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Employee Wellness Program

With health issues being so high profile lately, company wellness programs have become a hot topic. The good news is that an organization has many choices as to how extensive (or limited) they would like to proceed with a wellness effort. The costs of these steps range from very expensive to virtually free. When considered to be an investment in your organizations most important assets, your employees, the return can be expected to be high. The return on investment can be measured in the areas of employee efficiency, better moral, fewer sick days and lower turnover.

Here are just a few of the most popular steps.

  • Have a nutritionist or representative from a group such as Weight Watchers come in to develop and implement a weight loss/management program (subsidize a part of the program cost for those who complete it).
  • Implement a “Biggest Loser” style weight loss contest with valuable prizes and recognition.
  • If you have a cafeteria or in house food service provider, make sure that they offer some healthy items (low fat/heart healthy) on a daily basis. Promote and potentially subsidize the purchase of these items. If you have vending machines on site, work with the vendor to ensure that these machines contain healthy options.
  • Offer a bowl of fresh whole fruit for employees each day on a complimentary basis (this is very inexpensive and can even be outsourced to a food service company to handle at a nominal cost).
  • Set up a lunch time walking group and sponsor them to participate in charitable events for organizations such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
  • Contact a local gym or health club and arrange for them to give your employees and their family member’s discounts on memberships. This is a popular component of most corporate wellness programs and virtually all gyms are willing to offer significant corporate discounts.
  • Offer 10-minute chair massages for employees weekly. Corporate wellness programs often subsidize the costs or just have it available and the employee pays the full cost.

Just as with any such effort, results measurement is important. Establish a few key metrics such as average number of employee sick days and turnover rate and begin from an initial baseline in order to track the results.

 

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