Your health and fitness is important for your mindset which is why your company needs a wellness program and I am sharing 9 reasons why!
As a fitness coach for a Wellness company, I had the rare opportunity to actually change people’s lives. In a good way. We’d go into a client’s office where we’d have a large open space cleared for our wellness team and the employees as they shuffled in throughout the day. We did wellness assessments throughout the day and based on their results of the tests, employees were categorized by level of risk. As fitness trainer I took on employees considered high risk and offered coaching on a weekly basis.
What coaching consisted of
Coaching consisted of weekly visits to discuss their fitness routines, their nutrition and any habit that may be negatively impacting their wellness. My goal was to have a positive impact on each and every interaction, no matter how small. I wanted to elevate their mindset and make wellness a new priority. I also wanted them to feel like they were worth, the time and dedication, the feelings of accomplishment and confidence.
In addition to the coaching, I set-up walking groups at their different office locations. I put together fitness routines that could be done with minimal equipment. I recruited team leads at each location to rally their peers to participate. We created routes and maps and determined days and times for their excursions.
First hand I saw a company go from complacent to motivate. Their initial push-back quickly became enthusiasm. I coached people who went from never exercising to using a pedometer to get their steps in each day. People’s blood pressure dropped. They were able to stop medication related to their type 2 diabetes. It was fun to hear their excitement as they shared their nutritious food choices.
It was such a privilege to take part in a program designed specifically for the purpose of improving the health and overall wellness of its participants. I appreciate the importance of the company benefits, which I’ve listed below, but truly, everything that me and my team were mobilized to do on behalf of our client was directly related to the health and wellness of their employees.
Now let’s get into the nuts and bolts of a corporate wellness program. Besides unicorns and rainbows, what does it offer companies when it comes to returns? Let’s dig in.
Wellness programs improve employee health behaviors. Healthy behaviors lead to lower health risks, and lower health risks lead to less chronic disease. With less chronic disease, employees have fewer health care costs. As shown below:
Wellness programs are disease prevention versus treatment. The goal is to avoid disease altogether versus treat the disease after a diagnosis. In addition to physical health wins, there are also mental health benefits like decreased stress & depression levels and increased overall life satisfaction.
Preventative measure meant for mind and body has a big impact on a company’s bottom line and within their happier healthier teams. I’ve listed some of the hard-hitting benefits below with the help of Dr. Steven Aldana, CEO of WellSteps.
9 benefits of a wellness program
- Healthier employees with decreased risk of disease like; heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
- Reduced health care costs.
- Improved Productivity: poor employee productivity or employees being at work but not working is referred to at presenteeism. The cost associated with presenteeism due to poor employee health is a minimum of 2-3 times greater than direct healthcare costs.
- Wellness program Return on Investment: based on an extensive study of 22 wellness programs, over a 3 year term, is $3.27. For every dollar spent on a wellness program, on average, $3.27 in savings is realized. Source: Dr. Steven Aldana, CEO of Wellsteps
- Decreased absenteeism.
- Employee stress level reduction and improved mental health.
- Exercise is a keystone habit. According to Charles Duhigg: Keystone habits are “small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.”
- Powerful Recruitment tool.
- Increased employee retention. Build and help sustain high employee morale. Worksite culture changes as employees become healthier and happier.
There are many reputable companies who offer wellness services. Ask for references. Interview several wellness companies. Send questionnaires to your employees to see what’s most important to them. A good wellness company will customize their plan to fit your company’s needs and wants.
where to start as an employer
Consider giving incentives to the employees who meet certain metrics within a set period of time. Would they prefer reduced healthcare costs or would a free gym membership be more appreciated? Is your workforce sedentary or active? Based on that you may want to focus on increasing activity or decreasing claims associated with back pain. Whatever your focus is, you work backwards to create a plan with your wellness company.
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