President John F. Kennedy once said “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” Many companies have developed wellness programs to promote healthy lifestyles for employees. Healthier employees help maintain productivity. They also keep premiums low for companies paying health insurance costs as healthier employees have fewer concerns.
Companies have developed programs for educating and raising awareness in employees about health problems. Companies have health professionals come in and do screenings at the employer’s workplace for the convenience of workers. They can check blood pressure, heart rate, and other routine tests to see if workers have issues. Companies also can have specialists and health educators come in and provide free educational programs about various areas. These can range on developing exercise programs at home to issues of substance abuse. Developing and publishing literature and brochures for employees can also make an impact.
Organizations can promote wellness activities that involve exercise and fitness programs. These can be through the employer or developed by employees with support of the company. Workers may organize lunch time walking groups that stroll through the neighborhood during lunch. Ambitious workers have banded together and formed groups that walk the stairs of their employer. Some proactive companies have set up fitness centers that cater to workers on site. If this is not possible they may contract with private centers nearby for the convenience of workers.
Wellness programs may be developed with the best of intentions for workers. However they do need to be made aware of privacy issues and legal considerations of health related information of people. (http://www.fredlaw.com/articles/employment/empl_1109_dl_kh.html) Any health information gathered need to be treated with confidentiality. For example, health screenings should be done in settings that allow privacy and discreteness. Programs should be voluntary and accommodations should be offered to those with disabilities.
The Bottom Line
The exact savings cost for these wellness programs is hard to measure. There may be no way to determine an exact amount of return on investment from resources companies put in to these programs. There are certain factors such as health cost savings and less sick time used. True savings costs and benefits may go beyond costs however. The ultimate goal of any effective wellness program is to develop a change in lifestyle. Long term permanent change to better health is what these programs strive for.
Companies that promote wellness at work can find increased morale from employees. If the company cares about the health of employees, workers will appreciate it more. Benefits are comprehensive in many different areas. Find out how TempStaff can help your company achieve greater wellness this year.