INCREASING INVOLVEMENT IN YOUR WELLNESS PLAN
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Most employers recognize the importance of offering a wellness plan to their employees. With rising healthcare costs and an increasing number of Americans battling chronic disease or illness, providing your team with a wellness plan can be an effective way to increase your company's healthcare savings, productivity and morale. Many employers are even broadening wellness plans beyond the scope of physical health to provide resources for financial, emotional and relational wellness. When it comes to overall health, the question isn’t whether employers are willing to provide resources and opportunities; it is how to increase employee interest and participation in them.
The most important step in increasing involvement in your wellness plan is making sure your team knows you have one. In a recent study by LightSource, 64% of those surveyed said that a wellness plan is somewhat or extremely important to them, but only 30% of them were aware of their company's wellness benefits when they accepted a job offer.
The most effective way to inform employees is to use a variety of methods to get the word out. Sending out a blast email or having a wellness week isn’t nearly as effective as consistent communication and buy in from a few key employees. Having a few employees act as wellness ambassadors to promote your wellness benefits increases appeal and awareness, creating a sense of community and making wellness a valuable part of company culture. People are more likely to take advantage of a wellness program when they know others are doing it, too. Whether it’s going to classes together, posting on Instagram, advertising on your company's intranet or chatting around the water cooler, wellness ambassadors engaging others goes a long way toward the success of your wellness program.
Incentives are both a popular and tested way to increase employee engagement in your company's wellness plan. It's easy to garner excitement when your employees have something to gain. Offering gift cards for completing different aspects of a program or a drawing for completing a healthcare assessment are appealing ways to get people involved. If your company has a smaller budget for wellness, offering group activities such as a hike or or discounts on gym memberships and local farmer's market products can be exciting ways to engage your team in taking charge of their health. Just make sure that any incentives are highlighting your wellness program instead of becoming the wellness program. The point is to have employees work toward health and wellness goals rather than simply collect incentives.
Getting employees involved in the formation of your wellness program will increase interest and participation from your team, adding to its success. Employee commitment and participation are likely to increase when they are asked to provide input before and after a wellness program has been implemented. When employees can share opinions about what resources are important to them or what changes they would like to see in a wellness plan, they are more inclined to take advantage of it. It is important to get a diverse sample of information when asking for employee input. Involving employees from a variety of locations, shifts, and positions will provide more well-rounded and complete insight into what your team values and what works for them, and will make everyone feel valued and considered in the process.
Finding Unique Ways To Relieve Stress
These days, investing in your team means more than just providing health insurance and reimbursing a gym membership. Investing in the total health of your employees is an investment in your company. Poor employee wellbeing leads to poor employee involvement, lower productivity and absenteeism. Adding focus on financial, emotional and social health provides tools to care for the whole person and relieve employee stress. Finding unique ways to help employees combat stress in a variety of areas increases employee productivity, loyalty and morale, creating a happier and healthier work environment. A few unique benefits can go a long way, such as:
- Access to financial resources like advisors and identity theft protection
- Telemedicine, especially for mental health support
- Providing mindfulness opportunities, like short breaks for breathing exercises, meditaion and prayer, or taking a short walk
- Team events involving family and friends, like holding a 5k to raise money for a local charity
Need a New Wellness Plan?
With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Berg Andonian is a team of Benefit Advisors who take pride in helping our clients find the right coverage options for their employees. We will gladly help you design a custom wellness plan that fits the needs and scope of your team. Call us today to get started!
Published October 17, 2018.