10 Facts on Creating the Most Effective Wellness Program

Wellness programs are on the rise with the growing awareness of health in the workplace. Many employees want the programs in their office, and employers are beginning to implement healthy initiatives for their team. Perhaps in response to a greater desire for a work-life balance, the facts are clear: Wellness programs have become a norm throughout corporate offices. 

1. 60% of employers make healthy food choices available in the workplace.

Between the last minute deadlines and all-engrossing projects, sometimes it’s hard to eat healthy at work. It’s easy to call and have a sandwich or pizza delivered, so why wouldn’t your team opt for these choices over leaving the office to get a well-rounded meal? Over half of employers have taken the initiative to help their team eat healthier at work by offering better food choices in the office. 

2. 36% of employers allow employees to use work time for physical activity.

After spending long hours at work, it’s not always easy to get the gumption to exercise afterwards. That’s why, in an added effort, over a third of organizations give employees the opportunity to be physically active at work. Between the corporate gyms or standing desks, there are options for your employees to be more active than sitting at a desk all day. 

3. 28% of organizations offer stress management.

Work is stressful, or at least it can be. Stress can cause employees to be less productive or perform under their norm. Encouraging stress management is easier when employers offer it as a perk. 

4. 80% of the public agree it’s appropriate for employers to offer participatory wellness programs.

Employer-hosted wellness programs are popular, even among the public. These types of perks and benefits can only improve the opinion of your organization’s employer brand.

5. 62% of the public say it’s not appropriate to charge employees who don’t participate higher premiums.

Even though an overwhelming majority of the public wants a wellness program, they don’t think it’s appropriate for those to be reprimanded for non-participation. These employees might not be comfortable with their organization to be so involved in their personal health standards. 

6. 71% of consumers want employee wellness programs.

Give your employees the opportunity to take their health into their own hands. Consumers want it, and considering most consumers have jobs, it’s fair to say your employees would appreciate the opportunity to participate in a wellness program as well. 

7. 75% of consumers want their employers to offer incentives to help improve their health.

Motivation to improve your health is sometimes hard to find. That’s why three-quarters of employees would like some sort of incentive for, well, working towards peak health. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, perhaps some company swag, days off, or if you have the resources, monetary rewards.

8. 42% of those enrolled in a wellness program are willing to purchase the Apple Watch.

Wearables. They are becoming a hot topic in workplace technology. The Apple Watch, FitBit, and other pieces of technology that have health-enabled abilities have skyrocketed in popularity. Nearly half of the employees in your wellness program have taken an interest in these wearables to help their health and fitness goals. 

9. 44% of wellness programs are integrated with a social connection.

Employees work together to get through projects, events and even talk about the upcoming performance reviews. A wellness program in the workplace allows employees to work together to improve their health as well through support channels and friendly challenges.

10. 57% of companies have implemented tobacco-free workplace policies.

A tobacco-free workplace is good for those who like their daily dose of nicotine and for those who don’t partake in the activity. If it’s a simple no smoking policyor even a program to help those who want to quit, over half of organizations have begun the process for a tobacco-free workplace.

Healthier employees means happier employees and employees who don’t take days off to go to doctor’s appointments and take sick days. The most effective wellness programs offer stress management, social workplace support and even opportunities for physical activity. Often an employee perk, wellness programs are increasingly popular and can only better your employer brand.

What does your wellness program look like?

Bio: Tim Olson

Tim Olson, CEBS, CMFC and Managing Partner of the Olson Group, has been working with Nebraska employers for over 33 years and has been in the employee benefits industry since 1980. Presently, Tim works with employers assisting them with self-funded and fully insured medical and dental programs, consumer-driven health strategies, term life, long term disability insurance, section 125 flexible benefit programs, voluntary benefits, retirement programs, and executive compensation plans.  Tim currently works with more than 200 employers participating in 500 employee benefit plans, and covering more than 30,000 employees throughout Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas. You can read more about Tim and his insight on employee benefits needs on The Olson Group Blog.

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