Employee Wellness Programs: Do they really promote a healthy corporate environment?

Employee wellness programs are contributing to a healthier workforce. According to 8 Things You Need To Know About Employee Wellness Programs, both employers and employees are seeing the benefits from implementing wellness programs.  Employee wellness has become a major trend over the last few years.

Employee wellness programs are successful in a lot of different ways. For companies, wellness programs have been shown to boast an average return on investment (ROI) of about 3:1. Outside of the direct financial gains, companies have seen reductions in employee absenteeism, staff turnover and employee stress.

For employees, wellness programs have been associated with a whole host of health benefits. These programs can lead to a greater readiness to change exercise behaviors, increased fruit and vegetable intake, decreases in body weight, increased adoption of smoking cessation and improved mental health. For all parties involved, wellness programs are working.

Because wellness programs come in many different shapes and sizes they often appeal to all employees. Whether you are a health nut or someone simply looking to reduce your stress level, you will find these programs helpful.

Personally, I work for a company that implemented a wellness program a few years back. There’s a big push from corporate to take advantage of the program and we receive monthly program updates. I now use a Fitbit and make it my daily goal to reach 10,000 steps each day. I earn points for setting and reaching these goals. The points I earn can be redeemed for gift cards or exchanged for charity donations. I can honestly say that this program has helped me make healthier lifestyle choices.

So yes, when properly implemented and supported, employee wellness programs are making us healthier human beings.

What’s Hot and What’s Not – Corporate Wellness Programs

Wellness programs are practically universal nowadays but the question is which ones are the best and why. According to Alan Koholl, founder and president of TotalWellness, the top corporate wellness programs promote healthier behaviors. They are inclusive to all employees and focus on total well-being.

These programs are here to stay and as a participant you should be providing your employer with program feedback. What’s hot and what’s not. What would make the program more successful? Voice your opinion. Influence a program change or new addition. Most importantly, participate in these programs.

What are some of your favorite wellness initiatives?

What are some workplace wellness trends you want to see in your work site?

 

 

Managing Stress at Work

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Can you relate to this photo? If you said yes, grab a pen and paper and keep reading.

According to Jenna Goudreau, the average employee is buried in work, stressed by corporate changes and have little to no energy after work. In her article 12 Ways To Eliminate Stress At Work, she provides strategies to reduce work stress and take back your life.

After reading this article, I decided to try out all 12 strategies for one week. Below are the strategies I felt were the most effective.

  • Eliminate Interruptions
    • As suggested in the article I blocked specific time to answer email. We have several conference rooms and there is almost always one open and available. I would go and “hide” in a conference room once a day for one hour and focus only on email response.
  • Eat Right and Sleep Well
    • As a full-time employee and full-time grad student finding time to cook can be challenging. I decided to purchase pre-made meals from GoFresh. They use fresh ingredients and are perfectly portioned to promote clean eating.
  • Prioritize Your Priorities
    • For this one I included my manager. I had a quick 1:1 and asked him to help me prioritize. Once I had this priority I was able to rank my daily tasks.
  • Be Your Own Best Critic
    • Another suggestion I took from the article was to pump myself up by adding motivational quotes to my computer background

Overall, I did see a reduction in my work stress.  I highly recommend you read the full article. I believe you will see healthy benefits by simply making work stress reduction an actual priority. Make a plan. Work that plan.

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TOPdesk’s Secret to Building a Healthy & Happy Workplace

TOPdesk has received recognition for promoting a happy and healthy workforce. Co-founder and CEO, Wolter Smit, shares his company’s very simple approach to building a work environment where employees are supported and encouraged to have fun.

According to Smit, there are two types of people, X type and Y type. The X types “hate work” and need to be incentivized to perform. The Y types “want to work.” They genuinely enojoy their jobs and workplace.

Employers need to determine what type of culture they are building or trying to build. Then they can identify what type of employees will fit in that culture.

Following the Y model, TOPdesk has created a healthy workplace. Their secret for happy healthy employees is below.

#1 Pick Y type people.
Actively seek and hire people who “self propel.” These people are motivated and engaged. You can give them freedom and the job will get done because they enjoy the work they are doing.

#2 Leader Awareness
Management should be aware of X and Y types of people. They should be asking why is this X person not happy? Why are they not motivated? How can I support them?

Employees need to ask themselves if they are an X person or a Y person. If they are an X person, the next question should be — why? Are they unhappy with their job? With their industry? They should try to figure out what will make them Y people.

Overall this was a good talk. Employers must build a workplace that promotes this culture if they want to be successful.

How Corporate Sponsorship Changed my Life

Four years ago, I attended a Team In Training recruiting lunch and learn at work. I joined our Corporate Team and committed to a fundraising goal and a training plan that would prepare me for my first half marathon. Over the course of five months, our Corporate Team raised awareness for the cause, raised funds to meet our team goal and we trained together in the evenings and weekends. I was able to collaborate and network with employees from different parts of the organization. We empowered and inspired each other. We were proud to represent a company that not only sponsored us but supported our fundraising efforts. Prior to joining the team, three miles was the furthest distance I had completed. By the end of the season, I was running 10 miles per week and I crossed that finish line with the biggest smile on my face. This was an incredible experience that changed my life and introduced me to a much healthier lifestyle.

Since then I have gone through several pairs of running shoes and have completed six half marathons. I am still an active member on our Corporate Team and will be leading as a Team Captain next season. I encourage you to start or join similar groups at work. Challenge yourself. Challenge your workplace.

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