How Employee Wellness Programs Can Reduce Risk

Wellness programs offer tips, resources and structured plans to help employees become more aware about being healthy, making the right choices, and even losing weight. By implementing such a program in the workplace, it not only benefits your employees, but your company profitability as well.

Benefits of Wellness Programs
There are many ways that employee wellness programs will reduce your business risks. Generally speaking, the healthier your workers are, the less often they will become ill. Also, consider that when they believe you care about their health, they will be more motivated and provide your company with their A-game. Here are some advantages to a wellness program:

Weight Loss and Maintenance.  Weight loss is definitely a benefit to a wellness program. When employees start losing weight or maintaining their weight, it helps them reduce injuries and illness that can lead to missing a lot of work. The same goes for increasing their physical activity.

Decreased Emotional Stress.  Wellness programs in the workplace are beneficial to your employees by reducing their emotional stress. Many cases of emotional stress are from injuries or illness. When employees don’t have as much stress during the workday, they are more aware of their surroundings and don’t sustain injuries on-the-job as often.

Improved Wellbeing.  Wellness programs aren’t just for awareness of injuries or losing weight; they also help workers to improve their overall wellbeing, confidence and self esteem. This helps workers become more motivated and increase their productivity.

Types of Wellness Programs

There are many different types of employee wellness programs you can introduce at your business. The type you choose depends on the size of your business, how many employees you have, and what options they would be most interested in.

One program that works great is offering complimentary health screenings for things like body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, bone density, hearing and vision, and immunizations or flu shots. You can also offer specialized wellness programs, like weight loss, fitness education, on-site fitness programs or offering healthy food alternatives for staff.

How to Implement a Wellness Program

The first step in implementing your wellness program is choosing small changes to make in the workplace. Implementing programs like a lunch walking program and replacing unhealthy options in the kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables is a great start. Consider removing vending machines with unhealthy snacks and supplying employees with healthier options instead. If you don’t already, have fresh, clean water available to all of your workers. Next, you can encourage healthier lifestyle options like a discount for a local fitness center, starting a weight loss contest for employees and allowing employees an extra afternoon break if they are willing to walk with other employees during that break. Speak to local health care centers about having someone come in on a routine basis for different health screenings, offering them for free to your employees.

Aside from starting an employee wellness program to reduce risks, you should also have a workers’ compensation insurance policy.