness encompasses physical, mental, and even financial health. Businesses should use these nine tips to promote healthy employees and healthy work habits, which work to improve physical, mental, and financial health.

Dupont Co. found that each dollar invested in workplace health promotion yielded $1.42 over a two-year period in lower absenteeism alone.

Promoting healthy employees and positive work habits is good for both employee and employer. As “they” say, “If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing wellness.”