Like other company initiatives designed to benefit workers, an employee wellness program must be designed well in order to be beneficial. When a wellness program is designed and executed for success, it can offer significant benefits to your staff and your business goals.
How Companies Benefit From (Well-Crafted) Wellness Plans
When a company’s wellness plan works for both the people and the business, it offers a number of benefits, including:
- Healthcare cost control and disease prevention. Evidence-based wellness programs help prevent a number of diseases and health problems, from stress-related injuries to cancer and diabetes. This helps control healthcare costs.
- Lowered absenteeism. Better wellness practices mean better health, meaning fewer sick days. They also help employees stay engaged by making it easier for them to come to work feeling energetic and alert.
- Inspiration and motivation. Setting wellness goals together helps give employees a sense of inspiration, motivation, and excitement about a project outside the everyday – which helps them see the everyday as inspiring.
Implementing a Wellness Plan That Works: A Quick-Start Guide
The best wellness programs aren’t one-time endeavors. Rather, they take an ongoing, global approach to wellness. To craft a wellness program that works:
- Provide tools to change behaviors. Reminding employees that smoking or being sedentary are bad for their health, for example, does little to encourage change. When you provide tools and resources for change, however, employees are more likely to embrace wellness behaviors.
- Skip financial incentives. Research indicates that for most people, long-term financial incentives do little to change short-term behavior – and they can cause resentment in employees with chronic health conditions that can’t be resolved with wellness plans.
- Go for the long term. Short-term campaigns promote “quick fix” approaches to wellness that can collapse, leaving workers worse off than they were before. To create a wellness plan that offers benefits for years to come, think of long-term, incremental behavior changes. And if you choose an outside vendor to help craft the program, make sure they’re looking at the long-term big picture as well.
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