10 Benefits of Wellness Programs in the Workplace

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 1, 2021

If you're interested in improving the overall health and wellbeing of your workforce, then you may want to consider developing a company-wide wellness program. In addition to establishing a culture focused on employee health, wellness programs also help to increase productivity, boost morale and increase teamwork. Learning about the many benefits of wellness programs can help you determine whether developing one is the right decision for your own company.

In this article, we discuss what a wellness program is, offer examples of types of wellness programs and discuss benefits of wellness in the workplace.

What is a wellness program?

A wellness program is any kind of organized activity in the workplace designed to improve and support the health and fitness of employees. Wellness programs could include fitness programs, health screenings and preventative care and include activities like:

  • Stress management education

  • Smoking cessation programs

  • Exercise programs

  • Weight loss competitions

  • Wellness assessments

Read more: Employee Wellness Program Ideas To Help Your Company Attract and Retain Great Talent

Benefits of wellness in the workplace

There are many reasons it's beneficial for companies to support and encourage wellness in the workplace, including:

Improves employee health behaviors

Changing and improving employee behaviors is the goal of any wellness program. By improving the behaviors of a workforce, you can help your team members lower their health risks and adopt healthy habits that will benefit all areas of their lives. Research shows that wellness programs can encourage employees to smoke less, eat healthier food, exercise more and manage stress more effectively. Wellness programs also have been shown to help employees alleviate and better manage the symptoms of depression, improving their overall wellbeing.

Improves employee health

By helping your employees develop healthy habits, you help them avoid health complications that can lead to chronic disease. Wellness programs encourage employees to eat healthy foods and exercise, reducing the risk of long-term health problems and helping them feel more energized and happy throughout their work days.

A wellness program can have a positive impact on your team's mental health as well. Many companies encourage employees to adopt healthy eating habits and provide nutritious food on site in order to encourage this behavior. Research shows that eating a nutritious diet not only provides sustained energy levels, but can also reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

Increases productivity

Research shows that employees who are healthier tend to be more productive in the workplace because they're more rested, energized and motivated to complete their work to the best of their abilities. By participating in wellness programs in the workplace, employees remain focused on maintaining healthy behaviors like exercise, which is shown to improve sleep and increase productivity in the workplace.

Improves employee engagement

When companies create a culture focused on employee wellness, they typically have a more engaged workforce. Weight loss challenges, walking groups and other wellness activities help employees feel more connected to the company they work for and to their co-workers. These activities help strengthen the relationships employees have with one another and their managers and can increase the likelihood that an employee will remain with the company for a long time.

Read more: How to Implement Company Wellness Challenges

Improves morale

A wellness program can help improve the morale of your entire team, as participating in one can create feelings of satisfaction among employees. Wellness programs help employees feel more supported in their health and wellness goals, which can help them feel more valued by their employer. These employees are more likely to embrace the opportunity

Wellness programs can also add variety into the workday. Educational programs and wellness activities teach employees new things and add an element of fun into the work environment to generate enthusiasm and boost morale.

Reduces stress levels

While stress does occur in the workplace, a wellness program can help to reduce or eliminate prolonged stress that reduces productivity and leads to unnecessary absenteeism from sickness. By creating a wellness program that's focused on reducing stress in the workplace, you can improve your team's performance and employee retention.

Improves attendance

Wellness programs help to improve the health of a company's workforce. Elevating the health of your team and minimizing stress as much as possible can increase their overall satisfaction in their role by making them feel more invested in their work. When employees feel healthy and morale is good, they're more motivated to come to work and perform at their best, improving company-wide attendance.

Reduces healthcare costs

Wellness programs can result in measurable savings for a company in the form of reduced healthcare costs. By improving the health of a company's workforce, those employees are less likely to get sick or be injured on the job. This means that employees are receiving medical care less frequently, saving both themselves and the organization money in healthcare expenses.

Improves teamwork

When employees work well as part of a team, they're more productive and the quality of their work also improves. They also tend to be more creative, since teamwork generally results in better collaboration and the development of more innovative ideas. By participating in wellness programs together, particularly team-based activities, employees can strengthen their relationships with one another, encourage each other and hold one another accountable for their goals. Taking part in wellness activities outside of the workplace can also help with team bonding and camaraderie, which further improves communication and collaboration in the workplace.

Related: 125 Wellness Ideas for Work Teams

Attracts new talent

Besides salary, prospective employees are also interested in seeing what other benefits a company has to offer employees. Research shows that many job candidates include wellness programs on the list of benefits that are extremely important to them. Some examples of wellness benefits that companies offer include:

  • Wellness screenings

  • Gym membership reimbursement

  • On-site clinics

  • Initiatives to serve healthy options at an on-site canteen

  • Health and wellness competitions

By including wellness benefits in your compensation package, you can attract more talented candidates. Companies can also use wellness programs to create a strong sense of loyalty among their employees and improve long-term retention.

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