How Important Are Wellness Programs in the Workplace?
Employer-sponsored initiatives that promote the physical as well as mental health of employees are known as wellness programs. The goal is to maximize workers’ productivity by ensuring that they are fit in mind and body. Gym memberships reimbursement is one common example of a benefit provided by some companies’ wellness programs. Usually, these initiatives help employees feel that their employers care about their well-being, and as a result, they are motivated to perform better.
Early Identification of Health Issues
Wellness programs in the workplace mostly focus on identifying disease and other health problems at their onset. They may include education and on site screenings for prevalent conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or even some cancers. Early identification hits two birds with one stone: ensure workers’ health and productivity and reduce medical claim costs. Of course, healthier employees also means people will probably remain within the company for a considerable period, saving management the cost of having to hire and retrain new workers.
Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles
Wellness programs promote a healthier lifestyle among workers through various initiatives, such as conducting smoking cessation seminars and support, weight loss or stress management courses, or even in-person lifestyle coaching services on site. With all of these brought to the workplace itself, employees feel more important and are more likely to reach or even exceed the level of productivity that is expected from them.
Employee Empowerment thru Education
In some workplaces, employees are given the chance to take up courses and seminars that can help both themselves and their employers. Examples of these courses are training on CPR training and Automated External Defibrillation or AED. Through these courses, employees are equipped with critical knowledge and skills that enable them to manage emergency scenarios, whether inside or outside the workplace, until professional help arrives.
Workplace wellness programs can also help with reducing or managing injury incidences in the workplace, especially in environments where the risk is high (for example, when heavy lifting is required). Research tells us that back strain and slips and falls are the most prevalent workplace injuries that occur today. Wellness programs teach employees proper lifting techniques, along with techniques that help them avoid exacerbating any preexisting injuries or conditions they may be dealing with.
With growing attention to employee health, workplace wellness programs are becoming more and more important. Based on research, workers who exercise regularly skip an average of 2.11 days per year, compared to non-exercisers whose annual absences average 3.06 days. Just by these numbers alone, it is impossible to miss the big role that corporate wellness programs play. Employers are now expected to take solid steps in ensuring safe working environments, healthier workers and more efficient cost-reduction strategies.