If your company is considering implementing a wellness program—or your current program could use a “facelift,” flexibility is key to implementing and maintaining a successful wellness program.
Elements of a Successful Wellness Program
A successful wellness program is defined and measured by each organisation’s unique needs and employee population. It begins with understanding the demographic makeup, baseline health status, and overall health and wellness education of your employees. When creating wellness programs for your employees, it’s crucial to understand their living condition, access to care, income level, etc. Understanding your employee population is the first step to creating a successful, targeted program.
The Value of “Total Wellness”
When building a wellness program, there are a number of activities that can be embedded in the program including:
- Physical fitness activities.
- Weight-loss competitions.
- Tobacco-cessation programs.
- Health screenings.
- On-site health fairs, and more.
While a focus on fitness and nutrition are vital to improving employees’ health from an individual and overall population standpoint, we’ve seen our clients begin to shift their focus to providing resources and programs that support total wellness—body, mind, and spirit.
The Importance of Education and Proactive Communication
For many organizations, two important aspects of a successful wellness program are education and communication. Being involved in the implementation of wellness programs for many businesses, I have learned that addressing social determinants of health is important for improving health and reducing health disparities. Studies propose that the main drivers behind poor health behaviors—smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise—are social and economic factors. Both can significantly shape an individuals’ health behaviors. The best way to change this is through education.
In my experience of partnering with many different organizations, sometimes employees simply don’t realize that they have access to resources to help them better manage their health and reduce chronic illnesses through their healthcare plan. By reaching out to those individuals and providing individualized resources to address their specific needs, we’re able to see stellar results.
According to a study conducted by UCLA, there’s “a clear link between improvement in physical health and improvements in mental health, quality of life, stress, and energy.” Giving employees access to resources that help them focus on reducing stress, anxiety, and depression can positively impact their overall health and productivity in the workplace.
A great way to support mental wellness in your workforce is to leverage technology. Virtual counsellors, employee assistance programs, apps that offer yoga and meditation sessions, and even sending positive and motivational messages to employees via email or push notifications are great ways to leverage technology to support total wellness.
Flexibility is key
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we all have to be flexible—both in our personal lives and in business. When shelter-at-home orders began, there were many organisations that had to quickly pivot from a largely on-premise workforce to one that was remote. We had to quickly adapt to conducting business virtually, and for many organizations, this included finding ways to virtually educate and motivate employees to make healthy choices.
In order to develop and maintain a wellness program that can stand the test of time, it’s important to build in flexibility so you can meet the needs of your entire workforce—if it is remote, dispersed nationally, or if it is demographically diverse.
When it comes to creating or sustaining successful wellness programs, it’s all about doing what is right for the employer and their employees. Working with your clients to build robust, customised wellness plans that help them not only cut down on health care costs, but also help their employees lead happier, healthier, and more productive lives is a huge source of pride for our team. By taking the steps to educate employees and provide them with resources that demonstrate how small changes can make a big impact, we’ve seen sweeping changes to overall employee population health.
Implementing and maintaining a successful wellness program can be a daunting task, and many business owners simply don’t have the time or resources to develop the right program and make it successful.
If you want to launch a wellness program or evaluate your existing one, Sanga Wellesss can help.
Click here to request a consultation and experience how a customised wellness program can positively impact your workforce for years to come.