EMPLOYEE WELLNESS; Meaning, Ideas, Benefits & Programs

Employee wellness; meaning, ideas, benefits & programs
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Wellness initiatives are more appreciated than ever. In fact, they were formerly known as corporate fitness programs. They began as employee perks for big corporations. Today, wellness initiatives are prevalent in both small and medium-sized businesses. Nowadays, wellness programs are frequently included in a company’s benefits package.

They should be considered to enhance the general health and happiness of your workforce. Wellness initiatives help to create a workplace culture that prioritizes employee health as well as boost output, morale, and teamwork. You can decide whether establishing a wellness program is the best course of action for your own business by learning about the many advantages of such programs.

In this article, we define employee wellness programs, provide examples of different wellness programs, and go over the benefits of workplace wellness.

How Do You Define Employee Wellness?

The term “wellness program” refers to a corporate strategy for enhancing people’s health through which companies frequently provide financial incentives or other resources for employees to stay healthy through wellness programs.

Furthermore, a wellness program is any type of planned activity at work that aims to advance and support workers’ fitness and health. Health screenings, preventative care, and fitness programs are some examples of wellness initiatives as well as: 

  • Education in stress reduction
  • Cigarette-quit programs
  • Exercise regimens
  • Competitions to lose weight
  • Wellness evaluations

The employees’ health may be promoted through incentive-based wellness programs provided by local, state, and insurance companies.

Note that: 

  • Companies, governments, and insurance providers all offer wellness programs to nudge people toward healthier habits.
  • These initiatives boost output while reducing sick days, insurance costs, employee turnover, and workers’ compensation claims.
  • People can gain from this in terms of money and a better sense of well-being.
  • Critics claim that these programs only serve healthy people, may result in discrimination against people with less-than-average health, and are designed to increase corporate profits.
  • Wellness programs may cost businesses between $150 and $1,200 per employee.

What Are the 5 Components of Wellness?

Wellness is divided into five components: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual. To be considered “well,” it is imperative that none of these areas is neglected.

Physical Wellness

  • Exercise! Your health will improve by walking for just 20 minutes a day.
  • Eat Sensibly. Steer clear of fried foods, sodas, processed meats, and sweets. Try to eat fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Don’t skip meals. It slows down your metabolism and can lead to weight gain, especially at breakfast.
  • Stay away from heavy drinking and drug use. No more than five drinks for men and four for women in one sitting. Don’t space out your drinks over time and alternate them with glasses of water.
  • Sleep for at least 8 hours each night.

Emotional Wellness

  • Even when difficulties arise, attempt to maintain a positive attitude.
  • Find your unique stress reliever and engage in it more. 
  • Time management is important because it reduces stress.
  • Find a confidant with whom you can openly discuss your feelings.
  • Ask for expert assistance when you need it.
  • Smile more. 

Social Wellness

  • Get active. You’re sure to find something you’re interested in among the many after-work activities.
  • Identify your closest friends.
  • Recognize when a relationship is unhealthy.
  • Maintain a healthy balance between your social and job obligations.

Spiritual Wellness

  • Locate a peaceful area and spend time there each day.
  • Think about the purpose of your life.
  • Study and practice your religion, if you have one.
  • Spend time appreciating the natural world around you.

Intellectual Wellness

  • Keep up with current events.
  • Consider your career seriously and do research often.
  • If you require career assistance, ask.
  • Embrace lifelong learning.

What Are the 7 Pillars of Wellness?

#1. Sleep

The immune system function is regularly linked to poor sleep quality or quantity. If your immune system is in good shape, having a brief season over a few weeks of diminished rest due to work and life demands won’t be a problem. To support this wellness pillar, you must take proactive measures to address poor quality and insufficient sleep over months and years.

#2. Movement

Your heart and immune system will benefit greatly from regular exercise and movement. Balance is key because too little or too much exercise can lower your immune system due to free radical damage. Therefore exercise supports your immune system.

#3. Environment

Even though most people are aware of the major players, many people are unaware of the small daily habits that contribute to inflammation and disease by raising our overall toxic load.

#4. Nutrition

It is crucial to use food as medicine to support all 11 of our Body Systems, including our immune system, in the environment we currently live in. More than ever, our bodies require whole-food nutrition combined with clean water, herbs, spices, and herbal teas.

#5. Mindfulness

Stress and fear tend to suppress the immune system, and the body enters a fight-or-flight response, believing that there is actual physical danger in front of you. Because of this, mindfulness is the fifth of the seven wellness pillars.

#6. Body Balance

The health of our skeletal and muscular systems is crucial. To withstand life’s storms, they must be constructed on rock rather than sand, similar to a house’s scaffolding. For your organs to function properly and support your overall health and immune system, your posture and skeletal structure must also be in good shape.

#7. Supplementation

Note that the nutritional value of the food we eat has decreased as a result of overfarming. In the past, farms and farmlands were larger, the soil was given a rest every six to seven years, crops were switched out, and the ground had time to rest and improve the nutritional value it could add to the specific crop. You receive the nutritional support you might be lacking through supplementation.

What Are the 4 Goals of an Employee Wellness Program?

The following provides examples of objectives for each of the goals listed above for a workplace wellness program.

#1. To Lower the Cost of Healthcare

The following are examples of SMART goals that could be used by an organization to reduce healthcare costs:

  • Arranging monthly contests and rewards for employees who participate in at least 50% of the exercises
  • Yearly reduction in the number of smokers in the workforce
  • Providing employees with access to nutritious lunch options or giving remote workers gift cards to nutritious restaurants. 
  • Establish vaccination clinics at your place of business.

#2. To Reduce Absenteeism.

The following are examples of objectives that could be used by an organization to reduce absenteeism include:

  • Permit employees to work remotely three days per week.
  • Ask workers for suggestions on how to improve the workplace.
  • Consider making changes to the office space to make it more appealing, such as adding more natural light, plants, or artwork.
  • Establish health screening programs to aid staff in spotting potential health issues early.

#3. To Increase Productivity and Engagement Among Employees.

The following goals could be used by an organization to achieve its objective of raising employee productivity and engagement:

  • Establishing peer-to-peer learning groups to discuss issues and come up with solutions
  • Pay employees a stipend for learning new courses.
  • One example of a low-cost, high-value employee development program is workplace mentoring.

#4. To Achieve Higher Employee Retention Rates

The following goals could be used to help an organization achieve its goal of raising retention rates:

  • Participate members of the workforce in a mentoring program to lower turnover.
  • To determine why they were dissatisfied, talk to the departing employees.

#5. To Boost Staff Morale

The following are examples of goals that could be used by an organization to improve employee morale:

  • Introduce mental health mentoring to increase knowledge of various conditions and available treatments.
  • Ensure that employees have access to professional counseling as part of their health and benefits package.
  • Set up a fitness contest among the organization’s teams or departments.
  • Provide financial incentives to employees, such as life insurance, pension plans, or student loan repayment options. 

#6. To Recruit New Skilled Workers

SMART-compliant goals that could be used by an organization to achieve its goal of luring new employees include the following:

  • Build a gym on the property. 
  • Encourage the use of alternative transportation by offering employee bus passes
  • or participating in bike-sharing programs, for example. 
  • Plan team-building activities for your staff, like going to a local mini-golf course.

How Do You Improve Employee Wellness?

#1. Utilize a Holistic Perspective.

Employers should focus on a whole-person approach to employee well-being, such as physical health, financial health, social health, and mental health, to ensure better engagement, lower turnover, and less chronic illness.

#2. Establish a Collaborative Work Setting.

A collaborative work environment is much more enjoyable than one where employees compete with one another. A successful collaborative environment is created by employees who accept one another. Employees who have the chance to collaborate feel a sense of belonging, which can increase happiness at work.

#3. Get Regular Feedback.

Focus on healthy products to improve employee satisfaction and avoid burnout. Get honest feedback, host a lunch, talk about workloads, do ergonomic assessments, and take regular assessments.

#4. Promote Social Health.

A strong link exists between overall well-being and social health. As often as you can, provide opportunities for your employees to interact with one another over coffee, lunch, after-hours activities, and on projects. Giving workers time off to visit with friends and family when they aren’t working is also crucial.

What Are the 3 Pillars of Wellness?

The three Pillars of wellness are important for employee health and happiness, and if one is deficient, the rest can suffer.

The three Pillars of wellness are:

#1. Mental Wellbeing

The first pillar is mental (or emotional) well-being, which should be given priority as workers adjust to recent events and a changing global environment. One study found that employees’ psychological and mental health was their top concern following the pandemic, with nearly 70% expressing worries about stress and burnout. The company’s culture, leadership, and communication with employees are the first steps toward promoting mental wellness in the workplace.

#2. Physical Wellbeing

Physical well-being is linked to other pillars of well-being. Encourage healthy eating, proper hydration, and plenty of breaks from sitting all day long as ways to improve physical wellness at work (i.e. walking meetings, etc.)

#3. Financial Wellbeing

It is simple to understand how employers can significantly affect the financial well-being of their employees. This extends beyond salaries and wages as additional benefits can also help employees feel more financially secure.

Is Employee Wellness Important for Every Organization?

If you want to maintain sustainability and success over the long term, your organization needs to have a well-being strategy. Achieving one’s full potential, increasing productivity, managing stress, forming bonds with coworkers, and contributing to the success of the company are all made possible by employee well-being.

According to research, putting employee well-being first can have a wide range of advantages for the company. Employers with significant well-being resources and programs, for instance, experienced 10% less turnover than those with only a few initiatives.

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