Let’s get one thing straight before we even begin: this isn’t the fluffy article you’re expecting. The one that tells you that employees need health programming because it’s good for them as a whole person. While that’s true— and we love things that make employees feel cared for— that’s not what you need to make a decision. You need a business case for why workplace wellness is important, you need to know how it’s going to affect your bottom line, and most importantly, you need your questions answered.
We’ve compiled all the commonly asked questions (usually answered with a shrug), to help you understand more about the benefits of wellness in the workplace.
Let’s get to it!
Do wellness programs work?
As a business leader, it’s easy to be skeptical of the value wellness programs provide, especially when you’re lost in a sea of service providers promising to revolutionize your office. But health in the workplace is important... even the government says so.
Back in 2012— almost ten years ago already— the government of Canada conducted a study with the help of independent employers, policy and legal specialists, and unions. The goal was to determine what this new buzzword, “workplace wellness,” even meant, and then figure out how to best address it.
In short, they decided it was indeed important. They even set out to establish psychological health as a worker’s right. Some of the suggestions that employers were given from this legislation were to:
Assess the current workplace culture
Financially support workplace psychological health programs
Organize stress-reduction activities at work
Promote work-life balance
It’s no wonder 80% of large North American employers have health programming.
But workplace wellness also benefits you, the employer. When employees feel cared for in the workplace, you will notice increased productivity and reduced absenteeism. It also helps you recruit strong employees. The best talent wants the best benefits.
Do workplace wellness programs save employers money?
In a word, yes. In numbers, also yes. Workplace wellness programs help employers reduce health coverage and benefits costs. A Harvard study concluded that for every dollar invested in health programming, companies save an average of $6 (half from healthcare/insurance costs, and half from reduced absenteeism).
Healthy employees save you money.
Why do workplace wellness programs fail?
We could write a whole book on this question, but to keep it succinct, workplace wellness programming often fails for three main reasons:
Leadership doesn’t buy in. If business owners or managers implement a wellness program because they feel they “have to,” the company culture won’t support participation in the program.
Wellness program is treated like a perk. In order to have a truly successful workplace wellness program, it needs to be embedded into employees’ office routine. A complimentary gym membership is a perk, a wellness program is an integration.
Programs don’t address the whole person. People are dynamic and have many health needs. Wellness programs should address that.
Employees didn’t help design it. Your program needs to fit your specific staff. This is a key element of any effective program.
What do employees want in a wellness program?
Employee input is so important, we have a whole question dedicated to it. If you want to know what your team wants from a workplace wellness program, just ask them! You could establish a wellness committee that makes decisions on behalf of their peers, or send out a company-wide survey to gauge interest in a few different programming options.
You don’t want to go through the trouble of creating a lawn bowling league only to find out everyone prefers, uh, literally anything else.
How do you create a wellness program?
Here’s the best part: you don’t have to. We’ve done that for you.
Our program— which can be customized to meet your team's specific needs— addresses employees’ wellness from a myriad of angles. From emotional intelligence and psychological health, nutrition, movement, time management, to digital and financial literacy. We’ve compiled a team of specialists that are ready to help your employees improve their work-life balance, and help you improve your bottom line.
Get in touch with us to learn more about our workplace wellness programming.