Feb 19, 2019

What a Wellness Program Can Do for Your Business

By all accounts, the labor market will be tight in 2019, and many businesses will struggle to find skilled workers. Research shows one of the best ways to improve retention and productivity is to increase job satisfaction. Helping your employees get more out of their work experience generates an extra $9,078 per employee annually.

One way to do this is through wellness. In 2018, Apple declared self-care as the trend of the year. This movement is expected to continue through 2019 and beyond, as more people see the benefits of balancing their lives. So it’s increasingly important for corporate wellness programs to promote a culture where self-care is accepted and even encouraged, rather than just holding a crash-course weight challenge where employees starve themselves and spend the morning spitting into the sink as they try desperately to lose a couple of extra pounds before the weigh-in.

You can take a more holistic approach by providing resources that help your people feel good about their job, manage stress, and avoid burnout. The stakes are high, as Gallup research suggests that 44% of US employees feel burnout at work. When this occurs, mistakes abound, engagement plummets, and productivity suffers. According to the American Institute of Stress, companies lose $300 billion a year due to workers missing time because of high stress levels.

“Every manager should be aware of the signs of employee burnout so that they can take actionable steps to help employees,” says Forbes.com. “You can prevent burnout by encouraging employees to relax and recharge — whether through mid-day breaks, building better sleep habits, flexible schedules or utilizing paid time off.”

A well-designed wellness plan can help accomplish many of these objectives. Remember that wellness is a personal thing, so your approach should be tailored for individual employees. Many corporations are even using AI to deliver wellness options that help each employee track their goals and make meaningful progress.

If costly technological platforms aren’t in your budget, never fear. You can still create a more custom experience for your people by soliciting their feedback. Ask what matters most to them and how they’d like to see it implemented. Then keep them updated on your decisions, so they can feel ownership over what’s chosen and know they were heard on the options that ultimately didn’t make the cut.

Don’t be surprised if one of the priorities for your employees is help with financial wellness. Only about 14% of employees say they currently have access to these types of resources, and 54% of those who don’t say they wish their employer offered it. By helping your people better manage their money, you’ll contribute to their overall well-being. And that typically results in improved productivity and engagement at work.

Regardless of your current wellness programs, or the lack thereof, it’s important to continually review your offerings. Check industry trends to identify possible additions to your plan. Most importantly, ask your people what they prioritize. Doing so helps them feel invested in the program and more likely to put it to use.

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About the author

Grant Olsen
Grant Olsen
Grant Olsen is a writer specializing in small business loans, leadership skills, and growth strategies. He is a contributing writer for KSL 5 TV, where his articles have generated more than 6 million page views, and has been featured on FitSmallBusiness.com and ModernHealthcare.com. Grant is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." He has a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University.

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