Studies show that Millennials are at a higher risk of acquiring lifestyle-related chronic health conditions. Also, they were more prone to workplace burnout issues. Research also reveals that changes in lifestyle habits can save almost $92,000 in medical costs per person.
While burnout and health issues have affected overall productivity, chronic health conditions have increased absenteeism and healthcare costs. To curb these higher costs and lost productivity, employers have started implementing employee wellness programs at the workplace.
Of the many benefits of the employee wellness programs, the most common ones include –
- Boost Employee Engagement
- Enhance Productivity
- Reduced Healthcare Costs
- Better Workplace Culture
- Easy Recruitment
- Higher Employee Retention
- Reduces Absenteeism Rates
To make sure the health and wellness programs deliver the desired benefits, they must be designed to meet the specific requirements and goals. Additionally, they must also stay on par with the latest workplace wellness trends too.
Simply put, there are a few components of corporate wellness programs that must be thoroughly inspected and considered before implementation.
- Biometric Screenings and Health Assessments
- Organized Wellness Challenges
- Mental Wellness Resources
- Financial Wellbeing and Education
- Nutritional Health and Coaching
Biometric Screenings and Health Assessments
Typically, health assessments are questionnaires that give an insight into the overall health, wellbeing, and lifestyle habits of the individual. Biometric health screenings usually test health parameters like cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure, BMI, and similar vital. They help understand the current health status, potential health emergencies, and the areas that need specific attention. Most corporate wellness programs include health assessments and screenings as the initial onboarding step. Also, they give an overall idea of the least or most prevalent health risks in the workplace population. All these pointers ensure the designing and utilization of the right wellness program modules and resources for better employee health and wellbeing.
The right screenings and assessments can help in the early detection of potential health issues, thus reducing the chances of further complications and lowering hospitalization/healthcare costs. However, employers must research well to find the right screening vendor and avoid any mistakes.
Since digital health solutions and virtual healthcare is on the rise, the wellness platform and program must be flexible and scalable to accommodate the technological growth and wellbeing needs.
Organized Wellness Challenges
Many studies prove that participation in group activities or corporate wellness challenges are more likely to stick to their plan and achieve their health goals. Employers must leverage these findings and encourage including wellness challenge ideas that focus on holistic wellbeing dimensions like physical fitness, healthy eating, and likewise. Incentives like building on-site gyms, membership reimbursements, fitness gear, wearables, etc., can encourage participation in corporate wellness challenges.
The wellness challenge ideas can be individual or team activities. Device integration and tracking can boost employee engagement in these activities. Most importantly, the workplace wellness challenge ideas must be fun to make sure employees do not lose interest and stick to their plans.
Mental Wellness Resources
Many studies have revealed the impact of the pandemic on employee mental health and overall wellbeing. While burnout was one of the key reasons affecting mental wellbeing, there were other causes like loneliness, lack of communication, financial stress, and lack of work-life balance. Given that mental health issues affect almost 25% of the US population with estimated associated costs to reach $250 billion per year, it is one element that employers have been prioritizing in their employee wellness programs, especially since the pandemic began.
Mental health solutions at the workplace can include anything from offering online mental health resources to having an on-site coach or therapist guide employees through their health and wellness journey. Mental wellness challenges, meditation and yoga sessions, volunteering, and encouraging hobbies can be great stress management strategies too.
Financial Wellbeing and Education
The correlation of financial health with one’s physical and mental wellness has been strongly established through many studies. It is known to play a steady role in achieving holistic health and also impacts workplace productivity. So, many organizations have started implementing financial wellness solutions as a part of their workplace wellness programs.
Of the many different financial wellness benefits, the most common ones preferred by most employees are –
- HSAs and FSAs
- 401(K) plans
- Medical Insurance
- Educational/Short-term Loan Support
- Health and Wellbeing Reimbursements
- Premium Discounts
Robust workplace wellness programs also include tools, calculators, and resources to help employees have a better idea about their finances and savings. Having regular sessions and seminars with financial consultants can help them make better decisions for a better financial future.
Nutritional Health and Coaching
The rule of thumb backed by many experts is that weight loss is only 25% of exercise and physical activity, whereas diet constitutes 75% of the entire process. Healthy eating habits have been in the spotlight for a few years and are one of the key components of employee wellness programs since the pandemic. Studies show many employees experienced undesired weight changes in the pandemic, which in the long run could lead to lifestyle-related diseases like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
Encouraging healthy eating habits at the workplace can be accomplished by implementing nutrition wellness challenges, organizing healthy potlucks, providing free healthy snacks and meals at the office, reimbursing the costs of fresh groceries and produce, and likewise.