Workplace health : The secret to a happier, healthier, more productive workplace
Whether it’s your first wellness program or your tenth, we understand that it can be confusing trying to find the right programs and tools for your workplace.
Our Frequently Asked Questions below answer some of the most common questions about wellness programs. The information below is based on our free step by step guide to setting up a wellness program at your workplace – click here to download
Wellness programs are the initiatives and tools used to promote workplace health. A wellness program can help your company reduce its business costs by improving the health, wellbeing and engagement of employees.
To successfully reduce business costs, your wellness program requires a strategic approach.
A strategic wellness program starts by writing down all the goals that your company wants to achieve. Examples of your goals could be reducing sick leave or injury rates, improving morale or simply being an employer of choice. Workplace health starts at the top of the company so it’s best to include all stakeholders in the discovery meeting especially company leadership.
Next, do a reality check of where you are now. For example, if you want to reduce sick leave, what is the average number of sick leave days per employee right now? Use this as your benchmark and regularly measure against it to determine your success. Now create a benchmark for all of your company’s goals.
Finally, find out the key health needs of your staff. By focusing on these high-risk areas you are going to optimize your ROI and achieve your company goals quicker.
Don’t forget to measure the effectiveness of your workplace health strategy at every stage because “what gets measured – gets done”.
A good place to start is looking at your internal HR data. What’s the average number of sick days per employee? Do you see any trends in the data such as those periods before and after the Christmas break or during winter? If there is a significant spike then running a workplace health initiative around these periods could minimize the impact to the company.
The EAP report from your provider is another source of useful information. What are some of the prominent issues? If a significant number of staff are reporting stress then chances are a stress and resilience initiative will pay dividends. Workplace health programs are most successful when they address the specific needs of your staff.
A more efficient and direct method of determining employee needs is to run a staff survey or health risk assessment. These will give you a very clear indication to where you should focus your efforts.
Remember that an effective workplace health strategy starts by understanding the specific health issues of your workplace.
The cost of your wellness program will vary depending on how many staff you include, the specific workplace health initiatives you choose and whether you run some programs in-house or choose a provider.
As a guideline, you can expect to spend approximately $80 – $120 per employee per year for a well-rounded workplace health program.
The typical ROI tends to be about $2 to $4 saved for every dollar spent. Recent studies have found that:
- A company investment of $100 – $150 per employee each year towards a workplace health program can save companies $300 – $450.
- An international study reported a $3 return for every $1 spent by small companies
- According to a 2005 survey, companies who instituted a workplace health program realized a 30% reduction in absenteeism costs in less than 4 years.
For most companies, 18 months is the point at which employees improving health begins to cancel out the cost of the company’s workplace health program.
The programs you chose to run will depend on the size of your budget. Workplace health initiatives can include annual health checks, health risk assessments, team challenges and individual weight loss programs.
To optimize ROI, you need to find out the key health issues for your company and offer a workplace health program that focuses on these areas. An efficient method for uncovering these issues is to run an employee survey or health risk assessment.
While it’s impossible to run a completely free wellness program, the workplace health initiatives you choose don’t have to be expensive.
Workplace health initiatives such as lunchtime seminars may only involve the cost of lunch and a local health expert. Try mapping out a few short-walking routes around your workplace and get staff out at lunchtime for a walk. Be creative when planning your workplace health initiatives.
Look for innovative ways of funding your wellness program such as employee contributions, social club memberships and staff Christmas present budgets. There’s no better Christmas present than improved personal health.
Actively communicate your workplace health initiatives to staff through all your company’s communications channels. By doing this, your wellness program will become a part of your company’s ‘way of doing things’ rather than an add-on.
Promote good nutrition at work. Consider carefully the kinds of food dispensed by vending machines at the workplace. Provide staff with access to healthy recipes, meal planners, and other information on good nutrition.
Acknowledge staff achievements in health and wellness in company newsletters or on the company intranet. Staff may be more likely to participate in the company’s workplace health initiatives if there are rewards. Design a rewards scheme for staff participating in your wellness program.
For example, staff can earn points by taking part in the wellness program and achieving their health goals. Accrued points can be exchanged for prizes such as gift vouchers, health food hampers or perhaps a 1-on-1 session with a personal trainer.
We understand that setting up a wellness program for the first time can be confusing so we have written a 10-page step by step guide to help you kick start your company’s wellness program. Click here to download the free guide
We have designed our programs from the ground up to be cost effective and easy to administer. We offer a professional and affordable approach to increasing the health, wellbeing and productivity of your workplace. We focus on results and helping our clients reduce their business costs.
We also offer a 100% money back guarantee, so if you are not satisfied with the results you get from our programs, we will give you a full refund, no questions asked.