Company wellness programs come in all sizes and there are many variables to consider. Outlined are a few options to explore.
Large companies usually want to “go big” with their wellness programming. This makes sense financially. Large companies are more likely to be self-insured. Keeping employees healthy will pay off. Wellness programs will be multi-layered and include such programs as low-to-no cost prevention coverage for things like mammograms and colonoscopies, biometric screenings, free flu shots, a company gym or reimbursement for gym memberships, subsidized Weight Watchers meetings, health fairs and incentives for participation.
Medium sized companies will have many of the same options, but often fewer of them. One advantage of being smaller is scalability. What may be too costly for the larger or the smaller company fits just right for the middle guys. One example is on-site health coaching. This is a great program for helping employees reach health-related goals.
Smaller companies, those under 500 employees, can still work in great programs, even on limited budgets. Create team fitness events with company leaders involved. Bring in speakers for lunch and learn seminars on nutrition and healthy cooking or medical condition education on subjects such as diabetes and cancer prevention. Provide fitness instructors for on-site classes, even without a gym. Health fairs are also a low cost way to get information to employees.
It is important for companies to understand their goals, determine the budget, understand their employee population, get their input, enlist a few wellness champions throughout the organization and early and on-going communication.
When wellness is carefully planned, employee health is its own reward!
About Your Columnist
Susan Doherty is a featured columnist for Women Taking Charge, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, where she covers how companies can create a culture of health in the workplace along with tips on how busy professional women can stay healthy during hectic times. She shares insights from her long career in the health and wellness industry to offer organizations best practice tips on creating a culture of health in the workplace. Susan is the owner of Action Ergonomics and specializes in risk prevention for workers in the office environment, solving a major barrier to productivity and performance.