The holidays are a time for indulgence, but once they’re over many people resolve to cut back on sweets and fatty foods, reach for the fruits and veggies and spend more time at the gym. With the New Year upon us, it’s the perfect time to take a look at what your workplace provides by way of health and wellness initiatives.
“Employers are realizing that wellness initiatives represent a solid business strategy with myriad benefits,” says Tom Mason, President of the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota, in the Small Business Trends article “Employers Say Wellness Programs Work” by Rieva Lesonsky.
The article points to a study conducted by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota called “The State of Workplace Wellness in America.” According to the study:
Business leaders nationwide and in six states were polled to find out what they thought of workplace wellness programs and what challenges they faced in implementing them. Three-fourths of respondents said community-based networks of business leaders would be useful resources to learn about workplace wellness initiatives and share information and ideas.
The article cites that some of the benefits of these programs include lower healthcare costs and reduced workers’ comp claims, boosts in productivity, lower absenteeism rates and the overall enjoyment employees experience from living healthier lives. More than half of employers in the survey already had workplace wellness programs in place, and the majority (92 percent) stated that improving employee health was their most important goal, followed by reducing healthcare costs, according to Lesonsky’s article.
If your company has yet to establish a wellness program for its employees, now is the time to do so, and Lesonsky outlines some steps in her article that you can take to make implementation a little easier:
1. Lead the Way – Model positive habits yourself instead of taking the “Do as I say, not as I do” approach.
2. Designate a Leader – Put someone in charge of the wellness plan and give them a budget and time frame to work with.
3. Make it Relevant – Ensure your new initiative is tailored to your company’s culture and your employees’ needs.
4. Involve your Insurance Company – Check and see if your carrier offers corporate wellness plans or reduced rates on classes or gym memberships – or have someone come out and talk to your staff about healthy lifestyle options.
The ways in which you can create a healthier environment at your company are nearly endless, and all it takes is a few steps to get your employees engaged in their own wellness and moving toward a lifetime of health and happiness. Why not make your workplace wellness initiation your new year’s resolution?