It's a nationally acknowledged truth: Healthcare is the No. 1 cost for organizations today. Research shows that 80 percent of healthcare costs are spent on diseases—such as heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer—that are almost entirely preventable with better nutrition and physical activity. Corporate wellness was originally created as a solution to help reduce health care costs and help educate employees on how to become better consumers in their health. However, corporate wellness also plays an important role in a company's culture.
"The landscape of corporate wellness has definitely changed in the past several years," said Kendra Bylsma, owner and lead health coach of Allegro Coaching. "Corporate wellness no longer exists to simply reduce healthcare costs, but to improve productivity and employee morale. The best and brightest companies know that creating a healthy culture can attract and retain the best talent in the workplace."
When done properly, corporate wellness can enhance an organization's culture, increase productivity and improve employee morale.
How can you make corporate wellness work well for you and your company?
Begin with an assessment.
Most corporate wellness programs begin with an assessment on the top healthcare expenditures of the company. In addition to the company's costs, an assessment should look at the top needs and interests of the employees.
"Most employees don't want to be told what to do," Bylsma said. "They want to come to this decision on their own terms, and most do want to be healthier. They simply lack the resources, knowledge and environment to be set up for success."
Wellness evaluations can be completed through health risk assessments, biometric screenings, employee surveys, focus groups or a combination of all.
Move into program interventions and education.
And you can literally move! Allegro, for instance, offers solutions to corporate wellness that are relevant, easy and fun. They offer onsite wellness services such as personal coaching, well-being workshops, cooking demonstrations, massage therapy, stress management classes, on-site fitness classes and team wellness challenges.
Set your employees up for success.
Allegro's approach is to be an advocate and help the company improve its physical environments and work culture through better vending options, BYO Potluck days, spaces to stretch and exercise, walking routes and policies that allow for wellness activities.
"For wellness to work at the workplace, it needs to be built into the overall strategy of the organization, and it needs to be fostered in a healthy culture," said Bylsma. "There's so much good research validating that if a culture works, everything else works better."
Employees are a company's most valuable assets. If corporate wellness is done properly, it will not only save your company money, but could enhance culture, improve productivity and strengthen employee morale—and probably their muscles, too.
Thanks to Kendra Bylsma, owner and lead health coach of Allegro Coaching, for providing information and insight on corporate wellness. To learn more about Allegro Coaching and how they can serve your company, click here.