Employees often deal with stressful situations at work which can affect their health negatively. Many companies have wellness programs today and they can look very different at different companies. This is a good thing because they should be relevant to employees or they won’t work.

A wellness program differs from health insurance or other medical benefit policies. HR can take steps to ascertain the kind of wellness program the organization needs by getting medical professionals to assess the physical condition of employees. Some of the ways HR can help employees with wellness include the following.

Establish a culture of wellness

HR can introduce health education and training by hiring health lecturers and trainers. This can help to establish a culture of wellness within the organization. When employee wellness is built into the goals of the organization, an atmosphere is created that encourages wellness through many touchpoints.

This may include on-site fitness classes, healthy snack offerings, daily stretch breaks, sponsored runs, a full kitchen and much more. Companies can save money in this way as a healthier lifestyle leads to less absenteeism and improved productivity.

Introduce a weight loss program

If many employees are overweight, obesity weight management coaching and discounted memberships to local gyms can be of benefit. The result will be healthier, happier employees.

HR will need to find the right related professionals, fitness equipment, etc. and study the effectiveness of the program on a regular basis. Using HR software that integrates core and strategic HR functions into one solution makes any initiatives easier to monitor.

Encourage tobacco cessation

If many employees are battling to quit smoking, a tobacco cessation program could be useful. Employees could be offered resources and counseling. When they aren’t always craving their next cigarette, they’re likely to be more productive and will be much healthier too.

Have wellness events

Wellness events can include activities, speakers and materials related to developing healthier habits. Employees will be able to enjoy themselves while being introduced to wellness resources. Include a healthy, delicious catered lunch and they will look forward to the next event, while potentially taking home some good, healthy ideas.

Make lifestyle coaching available

Lifestyle coaching refers to counseling services that address the specific needs of an individual. If an employee is having difficulty managing finances, maintaining relationships and more, a lifestyle coach can help.

The help is non-invasive and involves supporting the person’s own efforts to self-improve. The improvements could significantly affect employee health by reducing stress and this could extend to improving productivity in the workplace.

Allow flexible working hours

Flexible working hours allow employees to design their own work schedules and can promote a more balanced lifestyle. HR also needs to make sure that company culture does not support consistently working extra hours.

On-site screening and vaccinations

On-site screening, including preventative services, such as biometric screening, can improve employee health and enhance the company image. It could send out a clear message that the organization is concerned about the health of employees.

Offer incentives for participation

Some employees will be reluctant to participate in wellness programs and may need incentives. Organizations can have competitions that reward time spent working out. Financial rewards and gifts may be offered to employees for completing health-related tasks, such as participating in a fun run or getting an annual physical.

HR needs to work with employees to understand what they value most on their journey to better health. It means finding wellness activities employees want to participate in and addressing issues that are a challenge at a company.

Outside of the direct financial gains, companies with wellness programs see a reduction in staff turnover, employee stress and absenteeism. 

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