This blog was written by Bethany Garrity. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
Investing time and other resources in an employee wellness program as part of your broader business strategy can certainly lower increasing health care costs. Active, healthy employees also have fewer hospital admissions and disability claims. Providing employees with a corporate fitness center, group exercise classes as well as health seminars to teach them how to choose better health motivates workers to take advantage of what is available. You may also find that you reap other unintended but positive outcomes like improved employee morale through increased networking opportunities between upper management and employees.
While a corporate wellness program is primarily voluntary, many will choose to do so if the cost is low or free and if their upper-level executives are motivating them to do so. And that’s the key: upper-level executive support.
Simply drafting an email about your newly branded, hot-off-the-press wellness program that’s designed with the employees in mind is not enough. It’s a good start, but that’s it―it’s only a starting point. You have to show support with your active participation in the healthy offerings at your organization. You have to actively cheerlead your organization to better health.
Hire a great team to develop and implement the strategy. But stay tuned in enough to communicate your support in a variety of ways. To help you better visualize the myriad ways you can support organizational well-being, check out our acronym:
- S = Stop hiding in your corner office; walk the talk.
- U = Understand that your employees need to see healthy behavior modeled.
- P = Put down your smartphone and interact with your employees at a health-related event.
- P = Pull on the gym shoes and hold a walking meeting.
- O = Open up about your results at your company’s screening events and then commit to your own plan for improving or maintaining your health.
- R = Remove barriers for your c-suite leaders by encouraging wellness-focused goals as part of their performance bonuses.
- T = Tune into what your employees need to be successful and then leverage your creative organizational leaders to create those opportunities through your wellness strategy.