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How to Establish the Right Wellness Program For Your Organization

Organizations of all sizes are finding success with engaging employees using wellness programs and events. Research has shown that wellness programs help employees cope with stress, adopt healthy behaviors, and achieve work-life balance. These benefits can often lead to higher retention, improved productivity and creative outputs. However, establishing proper programming isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Company size, demographics, and available resources should all be considered before any decisions are made. This research helps to ensure that the time and budget are used in the most efficient way.

Poll Your Organization

It is important to continually ask the employee population about their current needs. Family, financial planning, educational pursuits, and health related issues can cause dramatic changes in employee needs in a relatively short period of time. Send out a brief survey to determine if adjustments are needed to the company benefits design and services. Survey execution eliminates assumptions and creates inclusivity by allowing employees to assist in the selection of offerings.

Avoid Decision Fatigue

Many organizations will often try to squeeze all election conversations into the open enrollment period. This process can cause secondary and wellness benefits to be overlooked or ignored, as open enrollment is usually focused on the Medical, Dental, & Vision elections. An alternative approach to this is to re-engage employees mid-year or outside of open enrollment for employee-funded programming. Service providers from wellness planning organizations, insurance & legal services, and company perk programs are often willing to come in and discuss their offerings at no cost to the organization. As a result, employees are able to make informed decisions about programs and services that typically aren’t the focal point of an open enrollment period.

Measure Constantly

It takes a great deal of time and effort to implement wellness programs, and it is important to be able to measure impact within the organization. An effective wellness program addresses employee needs, which can lead to lower attrition, and be a key resource in recruiting efforts as well. Adoption rates for each program should be considered, as they can provide insights into the popularity of program offerings. Another metric to consider is time and attendance. Wellness programs are a great tool for managing burnout, which studies have shown can often result in tardiness and absenteeism.

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