Best practices for promoting employee wellness programs

You can't understate the importance employee wellness has cultivated in recent years. Workers want to feel like their organizations are committed to them beyond measuring their productivity and contributions to the bottom line. They want a tangible connection between themselves and the company, and part of that is knowing that the organization cares about their well-being. 

HR must run point on this issue and brainstorm strategies for initiatives that are mindful of the health and satisfaction of their workers. These can take many forms, and each company will end up with a different variation on this theme, but the central mission remains the same.

Let's take a look at what wellness programs can provide employees and employers as well as processes for adopting and examining how human capital management software can encourage the smooth operation of your new program.

Just the facts

If you ask you employees what stands in the way of wellness, the really honest ones will tell you that life in the office certainly doesn't help. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, of the 45 percent of workers who believe they've gained weight at their current jobs, plenty of them attribute their weight gain to their work environment: sedentary work at a desk (53 percent), no free time to exercise in the morning or after work (34 percent) and the temptation of the dreaded candy basket at reception (21 percent).

What can you do to change the script and make your office a beacon of health and happiness?

1. Experiment with fitness program possibilities

There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to creating a wellness program. You can focus mostly on fitness, health or a combination of the two. You can't force employees to exercise or eat better, nor should you. Any sense that a lack of wellness is punitive will damage employee morale and make them disinclined to even give it a try. It might be prudent to start with something as simple as healthier snack offerings.

On-site fitness classes or workout facilities, other popular wellness benefits, won't be feasible for every business, but your organization can try to partner with a gym nearby and ask for discounted rates for employees who join, then offer incentives such as extra time off or gift cards to those who remain active members for a certain period of time.

2. Reward smart eating

How many of your employees mindlessly munch on junk food throughout the day? While these sorts of treats are fine on occasion, employers should consider what sort of message they send when they make such foods the only things available to their workers.

Moreover, they should also think about how productive their will employees will be after a boost from well-rounded meal instead of a sugar high. Coffee and gummy bears does not a healthy employee make. So bring wellness right into the workplace by creating in-office contests centered around who chooses your health food alternatives over more not-so-nutritious lunch options.

3. Think creatively about wellness

Go a step further by taking eating pressures off employees: Change up the spread at office gatherings and restrict the kinds of snacks people bring from home to share. Nobody should feel like they have to eat unhealthy foods to fit in or be nice to a co-worker with Betty Crocker complex.

Also, remember that wellness takes many forms. It's not always related to health and fitness, but it is nonetheless important. What about financial wellness or a record of positive client feedback that's emblematic of a pleasant demeanor? Confer with HR heads and representatives of other departments to devise such wellness initiatives that are sensible for the entire workforce.

Accountability through HCM tracking

How do you know your wellness initiatives are working? By using an HCM platform with a communication portal for employee interactions. Have workers log their wellness by specifying their actions – just a few sentences will do! The right HCM software can help businesses set up and maintain an engaging wellness program that suits its employees and its budget. By knowing which aspects of the program work and which don't, you'll know just what to adjust to keep your workers happy and healthy at the office.