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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Three Tips to Improve Your Corporate Wellness Program

By Emma Maurer, Director of Enterprise Health for Peerfit,

Corporate wellness programs play a vital role in office culture today. When done well, they can improve employees’ overall happiness and well-being, increase engagement in the company’s mission and goals, and bolster employee morale.

However, these programs have a reputation for being expensive, failing to produce real engagement, and requiring tons of paperwork that HR professionals don’t have the time to complete.

As a result, organizations have deferred to selecting programs that don’t meet the needs of their employees. They find something to check the wellness box—a big box gym subsidy, wearable fitness devices or on-site fitness center—and then move on. While employees have a wellness option, it’s doomed for failure. Without engagement, the benefits of a wellness program are not fully realized.

Strong corporate wellness programs do exist, and they aren’t out of reach for companies today. Below are three ways to improve your corporate wellness program and create a workplace that is engaged, productive, and healthy.

1.     Appoint a wellness champion
All successful wellness programs have one thing in common—they have an owner to manage the program. This task typically falls on the shoulders of the HR department and can be viewed as an extra burden for HR professionals who already have many responsibilities.

Instead, organizations should designate a leader for the wellness program—a person who serves as the champion for the program and helps direct strategy and execution toward program success. It can be someone within the HR department or an employee who’s passionate about wellness. Either way, someone with expertise in this area will ensure that the program runs smoothly, and this person typically has more success in terms of employee engagement.

2.     Tailor the program to your employee group
It’s important to understand the qualities of your staff and their regular behaviors when developing your wellness program. For instance, if your employees work the night shift, it would be really unfortunate if your on-site fitness center is only open during the day.

Find something that can be customized to your employee group and their preferences. If you’re unsure of what their preferences are, just ask. Employee interest surveys are a great way to get feedback and find out what employees want out of a wellness program. Then you can build a program around their interests and suggestions.

3.     Choose a program that offers personalization and variety
Wellness isn’t a one-size fits all solution, yet many wellness programs take this approach. What employees crave is something that is personalized to their fitness levels, schedules, and workout preferences. Find a program that offers something for all of your employees and allows them to add variety to their workout routine.

There’s a tendency to value quantity over quality, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Instead of employing multiple providers, look for one provider that can offer your employees a number of fitness options.

Corporate wellness programs can have incredible benefits to employee morale and productivity, and should therefore be a top priority for organizations today. If your employees are happy, your business will thrive, and that’s something that we can all get behind.

Emma Maurer is director of enterprise health for Peerfit, which helps companies redefine their wellness programs by personalizing fitness experiences to drive engagement.  

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