Wellness Programs at Work

A well-planned business, with an activity that is demanded in the market, can turn into a failure if the workforce does not reach the necessary productivity. As an entrepreneur, the motivation of your employees should always be one of your priorities. With this article, you will know what a wellness program at work is, why you need one, how to implement it, keys to success and more.

What is a Wellness Program?

Worksite wellness is achieved by adopting a set of measures, promoted by the company itself, to improve the quality of life of its employees. Unlike other types of incentives that seek to stimulate the performance of workers, those that refer to corporate welfare have a much broader vision. Their objective is not only to improve the working conditions, but also to increase the satisfaction of workers and their family and personal environment. Ambitious, isn’t it? Well, after you know the advantages it has for all the members of the company and your income statement, you won’t want to resist developing your own wellness program at work.

The Why – Health and Wellness in the Workplace

Because it Improves Quality of Life

Quality of life is a state of general satisfaction, composed of subjective elements and individual objectives.

It is the humanized work environment where, maintaining organizational interests, the quality of life is improved through an increase in productivity and efficiency of each worker, thanks to listening to their needs and demands.

When the employee understands the goals of the organization and perceives that it counts for it, that they are offered safe and healthy conditions, that motivate them to participate and that give them opportunities to grow professionally and personally, they end up getting a better performance.

Because it improves Productivity

When a worker is healthy, satisfied and has the know-how and knowledge to do his job better, he is more productive.

When the job is stimulating and entertaining, when there is a rotation of jobs and is involved in various areas, productivity increases.

When the environment is well lit, there is a pleasant temperature, it is clean, the personal situations of each individual are taken care of and the employee feels comfortable, productivity is positively affected.

For this reason, the company can consider itself responsible for the employee’s productivity, even if only partially. It must take care of productivity through the Workplace Wellness Program.

Because it improves Subjective Well-Being

Subjective well-being is the extent to which a person feels comfortable with the life they lead.

It is very important to make your workers feel comfortable and fulfilled in their jobs, as this will lead to loyalty to the organization and reduce job rotation.

Having a greater subjective well-being translates into positive evaluations of work to their family and other social circles, which will reinforce the feeling of belonging to the job.

Because it improves Motivation and Satisfaction

Motivation is what drives us to act. In the work environment it refers to the energy and effort that the employee is willing to put into their work.

In this sense, the employee must obtain a satisfaction of his efforts, that is to say, to develop a sensation of well-being derived from the fulfillment of his expectations and necessities.

In the workplace wellness program, it would be necessary to develop a work motivation plan that encourages them to feel committed to work, signing a psychological contract.

Because it improves the Motivation and Sense of Belonging

If the company wants the worker to feel as his own corporate actions, they must break with the traditional schemes and make them participants in all business activity.

In order to achieve motivation through a sense of belonging, actions such as the following should be included in the Workforce Welfare Program:

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  • Give them the necessary tools to carry out their daily tasks, growing personally and professionally.
  • Know your personal aspects, listening to you as a person who has ideas and can bring improvements to the company.
  • Demonstrates that he is not an external element to the company, his actions are part of a system that needs him and that grows with him in it.


How to implement a workplace wellness program?

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]An occupational welfare plan works in three dimensions: the professional development of the worker, the staff and the family.

What activities are typically carried out in an employee wellness program?

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  • Work-life balance programs. From improving flexibility to implementing teleworking, continuous working days, extra days off for work-life balance reasons, etc.
  • Training and career programs. Permanent training actions for workers, implementation of internal promotion plans, etc.
  • Assistance programs. From work day-care centers to co-payments of medical insurance, aid for people in a situation of dependency under the responsibility of the worker’s family, psychological assistance, etc.
  • Educational programs. Including everything from co-payments for schools, to the possibility of paying university tuition, postgraduate courses, etc.
  • Legal support programs. Legal services available to workers and their families.
  • Financial programs. Facilities to receive future remunerations in advance, preferential loans, aid for the purchase of a home or in exceptional life situations, etc.
  • Leisure programs. Holiday facilities such as discounts for hotels, company apartments in summer resorts, points programs for pleasure flights, etc. These leisure programs could also include ” afterwork ” events and activities that work the integration of the teams, but also the relationship between families: company celebrations, leisure activities such as excursions, trips, sports activities, etc.


5 Tips for Developing a Workplace Wellness Program

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  • It is necessary to have made before approval a design based on issues that the staff likes and motivates. Therefore, as a starting point we must measure the satisfaction of the staff and, from there, through social research techniques, specify what measures can motivate workers more. Many wellness programs fail because employees do not participate in the activities. Thus, it is a good idea that, in addition to this reflection and previous analysis, they are built by the hand of the company’s staff.
  • The labor welfare plan should count as one more intra-corporate project:
    • It must have a design that explains planned actions and activities with a schedule.
    • It has to contemplate a specific budget.
    • It must be communicated to the workers, who must know it in depth.
  • If we want it to be an efficient program and guarantee its continuity, it will have to be evaluated continuously. Thus, through satisfaction surveys, work climate analysis and other indicators of commitment, belonging and performance, we will periodically analyze the impact of the program.
  • In addition, it is often interesting to communicate externally for reasons of corporate reputation. These programs improve the image of the company and act as talent recruiters in an era in which workers not only move for economic reasons but also for promotion possibilities and career and well-being at work mainly.


Keys to Establishing a Workplace Wellness Program

To plan your program, follow the following tips and advice, adapting them according to your company and industry:

Check your competition

It’s likely the competition is looking for the same kind of talent your company needs. So, before designing your strategy, consider reviewing the strategy of other businesses. By being in contact with several organizations during the search for a new job, employees are clear about the type of offer that exists in the sector. Does your organization know this?

As Decusoft, a company that designs software for benefit programs, points out, if you don’t know the wellness offer in the industry for your potential employees, you won’t know how to design a program that stands out. Sources like LinkedIn are reliable for that research.

Build achievable goals

There’s no point in being aspirational if you have to rethink your wellness plan in just a few months. While improvements are always welcome, a bad goal setting can lead to much more than a few changes, even a complete dismissal of a strategy.

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]Even if for your company the program does not achieve the desired objectives and is therefore disposable, in the eyes of your employees it can be an attractive strategy that they will regret losing. So set achievable goals of motivation, attraction and retention.

Define who is part of the workplace wellness program

Depending on the size of your business and the number of positions you hold, it is important to define who will be part of which welfare plan. You can’t create a single plan for hundreds of people with different needs, opportunities and positions.

To do this, define the following five questions that SHRM proposes:

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  • Position (sales, production, etc.)
  • Level of post (administrative, operational, etc.)
  • Time in the company
  • The objective of the welfare plan
  • What type of benefits you want to implement


What is the priority of your employees?

The best way to design a wellness plan is to know the needs of your workforce. Your workers may need more flexible schedules or the creation of more comfortable physical spaces in the office, totally different topics that require different efforts and budgets.

The needs can vary, so it’s important to know what to invest in: don’t assume anything, ask questions and know what you need to improve. Conduct employee surveys or talk to area leaders who are clear on these issues.

Communication and Follow-Up

As the Society for Human Resource Management points out, those responsible for creating a welfare plan must have the ability to explain its benefits at all levels of the company. From the heads of the business to the employees who will be covered by the strategy.

This ranges from explaining costs to defining goals that everyone considers reasonable. If you fail to communicate the workplace wellness program, you will have a workforce that you can consider useless and will be affected by just participating in it. Before implementing your strategy, make sure you have feedback from various sectors of the organization.

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  • The basic communication strategies to follow are:
  • Ask what benefits have worked in the past and which could be improved.
  • Explain to your employees the wellness plan and what level of commitment is needed from the workforce to make it work.
  • Frequently monitor the level of satisfaction.
  • When an employee leaves the organization voluntarily, ask if any part of the wellness plan drove that decision.
  • Keep company heads informed about strategy development.


Are you complying with the law?

What appears to be a convenience for employees could become a requirement of the law that you cannot break. Throughout the process of creating your plan, stay informed about the national regulations on the subject, correctly including all the benefits you have considered for your workforce.

Advantages of Establishing a Workplace Wellness Program

Productivity Improvement

By combining work and wellness, with comfortable employees in the organization, they have to be more productive by the feeling of commitment to the company.

Improves Company Perception

Satisfied employees will speak well of the company. They will become your strongest brand ambassadors.

In addition, organizations’ efforts to improve these employee aspects are recognized by society at events such as the Healthy Business Awards.

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]Are you ready to implement your wellness program at work? Here are some examples

7 companies with incredible wellness programs

1. Fitbit

In addition to having its own internal corporate wellness program, this company also leverages its level of influence to help other companies create their own initiatives and manage their programs. “We work with our clients to build a solution that meets their needs,” said Amy McDonough, general manager of Fitbit Wellness.

2. Houston Methodist

As a Houston Methodist medical center it knows the importance of maintaining the health of its patients and collaborators, so last year it met with FitBit to create step-by-step challenges and provide its workers with counting devices. In addition to this important partnership, the center’s employees can access biometric tests in order to customize their wellness programs and tailor them to the specific needs of their body.

3. Google

How could the technology giant be left out of the conversation when we talk about incredible wellness programs? Its Mountain View campus features slides, ping pong tables and LEGO stations and many more fun wellness activities. Employees can shower, swim and even receive massages at the facility. Wellness program for googlers.

4. Motley Fool

Free spinning classes, bootcamps, massages and other benefits for your health and physical activity make Motley Fool an incredible place to work.

One of the keys to achieve this is to make the welfare systems work in favor of the integration of workers both within their work team and inter-department.

5. Earth Friendly Products

As an environmentally friendly company, Earth Friendly Products has striven to deepen its commitment to social responsibility by integrating health programs and caring for the well-being of its employees, who have access to the facility’s organic garden to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

7. Draper, Inc.

Considered the healthiest workplace in the United States by Healthiest Employers LLC, this Indiana-based company prides itself on its wellness programs, which led them to open their own park in 2008 with training stations, tennis and volleyball courts, and the publication of its “Wellness Superheroes” newsletter. More info at Drapper Wellness.

And why all fo this is important? Check this infographic by gibsonhollyhomes.co.uk

Infographic by gibsonhollyhomes.co.uk

Finally, it should be noted that an occupational wellness program should be seen as an investment by the company. There are many benefits in terms of productivity, talent retention and attraction, improved work climate, motivation, commitment or even corporate reputation. It can be part of a larger corporate social responsibility program, and can also help minimize absenteeism by working on “healthy business” programs, among others. If you are interested in the subject, you can expand it in this link or this one, where the subject of healthy working environments, by the World Health Organization, is dealt with in depth.