This guest blog post is written by Kate Cornelius, marketing and community associate at OpenSesame, the world’s largest marketplace for buying and selling elearning courses. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in anthropology, psychology, and women’s studies. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Want to encourage your employees to adopt healthier lifestyles without being a burden or a bore AND save your company money on healthcare costs? You’ll need a well thought out and innovative corporate wellness plan. While creating a plan may seem like a daunting task, there are plenty of resources available to help you succeed, including our tips below.
Corporate wellness plans have been getting a lot of buzz recently. Assuming you’ve read the debates, and your company has decided to go ahead and start your own version of workplace wellness, there are some things you should know to optimize your plan.
In order to create an engaging plan your employees will want to take part in, combine physical/in-person initiatives with online tactics. Major companies have adopted this method, including Kraft Foods, who has recently transitioned to a program by Sonic Boom Wellness. Their innovative program combines social networking, games, and high tech devices (pedometers and more) to get employees involved online and off. Health tech startup Keas offers companies the opportunity to create an enterprise social network based on wellness where employees can track health stats and progress. Companies can combine these online tools with physical improvements for a highly efficient workplace wellness experience.
- Offer healthy food: overhaul your vending machine and include healthy options; bring fruits and veggies for an office snack
- Post health related materials in your kitchen or break room (nutritional information, healthy living articles)
- Initiate a smoking cessation program (encourage employees to attend meetings and support each other)
- Provide bike storage and encourage commuter options that get employees moving (walking, biking, etc)
- Give employees a fitness stipend to encourage them to join a gym, go to yoga, or get involved in their favorite physical activity
Example: Healthcare company Aetna offers access to fitness facilities in many offices and membership discounts through a national fitness center network.
- Offer online training courses to supplement your physical initiatives
- Use a service such as Sonic Boom Wellness or Keas to get your employees involved socially and track their progress
- Encourage the use of fitness tracking devices and apps (such as NikeFuel, Fitbit, or Jawbone)
Example: Software company IBM Canada offers employees reimbursement of up to 80% on approved wellness courses through their Life Plan Program. Employees can participate in courses covering a diverse range of topics such as nutrition, weight management, stress management, and smoking cessation.
Combine both online and in-person initiatives to make the most of your corporate wellness strategy. What has your company done to encourage health and wellness? How do you implement a corporate wellness policy?