There’s a lot of talk about healthcare in the workplace, with coverage and laws constantly changing, forcing organizations to manage their workforce management systems more closely, but there’s a key aspect often lost in the technical discussion.
Overall wellness of employees is a growing focus for many companies. Employers increasingly understand that when their workforce is happy and healthy, they are better employees.
We are seeing a trend in incentives, programs and offers to encourage healthy lifestyles and reward healthy choices, as well as benefit packages that cover nontraditional or alternative medical options. This focus on prevention and lifelong health is growing in every industry and field and gaining a lot of attraction.
It’s not just about being a good employer or attracting employees with fancy programs and opportunities. Employers recognize that the health of their workforce directly influences the quality of their work.
In fact, the American Heart Association says investments in health and wellness return three fold for employers. Employees who are proactive about their health have fewer sick days and are more productive and creative.
Not to mention, a happy employee is naturally more interested in working hard and doing their best for the company.
Key in Prevention
The key to decreasing incidents of illness and chronic disease seems to be in prevention. Employers taking a proactive approach and helping their staff take a proactive approach can reduce the percentage of their employees experiencing issues such as depression and obesity, according to the CDC.
To that end, there is a rising trend in creative approaches to proactive lifestyle changes that improve health and wellness among employees. Providing additions or expansions to healthcare coverage, many employers are covering alternative options such as chiropractic visits, acupuncture, vitamin or nutrition deficiency assessments, fitness trainers, and more.
Many employers are using technology such as trackers, wearable devices, mobile tablets and smart phones to challenge their staff to meet different goals and incentives. Turning the wellness factor into a game, companies are getting creative with prizes and rewards – beyond weight loss and overall health.
Companies are also able to develop, modify and utilize custom apps that promote brand culture among the workforce, while tracking and rewarding exercise, eating plans and more.
In the Office
Bringing wellness into the office is another trend on the rise. From switching out junk food with healthy vending machines alternatives to overhauling the cafeterias with fresher, more nutritious options, these in-house steps put action to the wellness words preached.
Upgrading chairs to ergonomically comfortable exercise balls, turning passive get-togethers into walking meetings, and encouraging staff to be active throughout their workday are other ways employers are encouraging wellness.
What does your company do to encourage health and wellness in the workplace? We’d love to hear!