In the early 90’s Google took a unique approach to keeping employees happy and healthy. They added corporate wellness programs with the goal of making their office a place where people would love to be. Exercise brought employees together, improved morale, and made them more productive. Thirty years later, companies across the country are trying to emulate Google’s success and are trying to reap the benefits of corporate wellness programs.
Now, wellness programs are more popular than ever. In fact, they can be the major deciding factor as potential employees weigh out their options when switching jobs and/or companies. Employees fresh out of college also have an expectation that their new employers will participate in some sort of a wellness program.
When done correctly, corporate wellness programs give employees incentives, tools, social support, and strategies to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors.
Here are some major benefits of corporate wellness programs:
- Improve employee health behaviors
- The core of every good wellness program is behavioral change. Making healthy behavioral changes lead to lower health risks, and lower risks leads to less chronic disease. For employers, this means fewer health care costs!
- Reduce elevated health risks
- When an individual changes their diet, gets active and avoids tobacco there is a very positive effect. Elevated blood glucose drops, high blood cholesterol drops, and high blood pressure drops. Corporate wellness programs are effective at reducing these elevated health risks.
- Improve Employee Recruitment and Retention
- Along with a good salary and a rich benefits plan, a great way a company can tip the scales in their direction when recruiting is to offer a wellness programs/wellness dollars to employees as well. This ‘add on’ perk also has a strong impact on retention. Offering corporate wellness packages tells the employee that the employer that they care about the wellbeing of the employee.