Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Wellness Program

Chances are high that your company has implemented some type of wellness program or incentives. Workplace wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular with companies of all sizes. In fact, according to a 2012 study, “approximately half of U.S. employers offer wellness promotion initiatives.” While programs may vary, they are all intended to promote good health and wellness amongst the employees in your company. In turn, the results of these programs can improve productivity, morale, general health and ultimately reduce medical premium costs for employers.

While all of these factors appeal to most, it is important to note that a poorly designed wellness program actually does not help at all. A bad program might not save any money since the program itself costs money. If conducted carelessly, employees might feel embarrassed, insulted or suspicious of the questions and requirements being asked of them. A good wellness program should let employees know that the company cares about them; a bad wellness program can do the opposite.

Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Wellness ProgramIf you are not sure whether your company’s wellness program is helping or hurting, here are some simple do’s and don’ts Worplace Wellness to reflect on:

Don’t: Dock pay, threaten financial penalties, or require your employees to get a specific test or attend a class.
Do: Incentivize employees who participate in the program or reach goals with gift cards, lowering premium costs, a new pair of athletic shoes, etc..

Don’t: Send out documents or make statements that imply your employees don’t quite understand the harms of smoking, eating poorly or other activities we’ve been taught to avoid since we were in elementary school.
Do: Send out tips on how to quit bad habits, provide healthier snacks in your dining area or advertise nearby yoga or spinning classes.

Don’t: Expect all employees to make changes and take initiative on their own.
Do: Support in whatever ways you can. Encourage everyone to participate by making the program fun. Start friendly office-wide competitions or have a company-wide goal to reach.

Here at SyncHR, we’ve had a successful Biggest Loser competition. Our company-wide winner was able to lose over 40 pounds in 3 months and was financially rewarded for the accomplishment. We try to stock our kitchen with healthy snacks and our company softball team gave a valiant effort despite finishing 1-9 for the season!

What can you do for yourself and your company?

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