Go the Extra Mile with Your Employee Wellness Program

Posted by Becky Squiers on Thu, Apr, 07, 2016
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Every company does wellness differently. And that’s the way it should be! Depending on your company culture, elements of your wellness program might look different than someone else’s.

You might have a different focus area. You might approach wellness with a different style. You’ll probably even have some differing wellness activities built into your program.

In all of the variability, the most important thing is that you actually are focusing on wellness. Too many employee wellness programs are stuck in their ways. They only address the bare minimum of health problems that occur at the workplace.

As you’re spring cleaning your life this year, don’t forget about your wellness program. Take a look at what you’re doing where you work. Has it become stagnant? Are you only covering the bare minimum? Are you using the basic wellness framework you’ve had all along?

If you answered yes, it might be time to take your wellness program to the next level. Go the extra mile! It might take just a little extra effort, but it’s so worth it to provide a program your employees will love.

Here are a few elements of wellness to consider as you gear up to go the extra mile.

Wellness Challenges

Challenges present a great opportunity to bring some friendly competition into the workplace. Many companies integrate challenges with portals or wearable devices, but they can be done without as well. It’s very common to use physical activity challenges like counting steps or miles walked. Consider thinking outside the box a bit and starting challenges that address hydration, nutrition or mindfulness.

Wellness Activities

Integrating specific, simple wellness activities into your program can be a great option. This will be an easy add-on if you already incentivize based on points. Be sure to include activities from all walks of wellness. As employees do certain activities, they’ll be eligible for points or rewards. Some great options for activities include:

  • Keep a food journal for five days this week.
  • Try a new form of exercise.
  • Try five new healthy recipes this month.
  • Attend one cultural or community event.
  • Read a book.
  • Attend your annual preventative dentist visit.

Be sure each activity is clear and specific so employees can easily self-report whether or not they’ve done it.

Wellness Education

Every piece of your wellness program should be accompanied by some form of education. To go above and beyond, consider strategically planning events that can serve as an opportunity to educate your employees about any area in which they might struggle.

For example, you might consider hosting a healthy lunch and learn with a local nutritionist as your guest speaker. You could also plan a group yoga class followed by a talk with a mental health specialist to discuss the importance of stress relief.  Take the time to take care of your employees by ensuring they know how to get the most of your wellness program.

Community Wellness Partnerships

Partnering with local community groups is a great idea on so many levels. First of all, it’s a simple way to give back and get your name out there. Second, it’s a great opportunity to incorporate nontraditional areas of wellness like social health and volunteering. Finally, it opens your program up to things you might’ve thought impossible. Working with the community makes things like gym memberships and community gardens a much more feasible possibility.

Crazy Wellness Perks

Some companies go more than one extra mile with wellness perks. Providing these types of “bells and whistles” in your wellness program is one way to make the program exciting and attractive to employees. If you do it right, though, it can also further employee engagement and enhance the healthy message you’re trying to get across. Be sure the perks you add are ones that help your employees take even more steps towards a healthy lifestyle.

Unfortunately, the extra mile can be a lonely road in any situation. There are few people willing to put in the extra time and effort it takes to garner even better results. Try to avoid falling into that population with your employee wellness program.

Avoid the stagnant, basic wellness events and activities of the past. We know it’ll be worth your time to take your wellness program to the next level.

How do you go the extra mile in employee wellness? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

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