The Importance of Wellness Programs at Work
Wellness programs are generally employer-sponsored initiatives created to improve employees’ physical and mental health. The goal is to boost the productivity of workers by keeping them fit in mind and in body. For instance, part of a company’s remuneration package may be reimbursement for gym memberships. In most cases, as employees feel that their employers care about their well-being, they feel more motivated to work and give their best.
Prompt Detection of Health Problems
Wellness programs in the workplace generally focus on the early detection of disease and other health-related problems. They may include teachings and on site screenings for hypertension, diabetes, some cancers and other common conditions. Early identification hits two birds with one stone: ensure workers’ health and productivity and reduce medical claim costs. Of course, the healthier workers are, the more likely they will keep their jobs, and the employer can avoid the costs that come with hiring and retraining new employees.
Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles
Wellness programs promote a healthier lifestyle among workers through various initiatives, such as conducting smoking cessation seminars and support, weight loss or stress management courses, or even in-person lifestyle coaching services on site. With all of these brought to the workplace itself, employees feel more important and are more likely to reach or even exceed the level of productivity that is expected from them.
Employee Education and Empowerment
In some workplaces, there are wellness programs that include offering employees the chance to complete relevant educational courses and seminars that can be beneficial both to them and the employers. Examples of such courses include CPR and AED (Automated External Defibrillation) training. Through these courses, employees are equipped with critical knowledge and skills that enable them to manage emergency scenarios, whether inside or outside the workplace, until professional help arrives.
Workplace wellness programs also help reduce the incidences of injuries at work, especially in naturally risky environments, as when workers are required to do heavy lifting. According to a study, back strain and slips and falls are the two most prevalent types of injuries that to occur in the workplace. Through wellness programs, employees are taught proper lifting techniques, as well as techniques that help them avoid worsening any preexisting injuries and conditions they may have.
With increasing focus on workers’ health, corporate wellness programs are becoming a must. According to research, people who exercise regularly skip work at an average of 2.11 days yearly, compared to 3.06 days a year for those who are more sedentary. By these numbers alone, it is easy to see the importance of corporate wellness programs. Employers are now expected to be actively involved in making their workers healthier and safer and their cost-reduction strategies more efficient.