by: Stephanie Pichan
Wellness has been getting a lot of attention lately in the workplace, and for good reason. Employees spend a large majority of their time at work and, because of this, employers have a unique opportunity to be able to reach and make a positive health impact on their work community. This translates into a healthier workplace and a plethora of benefits such as happier employees, less absenteeism and presenteeism (meaning physically present, but not able to fully perform due to illness, depression, poor sleep, etc.), increased productivity, and the list goes on.
There are many reasons to offer wellness as a benefit, but I want you to take a moment to think about your own workplace. If you haven’t thought about offering a wellness program, then imagine that you will be offering wellness. Whether or not you are implementing a wellness program, take a moment to reflect on and answer the question below:
Why do you want to offer wellness to your employees?
(If you are the employee you can still participate, just ask this instead,
“Why should my workplace offer wellness?”)
It’s always important to understand the “why” behind what you do, whether it be personal or work related. Asking “why” when it comes to implementing a wellness program helps you to determine your mission, vision, goals, motivation, and other components that will ultimately drive the direction of the program. Everything usually goes back to the why…
Here are some whys…
- Happy and healthy employees.
Healthy employees feel better, work better, have a more positive attitude, and are happier overall. This not only impacts the environment in the workplace, but employees will also likely take these healthier habits home to encourage family members.
- Opportunity to make a positive impact.
We all have the power to make an impact and influence others in some way. This is a way to not only impact the quality of life for your employee, but their families too.
- Reinvent your culture.
Starting a new wellness program gives you the opportunity to reinvent your culture. You can build a culture around healthy choices, positivity, teamwork, camaraderie, etc.
- Increased productivity.
This includes better work output, less absenteeism, less presenteeism, better engagement, better focus, etc.
- Stay up to speed with benefit offerings.
Did you know that over 75% of workplaces offer wellness programs? They’re doing it for a reason and it’s good to stay competitive with your current benefit offerings. Show your employees you are invested in them.
- Reduction in claims.
A lot of people immediately think of reduction in health claims when they think of implementing a wellness program, especially self-funded groups. While this is true and should be one of the goals of a wellness program, seeing a reduction in claims may realistically take three years. However, not seeing a reduction in claims doesn’t mean there aren’t any positive changes happening.
- Wellness dollars need to be spent.
Some insurance companies offer wellness dollars that can be spent towards implementing a program in your workplace. You should take advantage of these, but also know the “why” so the dollars will be spent effectively.
- Attract and retain top talent.
Your employees are your most important asset and their well-being may very well determine your success. Employees and potential employees want to know you are invested in them and genuinely care about their quality of life. By showing your employees you are invested you’ll earn their loyalty in return and when they are at their peak health they’ll perform better.
- Interest in the health of your community.
Your employees may not always be your employees, but they will most likely contribute to your community as a whole for a long time. The strength of your community will ultimately affect your business. Someone else’s employees may become your employees one day; so set an example and let’s all work together to create a network of healthier people.
Once you have those “whys” in place, planning the perfect wellness model for your workplace will be much easier!
Interested in exploring wellness for your workplace? Contact Stephanie: firstname.lastname@example.org
LOCAL.FRIENDLY.INSURANCE www.WhitakerLaChance.com (269) 324-7700
About the author:
Stephanie Pichan is the Health and Wellness Coordinator at Whitaker LaChance Agency in Portage, Michigan. She’s a graduate of the Community Health Education program at Western Michigan University where she worked on an innovative team for 10 years developing health technology behavior-change interventions. She has a specific interest in the area of holistic health and believes in the healing power of food and its role in disease prevention. Although she strives to get at least 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, she believes it’s important to indulge from time to time; ice cream is usually the winner. Whether through work, volunteering, or every day connections, she’s passionate about helping others live their best life possible. Stephanie is developing the health and wellness area at Whitaker LaChance and using her creativity to contribute to the vision of the marketing team. She’s excited to be an integral part of helping the agency grow and expand.