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Many people see a wellness program at work as an unnecessary expense. But the facts indicate otherwise, showing that well-designed and implemented corporate wellness programs can have a serious impact on your bottom line by increasing both productivity and profitability.

The key to garnering a big employee wellness program ROI lies in getting the people in your organization to participate. To do that, you need to build structural wellness — that means a corporate culture that values mental and physical well-being for all its members.

As you consider how to develop work wellness programs that benefit your employees and the overall health of your company, keep in mind the ideas of structure and accountability.

Why is accountability important in the workplace wellness program you choose? Because measurable results like fewer sick days and lower turnover rates lead to valuable qualitative results, like improved morale and long-term loyalty.

The pros at Discovery Health Services have over 20 years of experience creating tailored wellness programs for employers of all sizes and types, from hospitals to retail groups to enormous corporate entities.

Let’s dive into the nuts and bolts of creating structural wellness, explore the main characteristics of successful work wellness programs and look at some corporate wellness program examples with proven results.

How to Create a Structured Wellness Program at Work

Three elements are essential to creating effective and viable corporate wellness programs:

  • Relevance
  •  Inclusivity
  •  Authenticity

The only way to get employee buy-in for your work wellness program is to make it relevant to your workers’ age group and health needs. The best way to see success in your wellness program at work is to make sure it’s inclusive of all your workers, from delivery drivers to secretaries to coders to executives. Finally, an authentic interest in the overall health and well-being of the people you work with is essential to create wellness across your workforce that is meaningful and long lasting.

Work Wellness Programs That Work

Why are wellness programs important for your company’s success? Prioritizing mental and physical wellness at work shows your current staff, potential employees and customers that your values align with theirs. Plus, when people are healthy and happy, they tend to work harder and seek out opportunities to grow within the company.

Here are four steps to help you create wellness activities, goals and incentives that fit your business’s unique situation.

Tailor the Program to Your People

Is your staff comprised largely of Gen Xers in their 40s and 50s? Or do you work with a cohort of millennials in their 20s and 30s? Are the majority of your employees sports fans, weekend warrior athletes or adventure seekers? Or is your company staffed by bookworms and homebodies? Structural wellness begins with a work wellness program tailored to your people’s needs. That may mean embracing the idea of third-wave wellness, which includes holistic practices like mindfulness exercises and smoking cessation programs. It also means making your work wellness program accessible in a variety of ways, including mobile apps, online resources and hard-copy or in-person options.

Set Attainable Goals

What, exactly, are the goals you hope to achieve with your wellness program at work? Does success mean a lower average BMI across employees? Zero cigarette smokers among your staff? A full month with no illness call offs? Setting attainable goals and communicating them clearly ups the chances that your workers will want to participate in a work wellness program — which is key to gaining that ROI. Avoid vague terms like “being healthier” and focus on specific, measurable objectives that workers can feel good about working toward on a daily basis.

Make It Easy to Get Involved

The last thing your employees need is a lot of hoops to jump through to reap the benefits of work wellness programs. Make it so easy for them to participate that they’d have to exert effort to avoid being part of the wellness program at work. The rise in corporate clinics in the past decade shows that bringing healthcare services to the workplace is an effective way to create wellness that’s accessible for everyone. Offering onsite vaccinations, vitamin injections and more can be a cost-effective strategy, especially for larger corporate wellness programs.

Keep an Eye on the Long View

Whether you’re looking to prevent “quiet quitting” among current workers or attract the best and brightest new talent, your work wellness program must have some longevity. Your employees will not be fooled by a one-off clinic or short-term financial incentives that are touted as solutions to improving a negative workplace environment. Take the long view by making wellness your workplace culture with a commitment to mutual respect, reasonable expectations and healthy accountability.

Ensuring Employee Accountability

Why is accountability important in your workplace wellness program? And what exactly is meant by “accountability” in terms of work wellness programs? In essence, this element of corporate wellness programs focuses on gaining enthusiastic participation that leads to real, measurable results for your overall company. Here are three strategies to make your work wellness program accountable for its investment:

Create Wellness for Everyone

Being inclusive with your wellness program at work means making sure it will appeal to all your workers. Rather than focus exclusively on weight loss, consider broader fitness goals like drinking more water or participating in meditation workshops. Also look into offering multiple ways for people to access your program, such as mobile apps for tech-savvy employees versus online or in-person resources for others. Inclusivity is key to getting maximum buy-in.

Let the Family Get Involved

Whether you invite your workers to bring their family members to a corporate picnic or you extend supplemented gym memberships to your employees’ spouses and kids, the benefits of including families in corporate wellness programs is well-documented. This kind of inclusivity demonstrates that you see your workers as full human beings, genuinely want them to be healthier and truly value a healthy work-life balance. And that will pay dividends in both immediate productivity and long-term loyalty.

Provide Meaningful Incentives for Enthusiastic Buy-In

We all know money can’t buy happiness — but it’s news to some that financial incentives alone can’t buy enthusiastic, long-term participation in a work wellness program, either. When it comes to promoting corporate wellness programs to employees, start by asking them what they need — and what can help them get it. Your workers likely have great ideas for improving the workplace culture with healthy activities, food and resources. If you listen to them, then implement their suggestions with useful and inclusive tools like apps and onsite classes, they’ll feel heard and valued. And that’s where you’ll discover the true magic of effective wellness programs at work.

Corporate Wellness Programs with DHS

Starting to see why wellness programs are important for a healthier bottom line? Ready to explore the benefits of working with Discovery Health Services to create structural wellness that supports your entire workforce? Contact us today to make a real difference in your corporate culture with a bespoke wellness program designed specifically for your company.