How to Launch an Employee Wellness Program

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Want to do more to boost your employees’ well-being — both physical and mental? Here’s how to design and effectively implement an employee wellness program for your organization.

What is employee well-being?

Employee well-being is about helping employees to be physically and mentally healthy, happy, and productive at work. 

What is a workplace wellness program? 

An employee well-being program is a set of workplace policies, benefits, or services that are introduced to have a positive impact on the employees’ overall health and happiness to build a healthy and positive work environment. An employee well-being program will usually include elements that promote both the physical and mental health of the employees in an organization. 

What does workplace wellness or employee well-being program do? 

A workplace well-being program is a way to support one’s employee’s physical and mental health. It can also help attract, retain and develop talent – plus, it provides a benefit to an organization’s bottom line. But what exactly is employee well-being? And how does one launch a successful workplace wellness program at work? 

Benefits of employee well-being programs

A well-being program is designed to help employees feel valued, supported, and connected at work. That’s what it does for talent — but what does it do for your bottom line? There is a direct link between employee well-being and business performance. Studies show successful programs can affect everything from engagement and productivity to brand image. 

Here are a few of the benefits:

Increased productivity: Studies show that high marks for employee well-being are correlated to stronger performance. Employees are more productive when they are happy and well-rested. Happy employees also tend to be more loyal towards the company and engaged in business operations, which helps increase the revenue of a company and fosters growth. A workplace well-being program also provides an opportunity for employees to reflect on their work-life balance and make changes that result in increased performance.

Reduced absenteeism: Healthier employees are less likely to take sick days or call in sick. Research shows this means less time away from work. The policies put into place by a well-being program can help keep employees healthy, which means lower absenteeism rates at work, boosting productivity, and/or saving money on overtime costs for those who would otherwise pick up the slack. 

Improved employee retention: Well-being initiatives have been shown to improve employee satisfaction with their employer’s overall culture and make them more likely to stay at their jobs longer than they otherwise would have if they had not participated in these initiatives or programs.

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Improved employee engagement and satisfaction within the organization: Improved employee engagement has been shown to lead to increased productivity and profitability. A well-being program can increase employee satisfaction by providing them with an outlet for resolving personal issues that may be affecting their work performance. This can be especially helpful for employees experiencing depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. 

Improved employee morale and well-being: A well-being program can help employees feel better about themselves, which will improve their overall morale at work as they begin to see positive results from making healthier lifestyle choices.

Improved employer reputation and brand image: The well-being program can help a company improve its reputation among customers and stakeholders by promoting healthier lifestyles among all of its employees.

At the end of the day, a strong well-being program helps employers attract and retain talent, which means they build a strong team and spend less on employee turnover.

How do you design and launch an effective employee wellbeing program?

Implementing a wellness program is a great way to help employees stay healthy and manage their health conditions. But launching a successful workplace wellness program is not easy, as it takes time, money, and commitment from everyone involved. Here’s how to launch an effective program in five steps:

1. Develop and share a well-being survey throughout the organization

To launch an employee well-being program, the first step to consider is trying to understand the concerns and complaints of the employees. Develop a well-being survey with various relevant questions relating to the workplace culture and share it with employees throughout the organization to understand your employees better and implement a well-being program that caters to the needs of your employees. Learn more here about why data is key to a happy workplace — and how to get the data you need.

2. Plan a well-being program based on employee suggestions 

The best way to launch an effective well-being program is to develop a plan based on the feedback gathered from the employees through the surveys. The insights provided by the survey will give employers a better idea about the needs of their employees. It will help to better decide the contents of the program and launch a well-being program that takes into account employee suggestions.

3. Identify and define the goals of the program

To develop a successful well-being program, identify and define the goals of the program. After understanding the concerns and issues faced in the workplace by the employees, you can define the objectives of the program. Some of the goals of an employee well-being program can include the following:

  • Increasing employee satisfaction
  • Improving retention of employees
  • Focusing on increasing work productivity
  • Reducing absenteeism.
  • Developing open communication among employees
  • Fostering a positive relationship between employees and the management

4. Promote the program among your employees and clearly communicate its benefits

Introduce and promote the program to the employees of the organization. Make sure they understand why it is important, what it means for them, and how it will benefit them. Set clear expectations for participation in the program, as well as clearly communicate the various benefits of the program and how it will help in their well-being (e.g., day offs, bonuses, health insurance, etc.). Employers need to be able to provide employees with a clear roadmap of how they can get started on the path toward better health and well-being.  

5. Encourage employees to participate and provide suggestions for improvement

Employers need to encourage their employees to participate in the well-being program and provide feedback on the same. Employers should take into consideration the suggestions provided by the employees and incorporate them into the program to promote improvements that cater to the needs of their employees. This approach provides employees with a better understanding of their role in fostering a culture of well-being.

The wellness program should be able to help employees manage their health and well-being at work. This means providing them with the tools they need (e.g., resources, software) so that they can make better decisions around their overall health and well-being. This will also help attract and retain talented employees in the long run since they will be less likely to leave if they feel like their needs are being met.

Ready to launch an employee wellbeing program? 

A workplace wellness program is a great way for employers to improve the holistic wellbeing of their employees. At the end of the day, this isn’t just good for people — it’s good for business.