Corporate Wellness Programs
Corporate wellness has gone far beyond the health and safety concerns of decades past. The
stress of working long hours, balancing family commitments and existing health problems are
adding up to a crisis for employers and their workforce.
Executives and managers all over the country are beginning to see the powerful link between
employee healthfulness and their bottom line. Unhealthy employees can cost corporations
thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in lost productivity. Many corporations are
developing business wellness programs on-site, online, and within the management of their
Firms are becoming involved in disease prevention as a way to lower their health care costs
and increase productivity and improve the bottom line. But they also offer these benefits
as a way to compensate for the rigors of life in a stressful business.
An astonishing 80% of employers have some type of health program, a trend that has gained
strength over the past several years and continues to expand. Employers are offering a wide
variety of options including health fairs, health screenings, immunizations, complementary
alternative medicine, educational workshops, coaching, and safety programs.
Some corporations are taking more active roles and starting company or departmental sports
teams, workday walking programs, cooking classes, massage therapists on-site, yoga sessions,
stress management classes, or stress-free areas at work.
Communication about wellness is at a new intensity as well. Whether it is a newsletter
strictly dedicated to wellness or a dedicated area on an intranet site, more corporations
are promoting wellness. They know that the more times employees see and understand the value
of improving their health and understand what programs are being offered to them, the more
employees will begin to take advantage of these programs.
In addition to keeping employees healthy, some employers are finding that health and wellness
programs at work can be a selling point when hiring employees. Recruits are searching for organizations
that make health and wellness a priority. Also, employee wellness can add value to the total
To begin a wellness program at work, form a wellness committee representing all levels of
employees from the lowest to highest ranks, and include your insurer. The committee should set
goals and determine what the wellness return on investment (ROI) can be and what the company's
investment will be. Next, set goals and begin to engage the employees in subjects that concern
them deeply, such as losing weight or smoking cessation.
You will need to determine whom you will contact, and how to communicate what your program
offers. Another consideration is where the program will be conducted if there's not enough
space in your existing facilities. Your fitness instructors and health educators are extremely
important to the program's success because they are the ones who provide classes, workshops and
coaching for the employees.
The most important beginning aspect is the Health Risk Assessment (HRA) for each employee. It's
important to have a health coach immediately available when the employee is receiving his or her
Beginning a corporate wellness program will bring long-term benefits to your organization through
an increase in employee moral, employee productivity, and ultimately a decrease in health care costs.
Business Wellness Programs