Optimize Your Employee Wellness Program

A key part of any wellness program is to encourage healthy habits in the workplace and have happier, healthier, more motivated, and productive employees. However, many businesses invest in or launch employee wellness programs and struggle with participation. 

Are you having trouble getting employees to participate? At Cornerstone Insurance Group, we firmly believe in customizing health and wellness plans to best fit your work culture. Here are some great incentives from Cornerstone’s wellness experts to help get employees excited about participating in wellness programs. 

Employee Wellness Program Incentives

Whether employees are working remotely or commuting into the office again, employers should focus on encouraging healthy behaviors. Wellness program incentives can look many different ways and should be customized for your employees’ goals. Many companies offer premium discounts in exchange for participation. Some companies offer additional PTO days or make contributions to employee HSAs. 

Wellness programs should always be a benefit that companies offer for their employees, not to their employees, and they should never be a requirement. If you’re struggling to get participation in your wellness program, perhaps it’s time to try some of these proven incentives.  

Offer Giveaways

Giveaways are a great small incentive to incorporate into your employee wellness program. This can be anything from gift cards to business “swag,” or free healthy snacks at your workplace. Employees can earn giveaways by setting and reaching goals. Companies choose different levels of giveaways for individual employees or teams. Rewards can be more than just monetary. Giveaways can include outings, events, or unique experiences. 

Be inventive with your incentives. Ask your employees what motivates them to work towards their health goals. Their ideas for rewards are usually creative and more meaningful than what you may come up with. 

One regional company gave employees pedometers to “walk around the world” together. The concept was to track your steps and walk the distance from New York to Hong Kong There were ten intermediate destinations, and when you reached a new city, you learned about the culture through a virtual education system. Once the entire journey was completed, you received a gift card. If you only made it halfway, you received half the amount. Employees were not only able to get fit, but they were also able to learn about different cultures and cities.     

Provide Gym or Fitness Class Time

If you’re not ready to embark on monetary giveaways, one concept many companies have adopted is providing time or reimbursement for their employees to go to the gym, take fitness classes or simply take a walk during the workday. This benefit has been proven successful in many organizations as a way to motivate employees to get active and be more productive while at work.

Employers can also consider allowing employees to have a more flexible schedule to make their health a priority. Encourage your team to take an afternoon walk, do 10 minutes of yoga before a morning meeting, or hit the gym at lunch. You will find employees are more focused on work tasks if they take the time to take care of their bodies. 

Introduce Educational Programs

Sometimes what stops employees from making healthy decisions is their lack of knowledge on healthy living. Media, fad diets, and trendy programs have warped our sense of what is actually healthy. Consider including educational programs in your wellness program. 

Bring in the professionals to teach your team what it means to be healthy. Consider having a wellness counselor or nutritionist come to speak with your team to educate and get them excited about becoming healthier. This is a great time to set achievable and realistic goals. 

Encourage Achievable Goals

Yes, achievable goals can be an incentive because if your employees are overwhelmed by the idea of an overhaul of their health, they will simply check out or become discouraged. Mapping out smaller goals along the way and making it personal to their health journey is important for continued success and participation in your program. 

Achievable goals don’t have to be just set at a personal level. Many businesses set company-wide goals to work together as a team. Employees use personal fitness trackers like FitBits or Apple Watches to track participation to an end goal. 

Setting goals is crucial in being aware of the journey ahead, tracking progress, and celebrating victories. It will push your employees to be stronger and empower them to push themselves a bit outside of their comfort zone. 

Acquiring more participation in your employee wellness program is important. First, make sure employees know about and understand the wellness program; some may not be aware there is a program in place. Then, ask your employees what they want in a wellness program and what types of incentives they would like to see. Having a program that no one knows about and has incentives employees don’t care about is a sure way to failure. Make sure to get your employees’ opinions, after all, it is a program for them. 

Becoming healthier is a journey. It takes time and support. Assist your employees in discovering their potential by utilizing a wellness program and find what fits your company culture best. When you focus on gaining participation in your wellness program, you will be successful in building a stronger team.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Cornerstone’s wellness team to help implement the right employee wellness program for you!

If you need additional support and information on how to get more participation in your wellness programs or if you don’t have an employee wellness program and would like to start one, contact Cornerstone Insurance Group today!