Wellness programs are generally initiatives sponsored by employers and designed to improve the mental and physical health of employees. The goal is to maximize workers’ productivity by ensuring that they are fit in mind and body. For instance, part of a company’s remuneration package may be reimbursement for gym memberships. Usually, these initiatives help employees feel that their employers care about their well-being, and as a result, they are motivated to perform better.
Early Identification of Health Issues
Wellness programs in the workplace mostly focus on identifying disease and other health problems at their onset. They may include education and on site screenings for prevalent conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or even some cancers. Not only does early detection ensure the health and productivity of workers; it also reduces medical claim costs. Of course, the healthier workers are, the more likely they will keep their jobs, and the employer can avoid the costs that come with hiring and retraining new employees.
Promotion of Healthy Habits
Wellness programs encourage workers to adopt healthier habits through different initiatives, like providing smoking cessation support, in-person lifestyle coaching services or stress management or weight loss classes on site. With all of these brought to the workplace itself, employees feel more important and are more likely to reach or even exceed the level of productivity that is expected from them.
Employee Education and Empowerment
In some workplaces, employees are given the chance to take up courses and seminars that can help both themselves and their employers. Examples of such courses include CPR and AED (Automated External Defibrillation) training. Through these courses, employees are equipped with critical knowledge and skills that enable them to manage emergency scenarios, whether inside or outside the workplace, until professional help arrives.
Prevention of Injuries
Workplace wellness programs can also help control or manage injury incidences at work, especially when the risk is high (for instance, among workers who have to do heavy lifting). According to a study, back strain and slips and falls are the two most prevalent types of injuries that to occur in the workplace. Wellness programs teach employees proper lifting techniques, along with techniques that help them avoid exacerbating any preexisting injuries or conditions they may be dealing with.
With growing attention to employee health, workplace wellness programs are becoming more and more important. According to research, people who exercise regularly skip work at an average of 2.11 days yearly, compared to 3.06 days a year for those who are more sedentary. These numbers alone stress how important wellness programs in the workplace are. Employers are now expected to be actively involved in making their workers healthier and safer and their cost-reduction strategies more efficient.