4 Characteristics of a Successful Wellness Program

By: Dan Griffin, Sweatlife Fitness

Devoting resources to developing a healthy workplace can be a matter of dollars—and good sense. Here’s how to make it work for your business.

A favorite adage of mine is “Healthy Employees = Healthy Income.” Businesses that invest in a company wellness program have been shown to have a return on investment between $1.40 to $4.70; that means that for every dollar invested in the program, they receive a return of $1.40 to $4.70. Now that’s good business.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, businesses with a quality wellness program can also expect the following benefits:

  1. Lower health care and disability costs.
  2. Improved employee productivity.
  3. Reduced employee absenteeism.
  4. Decreased rates of illness and injury.
  5. Improved employee moral.
  6. Enhanced corporate image.
  7. Improved employee retention and recruitment.

Curious about starting a wellness program? Let’s first define the word “wellness.” Wellness is con- sidered to be an active process of becoming aware of and learning to make healthy choices that lead toward a longer and more successful existence. Wellness programs, therefore, are carefully crafted curriculums with the goal of leading participants (employees and business- es) to a longer and more successful existence. In other words, businesses can make more money!

Wellness programs can vary widely depending upon company size, location, industry and more. But when the most successful programs are ana- lyzed, there are a few key components that they all contain.

  • All or nothing. The most successful wellness programs operate from the top down; that means upper management is on board and actively participating.
  • Educate to motivate. They educate their employees about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle—including not smoking, managing stress, proper nutrition and physical activity.
  • Ongoing acknowledgement. They seek em- ployee input when developing their wellness program, and offer rewards to employees for reaching predetermined goals.
  • Practice what you preach. They find ways to integrate their wellness agenda into their everyday business protocol. For example, signs encouraging employees to use the stairs, weekly meetings at a local park or healthy foods in the break room are all signs a compa- ny is committed to its wellness program.

If you want a fun, healthy and productive work environment, do yourself a favor and get working on your wellness program. Your bottom (line) will thank you.



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