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Wellness Company: Why Every Company Must Become One Now

As the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact continues to linger, it has driven companies to embrace a new approach to working, evolving into what we now recognize as Wellness Companies. The turbulence affected everyone, from employees to executives and senior management alike.

Wellness Company: Why Every Company Must Become One Now

Regrettably, it took a global health crisis for companies to acknowledge the significant financial, psychological, and emotional pressures faced by their workforce. During this period, it became evident that merely providing healthcare benefits was insufficient.

What the workforce truly needed was the concept of a Wellness Company committed to helping them cope with, manage, and overcome everyday stressors and feelings of uncertainty.

Businesses should strive to transform into employee-centric Wellness Companies.

The following sections will delve into the reasons why businesses should aim to become employee-centric wellness companies and provide strategies for achieving this transformation in the current socio-economic landscape.

What Is A Wellness Company?

A wellness company operates with both internal and external ethical responsibility and authenticity. Embracing wellness means prioritizing not just the interests of your employees but also the broader society.

To truly embody a wellness company, businesses need to adopt a stance of empathy and compassion through:

  • marketing efforts
  • company values
  • brand image

People desire companies to genuinely uphold their wellness principles rather than merely reflecting them in their products and services. For wellness companies to thrive, they must realign their goals and objectives to include everyone, from stakeholders and employees to customers and communities.

In 2014, the drugstore giant CVS removed tobacco products from its shelves because selling them conflicted with their healthcare mission, resulting in $2 billion in annual lost sales.

While not every company is expected to make such significant moves, this example illustrates the need for introspection regarding their claims and purpose. Ultimately, this realignment can positively influence business efforts, fostering trust and loyalty within the workforce and the community over the long term.

RELATED: 5 Ways Wellness Programs for Banks and Credit Unions Yield Prosperous Returns

Why Do Companies Offer Wellness Programs?

Companies are increasingly turning to wellness programs to improve productivity, employee turnover, and the health of their employees. Healthcare is not regarded as a perk in a wellness company but a benefit.

Is A Wellness Company

Here’s why most companies want to be a wellness company and are offering wellness programs as part of their employment packages:

  • Increased retention and positive employee recruitment: Given how companies are vying for top talent in the industry, offering a wellness program can encourage applicants to pick a wellness company over another with zero benefits.
  • Improved health and behavioral aspects: Employees’ active participation can result in areas of improvement from health, to lifestyle, to behavior, to performance on the job. Happy, healthy employees tend to feel more driven and passionate about their jobs when they’re taken care of by the companies they work for.
  • Reduced healthcare costs: By utilizing wellness activities, policies, and initiatives, employees are less likely to take sick leave and claim expensive healthcare costs. This can significantly improve a company’s bottom line where exorbitant healthcare costs are a major concern.
  • Increased productivity and performance: Without these two key factors, companies are left to tackle incidents related to sub-par work and delayed results that could eventually hurt a business. Healthy employees tend to be more productive and better at what they do when a wellness program helps them curb health risks and poor behaviors.
  • Lowered absenteeism and presenteeism: Absenteeism and presenteeism can leave a dent in a business’s costs when employees aren’t available in full capacity or feeling well enough to work optimally. Companies can outline personalized, monitored plans for employees through tailored wellness programs that can considerably decrease absenteeism and presenteeism.

RELATED: Why Lower Health Care Costs is One of the Benefits of Wellness in 2024

What Does Wellness Mean for Companies Today?

In today’s world, wellness is a critical subject that requires careful consideration and a deep understanding of people’s needs. Wellness companies are now focusing on the well-being of their workforce, recognizing that supporting their needs can positively impact the company’s progress and overall corporate success.

A wellness company addresses all aspects of the wellness spectrum, which includes:

  • crafting initiatives
  • policies
  • programs

These elements are designed with the primary goal of improving employee health (mental, physical, and emotional) and promoting positive workplace behaviors.

To effectively provide a wellness program, companies rely on actionable data such as:

  • health assessments
  • pharmacy records
  • past and ongoing healthcare claims
  • medical histories

With this data, a well-established wellness company develops tailored programs that cater to employees on an individual rather than a collective level.

RELATED: 7 Simple Strategies to Integrate Health and Wellness Programs in the Workplace

How to Establish and Design a Wellness Program

To create and implement a wellness program, companies must be ready to invest significant effort. Although this process doesn’t occur overnight, a wellness company should be prepared to spend weeks or even months developing a robust wellness plan, either with an in-house wellness committee or a third-party wellness partner like WellSteps.

Here’s a brief overview of how to establish and design a wellness program:

Step 1

Before a wellness program can go into effect, employers must first plan how much of their resources and funds will be directed towards implementing and developing initiatives and policies. A strong proposal should be crafted and extended when the time for management approval comes.

The following parameters should be considered when drafting a wellness company budget:

  1. While conducting an initial survey, it’s crucial to inquire if employees are willing to pay a one-time or regular fee to be part of a wellness program. Some employees may expect this to be an add-on in existing healthcare plans, which is something to take into consideration as feasible or not.
  1. Gather and collate supporting material from clinical studies by universities and hospitals with insightful information and statistics on the effectiveness and impact of wellness programs.
  1. Inquire with partnered healthcare agencies if they have a wellness component that can be added to existing plans. Premium plans may sometimes include this as an additional benefit, which can help save costs on investing in an independent wellness program.
  1. Incorporate alternative plans where costs can be curbed through volunteer-led wellness activities.

RELATED: 8 Workplace Health Promotion Program Examples That Work

Step 2

Conduct private assessments through a survey, one-on-one meeting, or questionnaire with employees to factor in health-related risks (biometric screenings or past medical history) and pain points related to work-related stress, discomfort, or tensions.

management support for employees wellness

Step 3

As with any wellness program that has to go into effect, management support is essential. Employers have to provide relevant data and a viable budget that gives the management a clear picture of how the wellness programs will benefit and support future objectives and goals.

  • “How will the program add value to the organization’s marketing and promotion endeavors?”
  • “What are the short- and long-term financial benefits of having a wellness program in place?”

These questions should be addressed through an employer’s extensive research on the effectiveness and purpose of the wellness programs.

RELATED: How Effective Wellness Programs do Wellness Incentive Management in 2024

Step 4

A wellness company will need to create a dedicated wellness committee to oversee and manage all aspects of the wellness program. They will be expected to promote and sustain a wellness environment for employees, whether in person or remotely.

Committee members will also be expected to handle the following responsibilities:

  • Actively assessing employees’ needs on an individual level
  • Evaluating and updating existing programs, well-being activities, and policies
  • Monitoring, analyzing, and keeping a record of ongoing health and well-being activities
  • Crafting a health promotion plan that takes a business’s objectives, goals, and vision statement into account
  • Maintaining a platform of regularly updated information on the progress of all employees within a wellness program

RELATED: How a Worksite Wellness Committee Helps Programs

Step 5

Once the wellness program is underway, the wellness committee then needs to create the vital components. To do this, employers have to zero in on common and pressing concerns by scrutinizing employees’ data.

All of these components should be included in a wellness program.

  • sleep management
  • alcohol reduction
  • smoking cessation
  • nutrition education
  • weight management
  • mental health
  • stress-reducing initiatives
components of a wellness program

Step 6

A wellness program’s efforts are futile if employees don’t see the benefits of following an initiative. To counter this, providing incentives or rewards will encourage employees to participate in and benefit from a program. As great motivators, these two essential factors can be exchanged for gifts, monetary perks, or days off.

A wellness program’s efforts are futile if employees don’t see the benefits of following an initiative.

A prime example of incentivized programs can be seen in the efforts of Japanese marketing company Pilia Inc. The management made a move to give non-smoker employees an extra 6 days off in a year as compensation for the time coworkers spent taking smoke breaks. The reward encourages employees to either kick the habit or lose out on valuable day-offs in a country that doesn’t largely support work-life balance.

Step 7

Once the wellness program is ready to launch, a major promotional activity is then planned for the big reveal. Through social media and in-office communication, employees should feel the weight of this momentous moment. The management’s participation and endorsement will push the wellness program into the limelight through speeches, interviews, marketing campaigns, presentations, and the like.

Step 8

The wellness committee will need to measure outcomes as the wellness program picks up momentum and advances. By actively keeping track of employee progress and participation, the committee can address and update measures and policies to keep employees’ interests and needs in focus.

What Do Employees Want In A Wellness Company Program?

Employees want a wellness program that can cater to their physical, emotional, and mental needs in a way that benefits their overall health and well-being. While some companies may think this service is easy to provide, it can be challenging to formulate a program that meets individual employee expectations to a tee.

As a wellness company, extending a wholesome wellness program that is accessible, transparent, and uncomplicated is vital.

As a wellness company, extending a wholesome wellness program that is accessible, transparent, and uncomplicated is vital. These are some of the things that employees expect from a wellness company:

  1. To promote and maintain a compassionate work culture: Research supports that leaders should cultivate an environment of compassion and vulnerability to strengthen trust and positivity with employees. When you show employees that it’s okay to express and be yourself, you’re humanizing processes and encouraging them to come forward openly and honestly about work-related concerns.
  1. To amp up healthcare with a solid wellness program: Today, employees are more concerned with coping during uncertain times and shifting work landscapes. Having healthcare benefits in place isn’t enough without factoring in wellness.
solid wellness program to compliment healthcare

Wellness companies need to provide a strong wellness program with benefits, promotional activities, and access to the right resources on where and how employees can seek help. Employees are more likely to participate and derive results from a well-constructed wellness program.

  1. Motivational merchandise: Company merchandise such as office supplies and clothing lets employees know they appreciate their efforts as part of a wellness program. When companies promote a program with the sole intention of seeing employees win at life, they nurture a mutual platform where everyone roots for one another. To be included, wanted, and cared for can significantly influence employees with positive thoughts and feelings.

For more ideas, take a look at health and well-being activities that will boost employee morale, health, and participation in the workplace.

RELATED: 16 Health and Well-Being Ideas, Activities, and Initiatives for any Budget

Well Being Activities To Include In A Wellness Company Program

No wellness program is complete without a slew of engaging, fun, and collaborative sessions from which to choose. The following wellness company activities will encourage employees to participate actively and reap the benefits of a session long after they’re done.

Wellness Wednesdays

Every Wednesday, pick an exciting topic to cover that is educational and enlightening. Hype up the purpose of Wellness Wednesdays in the days leading up to it to get people pumped. Check out these examples of how to promote this day:

  • Screening wellness-centric documentaries such as Fast Food Nation, A Place At The Table, Wasted! The Story of Food Waste, and My Year of Living Mindfully.
  • Arrange for a weekly potluck where employees team up and prepare nutritious meals from scratch.
  • Schedule off-site cooking classes with a nutrition-focused chef who makes it fun to put together easily available, healthy produce.
  • Host group walkathons where those who complete the most steps within an hour win discounted restaurant coupons or free event tickets.

Fitness Sessions

Conducting fitness sessions is a great way to get employees to step away from their stations. Get a professional instructor to come on board for a day. There are many ways to engage employees through fitness sessions, from Zumba to Pilates to martial arts to boxing.

Creative Sessions

Well-being activities that allow us to be creative can tap into the parts of our brain that experience creative blocks. Here are a few ways to do that through creative sessions:

  • Hand out adult coloring books and encourage employees to share completed works on social media or company wellness groups.
  • Ask employees to write down the one most creative thing they wish they could learn and surprise them with free online courses to get started.
  • Get employees to make time for reading by creating a book club that meets for monthly sessions.

Mindfulness And Meditation Sessions

Eating, breathing, and conducting oneself mindfully can put so much into perspective. When we practice a life of being conscious of our actions and words, we can process things better.

Meditation is a powerful practice that employees can easily make time for every day, even if for a few minutes. Through daily affirmations and controlled breathing, employees will be better equipped to handle stressful scenarios (one of many benefits of meditating regularly). The best way to engage employees is to hold meditation sessions during work hours.

RELATED: 10 Tips to Implement Mindfulness in the Workplace

Outdoor Meetings

What better way to connect with others and ourselves than away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Collaborative spaces are not restricted anymore to the four walls of a traditional conference room. 

Many places are waiting to be explored, from parks and rooftop gardens to beachfront resorts and mountaintop retreats. Companies will greatly benefit from the change of scene and fresh air by conducting meetings and conferences away from the office.

outdoor meetings for employees

Well-Being Challenges

One of the best ways to get results from a wellness program is to set well-being challenges for employees to accomplish. Reward winners with incentives or gifts that make them look forward to smashing their fitness and wellness goals. The following fun challenges will give you an idea:

  • Challenge employees to cover at least 10,000 steps a day and win free movie tickets, food coupons, or gift vouchers.
  • Track employees’ health progress and reward them for accomplishing time-bound goals by throwing a company-led celebration every quarter or six months.
  • Create a buddy system where employees can help others with challenges at work. The more employees someone becomes of service to successfully, the more points they receive before finally winning an award.

RELATED: 50 Office Challenge Ideas Including Office Fitness Challenges

To Conclude on why Everyone Must Become a Wellness Company

There’s plenty of work involved when planning and executing an employee-centric wellness program before it is ready to take flight. Fortunately, a wellness company can easily modify or create a complete health and well-being program using the right resources, strategies, and intentions. 

It’s great to see that those who champion being wellness companies are a great source of inspiration to others. To get started, schedule a free demo with the WellSteps team and discover how becoming a Wellness Company will benefit everyone.