Health is important no matter whether people are at work, school, home or traveling. Staff members who are healthy have higher productivity, lower absenteeism and lower costs related to healthcare, insurance, worker’s compensation, disability and training. The implementation of a workplace wellness program benefits employees and employers and is a cost-effective measure to promote everyone’s health.
What Is a Workplace Wellness Program?
A workplace wellness program is a comprehensive set of programs, policies, benefits and environmental supports uniquely designed for a particular organization to meet the health and safety needs of all employees. No two workplace wellness programs will be alike due to the different working environment, characteristics and staff needs. These programs are often managed by an independent agency working together with health insurers and business managers.
What Does a Workplace Wellness Program Include?
Workplace wellness programs include an assessment of the worksite to determine any health risks present in the environment. Next, planning takes place to determine interventions and infrastructure changes to the facility. The program is then implemented for all staff and includes health promotion interventions and risk reduction measures. Typical activities or interventions in a workplace wellness program include health education and personalized health coaching, weight management programs, health fairs, medical screenings, on-site fitness programs and healthy cooking demonstrations. Finally, an assessment is done to determine the effectiveness of the program. If the program is to be ongoing, interventions may be updated, and assessments may continue on an intermittent basis.
The Benefits to Employees
There are many benefits to introducing a wellness program at work. The benefits include financial, productivity, loyalty and health improvements.
- Reduced risk of chronic diseases
- Lower stress
- Better weight management
- Improved stamina and productivity
- Lower costs for prescription medications, healthcare premiums and doctor’s office co-pays
Employer Benefits of Workplace Wellness Programs
More than 200 scientific studies have been published attesting to the benefits of instituting workplace wellness programs. Many of the reasons for their implementation are benefits to the employer, such as:
- Increased retention and recruitment of high-quality staff
- Lower healthcare costs
- Less employee absenteeism
- Improved employee morale and interpersonal relations
- Enhanced team-building
- Lower rates of workplace illnesses and injuries
Setting Up a Wellness Program at Work
Business owners who are ready to lower healthcare-related costs and enjoy all the other benefits of a workplace wellness program can contact Passport Health’s travel health specialists for guidance and assistance with program implementation. Passport Health travel health specialists offer services that include vaccinations, advice on travel health, assistance with preparing medical and travel supplies, guidance on the use of mosquito repellent and sunscreen, and testing for infectious and chronic diseases. Employees can also receive personalized consultations including pre-travel health exams for work-related travel.