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Why Workplace Wellness Programs Are So Important

With huge shifts in trends across all industries since the global pandemic, many businesses are now incorporating wellness programs into their corporate culture as a way to not only increase employee productivity, but to decrease absenteeism, promise team-building, and improve employee morale. If you’re a business owner considering adding a wellness program to your company, here are some things to consider that might help you decide if a wellness program would be right for your business and employees.

Improving Employee Morale

One top reason workplace wellness programs are so important and becoming so popular is that they go a long way in helping improve employee morale. It’s easy to understand why this is the case. When an employer implements a program aimed at encouraging healthy behaviors, helping improve people’s health status, and making the worksite safer, employees feel more valued. That is, whether you’re a large employer or small company, when you make your employee’s health a priority, they notice and feel better about working for you.

A wellness program could be as simple as bringing in speakers to talk about preventive care, offer health information, promote smoking cessation, or teach classes on things like healthy cooking and exercise habits. Many employers allow program participants to play a big role in shaping their wellness program to suit their interests, adding up to higher employee utilization and better morale.

Reducing Absenteeism

Sick leave is expensive. Many employers have used all kinds of incentives over the years to combat the ongoing problem of employee absenteeism. Another reason a wellness program is important is that such programs are great for helping to improve overall workplace wellness and lower absenteeism. This is easy to understand as well.

Consider how far preventative care goes for helping most people stay on top of chronic conditions and preventing disease. Someone who attends appointments at a primary care practice regularly knows there’s a significant difference between having those annual check-ups and not. If you’re the type of employer who offers great health benefits and understands the value of primary care for employee health, you’ll likely understand how an employee wellness program can have the same impact on your workplace.

In short, when people take better care of themselves, they have less reason to miss work because they aren’t sick as often as they might be with less healthy habits. That, along with the increased morale, is just another reason a wellness program complete with group wellness activities could make a significant effect on lowering the rate of sick leave in your office.

Encouraging Team Building and Networking

One of the great things about wellness programs is that they can be designed and implemented in a number of ways. Many employers build wellness programs that include incentives through things like fitness challenges to promote healthy weight management and physical activity in employees. The added perk to a program like this is that these activities where employees team up and work as team members lead to stronger connections. If you’re an employer looking to lead a team or motivate them, a wellness program with physical activity challenges could be the way to go.

In the end, employees are responsible for their own health. However, research shows that wellness programs in the United States have helped with the overall wellness of employees in companies that offer these programs as part of their health benefits packages. From employees who live healthy lifestyles or are able to better make time for physical activity and healthy habits, to increased productivity, both large firms and small alike are seeing the benefits of incorporating wellness programs.

If you’re looking for a behavior change in your employees or want to promote a stronger team, implementing a wellness program for employees will be important to consider.