Corporate wellness programs are the norm nowadays, with many organizations implementing activities and incentives to increase employee wellbeing and save money. And the EEOC recently issued guidelines around incentives and voluntary activities, providing employers with more clarity around offerings. But a wellness program is only as good as the people who use – and benefit – from it, whether that is employees who take on a healthier lifestyle or employers who reap the financial and productivity benefits of a healthier workforce.
So what makes for an effective wellness program? Below is a roundup of articles from the last month that note “dos and don’ts” of corporate wellness plans. The common thread is recommendations for simple, relevant and practical activities that are integrated into the corporate culture without placing too much demand on employees.
· Five Hallmarks of Successful Corporate Wellness Programs, Fortune (April 13, 2015): Fortune notes five best practices for an effective wellness program: making programs practical and accessible; making the work environment health-conscious; integrating wellness into company culture; linking to existing support programs; and offering health screenings and education.
· Five Reasons Employees Avoid Wellness Programs, BenefitsPro (April 27, 2015): BenefitsPro reports that employees don’t take advantage of wellness programs because they feel they are already healthy and the incentives aren’t meaningful. Inconvenient offerings and security concerns were other notable reasons people chose not to participate in corporate wellness programs.
· Corporate Wellness Programs Make Us Unwell, Harvard Business Review (May 2015): Andre Spicer discusses the challenges of corporate wellness programs, and recommends simple approaches and small changes, as well as realistic goals and setting boundaries between work and personal lives.
· Eight Employee Wellness Ideas That Would Actually Work, U.S. News & World Report (April 13, 2015): Putting the emphasis on promoting wellness without alienating employees, U.S. News & World Reportrecommends eight ways to encourage healthy lifestyles including: healthy food options; discouraging weight loss competitions; encouraging workers to stay home when sick; making it easier for employees to workout; and providing great health insurance benefits.
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