29 SEP, 2016

3 Ways a Health and Wellness Program Can Benefit Your Company Culture

health and wellness program at work

In 2014, the National Healthcare Expenditure reached $3.0 trillion, or $9,523 per person. Today’s employers understand all too well the impact of rising healthcare costs. These expenses, in the form of increased health insurance premiums, are taking a toll on company budgets across the United States.

Companies have been introducing health and wellness programs as a way to address these costs by helping employees embrace healthier habits. The Center for Disease Control defines workplace health programs as “a coordinated and comprehensive set of health promotion and protection strategies implemented at the worksite that includes programs, policies, benefits, environmental supports, and links to the surrounding community designed to encourage the health and safety of all employees.”

The intent of these programs is to focus on wellness in a way that reduces the price everyone pays for health. Individual employer health and wellness program strategies vary; however, thanks to a commitment to employee well-being, the positive impact on employees’ overall health can take your company culture to new levels.

1. Benefit employee health

Companies can save millions in productivity and other costs, and a healthier employee population also has more time, interest, and ability to engage and commit to the corporate culture you’re creating.

2. Increase employee engagement

Health and wellness programs also show employees that their company cares for their well-being. This trust helps motivate employees and engages them on a professional and personal level.

Some programs also incorporate incentives to further encourage employees to take advantage of the health and wellness benefits offered by their employer. Those incentives can be linked to program participation, or to behavioral changes, such as quitting smoking or exercising regularly. With an online system like WorkStride, it’s easy for employees to track progress, receive designated rewards, and make wellness a priority in your company.

3. Create a connected culture

Results from the American Psychology Association’s Work and Well-Being Survey highlight the connection between leadership support of health and wellness programs. According to the 2016 survey results, 73% of employees with senior managers who show support for employee well-being said their organization helps employees develop a healthy lifestyle.

This support from senior leaders encouraged other positive results:

  • 91% of workers said they felt motivated to do their best (vs. 38% of employees in companies without leadership support for wellness initiatives)
  • 9 out of 10 workers are satisfied with their job
  • 93% have a positive relationship with coworkers (vs. 54%)
  • 89% were likely to recommend their company as a good place to work (vs. 17%)

Not only do health and wellness programs have the potential to deliver positive physical and psychological benefits, a demonstrated commitment to employee well-being supports an organizational culture built on a sense of community.

There’s still debate regarding whether or not it’s possible to link wellness program benefits directly to a company’s bottom line. Regardless, these programs are becoming more and more common in today’s work environment and for good reason. Health and wellness programs demonstrate that a company cares for, and is committed to, employees’ well-being. This improves engagement, motivates employees to develop on a personal and professional level, and leads to a more productive workforce.

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