Corporate Wellness Programs: Where do I start?

Fruits and Stethoscope in a heart-shaped dish

Written by: Jessica Valdes

If you are in the healthcare or employee benefits industry, wellness has not only become a trend but an essential part of corporate culture and wellbeing. With the rise of healthcare costs and chronic health conditions, employers are realizing that corporate wellness initiatives benefit both, employers and employees. You know what they say, happy employees, happy boss (or they should be at least).

When wanting to start a wellness program at your job and with all the wealth of information out there, you might not know where to start. However, the best way to start is small, so below are a few small steps you can take to start spreading the wellness bug in your job.
    1. Consult your Employee Benefits/ Health Insurance Agent:

      Many health insurance companies out there have realized the importance of offering wellness programs to their insureds and have created or utilized their own easy to use wellness platforms. Best part of it all, they offer it for free! Many insurance companies offer gym discounts or rebates, wellness websites, health risk assessments, and even weight maintenance programs. Call your agent to see what your company offers.

    2. Allow a month where employees can go to their annual wellness exam without utilizing PTO.

      I am sure if you ask around the office, there are more than a handful of employees that have not seen their primary in years. They just do not want to take the time and they especially don’t want to take their PTO time. However, when it comes to chronic illness, PREVENTION IS KEY. According to the CDC, 6 in 10 American adults have a chronic illness. If employees are at risk, they can catch the issue beforehand and make the correct lifestyle changes to avoid it becoming a chronic illness.

    3. Conduct a workplace snack sweep:
    4. You cannot control what employees eat at home but you can control what is offered at the office. If your office offers kitchen snacks, do a sweep of your current offerings and replace calorie or sugary rich food with nutrient filled options. For example, swap out sodas for seltzer, bagels for whole grain thins and fruit gummies for actual fruit!

    5. Mindful food offerings:

      In our office, we order food for special occasions such as holidays or birthdays. If you are ordering food for the office, go for healthier vendors and caterers. For example, as much as we love our Cuban croquetas if we are ordering breakfast we’ll cater Panera instead. If your office is the type where employees like to bring treats to share, which we know are usually unhealthy, implement a policy where only on Fridays you can bring these sweet treats.

      Why does this matter? According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, every $1 invested in employee wellness programs yields roughly $4 in savings through reduced sick days, higher productivity and decreased overall health costs. It has been proven that not only do healthier people work harder but they are happier, and who doesn’t want happy employees?