This post will talk about how to build a killer workplace wellness program. Your employees expect that you’re going to have some type of service offering. Typically wellness programs are in place to help retain employees, and to keep them well so that they can do the job they were hired to do.
I’m going to argue that often times wellness programs are very reactive rather than being proactive. Most employees expect some type of benefit in the form of a benefit provider or a health care spending account. Looking at different programs that are out there, there are a few different tiers.
Your bottom or foundational tier is built around benefit providers. These are the big companies that can offer your employees partial or full coverage on services like dental, vision, or prescription medications. Depending on the provider, there may be coverage for paramedical services such as physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic care, acupuncture. These are base-level services- expected by all employees. This level of service is pretty much expected from every employer, regardless of the size of the company. Even small businesses are expected to have some type of benefit program.
These foundational or base level of services tend to be more reactionary. That’s because we typically use them after a problem crops up. You’ll go to the dentist because you have a toothache. You see your eye doctor because you’re having trouble seeing. Sometimes these services are used proactively. You’ll go for your annual checkup to keep things in check. Often the paramedical services are used in a more reactionary measure, because there is a problem that you’re looking to address.
Think of how wellness programs are being offered in a pyramid style. The base level is expected. The further up you move on the pyramid, the more proactive and engaged you typically are with your health. Using the top tier services often reduces the need to use the lower tier services because they improve your level of health.
The bottom of the pyramid is also your need to have a level of service. Pretty much every company needs to have a benefits program. As you move up the pyramid, you’ll shift into the nice to have services. Those types of programs often depend on what your budget is, how much you choose to invest in your employees, how much you value them, and how engaged you want to be in helping them be the best version of themselves.
Looking at the middle tier of the pyramid, you’re shifting into the zone where there are more "nice to have" services. Some companies offer other perks like a gym membership, or an additional health care spending account that you can spend money on things that matter to you. Some companies offer extra vacation time on top of the standard days off. A new trend is having companies pay employees up to
$5000 per year for their vacation.
The top tier is often not talked about as often for workplace wellness programs. Companies are now starting to take a more proactive approach. On the first impression this “exclusivity” appears to be quite expensive and elite. When you think about the return on investment, you often end up saving money. By teaching employees how to be healthier, you’ll need less of your lower-tier services.
You’ll get your employees more engaged in managing their own care through top tier services. These are proactive and preventive services. It’s giving your employees the skills, tools, and knowledge to take care of themselves. By being more engaged, they ideally won’t end up in the red zone, when a crisis hits.
Psychology is one of the areas that need much more support. Mental health is often overlooked until it’s an issue. Generally, people don’t go to see psychologists until they are in the red zone and really need help. Preventive programs teach employees how to manage stress along the way so that they hopefully never have to hit the red zone. When things start to move outside of the middle zone, employees learn to dial
it back or make changes to prevent things from getting worse.
It’s a common misbelief that top tier or preventive programs cost big dollars. They don’t have to break the bank. There are lots of affordable solutions, such as the Health Redesigned workplace wellness program. We’ve automated a lot of our processes so that we can offer the skills, tools, and knowledge to teach employees how to be healthier. They learn how to take charge of their health and redesign it in a way that works for them. It isn’t a one size fits all approach. We take a one size fits one approach. Everyone can use the same foundational information with the tools to apply it to their unique situation.
As an example, nutrition is an area that so many people struggle with. Think of how many people you know that have been on a diet. Or many diets. Or they’ve tried everything out there and still haven’t gotten the results they want. Losing weight is so much more than just nutrition. It has to account for what your sleep is, what your stress level is like, what your exercise is. And of course your nutrition. It’s the combination of all of those factors in the right order, which will lead to permanent results in weight loss.
It’s not just about the specific foods that you’re eating. The Health Redesigned program teaches how to make better food choices, based more on your mindset. It teaches how to have a guideline or blueprint of how you decide what foods are right for you. There isn’t one magic diet that’s going to fix everyone’s problems. Your diet will need to change over time based on your goals, objectives, and lifestyle.
Sleep is another area that is a huge issue that makes a massive impact on workplace performance. There is nothing that I’m aware of that’s going to give you a 30% return on productivity the same way that sleep can. By sleeping just one hour more per night, you can be 30% more productive. Who wouldn’t want to have that productivity advantage? The Health Redesigned workplace wellness program teaches how to sleep better.
It’s helpful especially for people that have had sleep challenges. I’m one of those people. Going from sleeping 2-3 hours every night to now being able to sleep eight hours consistently- I know how much of an impact sleep deprivation has. I know how much it affected my performance. I know how much I value sleep now because I’m able to perform at such a higher level. That’s all because I’m taking care of my body.
If you want to have a top tier wellness program, you need to move into proactive and preventive programs. You’re teaching your employees the skills to be more productive, to be more engaged and to need less sick time. By giving your employees the tools to be in a better place, you’re affecting the biggest line item on your budget- your payroll and benefits.
Start thinking about your wellness program and evaluating if it’s actually giving you the right return on your investment. Is there more that you can be doing to invest in your employees?
If you’re interested in learning more about how to be preventive and proactive, top tier service, then connect with me here. Let’s talk more and see how we can help you create the best workplace wellness program that you can.
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