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Resource Center / Health Insurance Guide for Businesses

How to Make a Phenomenal Health and Wellness Program

73% of employees say they’re interested in a wellness program at work. Should your company invest in one?

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Kris Hoppe
Aug 22, 20174 minutes
workplace wellness

If you don’t have a health and wellness initiative at your company, you’ve certainly heard about them — workplace wellness programs are on the rise in 2017. But is all the hype worth it?

We’re inclined to say yes. According to an Aflac Workforces Report, medical costs decrease by about $3.27 for each dollar a business spends on wellness programs. Those savings can add up quickly.

However, it’s not just a monetary return that your business will gain from offering employee wellness initiatives. A quality health and wellness program will encourage your employees to find more happiness in their careers as well.

Benefits of Wellness Programs

Investing in a health and wellness program offers a return on investment on multiple fronts, from attracting talent, to keeping employees happy, and even reducing company medical bills.

Here are four reasons a workplace wellness program may be a great investment.

1. Increase Engagement

Erika Cartagena, Director of Employee Success at Justworks, wanted to prioritize a workplace wellness program after her own burnout at previous jobs.

“I realized that I had been sprinting for years and had not been practicing self care. Because of my literal breakdown — mentally, emotionally, and spiritually — my brain stopped working,” said Erika. “I realized that I had to shift and change everything.”

Healthy employees will performer at higher levels, and they’re more likely to be engaged. And engaged employees will bring a vibrance to the work culture and go above and beyond their role.

2. Offer Competitive Perks

As we’ve written about recently, tech companies and agencies face especially fierce competition for top talent. Offering tantalizing perks will help you compete with all the Googles and Amazons out there.

Better yet, advertising those perks on your website will help with recruiting efforts.

Justworks, for example, advertises our perks on our website to show how we care for the overall health and wellbeing of our employees.

36% of employees say better benefits packages would encourage them to keep their current jobs, according to the 2016 Aflac Workforces Report.

3. Reduce Absenteeism

If you want your team to come into work regularly, employee wellbeing is a great place to start. According to a study by the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism, companies that implemented a wellness program had a 20% reduction in employees calling in sick. And healthy employees won’t only come into work more, they’ll also be more productive while at work.

4. Encourage Cross-Team Collaboration

Employee wellness programs are a great way for other team members to meet each other and build relationships that will foster the health of the company.

For example, when I attended the weekly meditation classes at Justworks, I ended up talking with and befriending people on different teams who I hadn’t met before. Some of those casual conversations turned into ideas for projects we could collaborate together on as a team.

By offering more ways for your employees to enjoy each other’s company, you’ll pave a pathway to better workplace communication.

Creating a Health + Wellness Program

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Tips to Get Started

If you’re not sure where to start, Justworks hosted a webinar on how to create an unforgettable employee wellness program.

In the webinar, we run through the nuts and bolts — how to plan and execute a wellness program, along with plenty of free and low-cost ideas to get you started. We also invited Citi Bike and One Medical to share how employers leverage their services to offer competitive employee perks.

You can watch the webinar recording here:

[0:00 - 1:14] Opening
[1:14 - 2:07] Panelist introductions
[2:08 - 4:00] The research behind employee wellness programs
[4:00 - 6:53] How employers are adapting to win the talent war
[6:53 - 7:28] Intro to deciding wellness priorities
[7:29 - 9:36] Determining resources for employee wellness programs
[9:37 - 11:27] How to gauge employee interest in wellness programs
[11:28 - 13:13] Measuring outcomes and success with workplace wellness
[13:14 - 13:33] The whole employee: physical, mental, and emotional health
[13:33 - 14:17] How physical health boosts employee productivity
[14:18 - 15:34] Free wellness program ideas for physical health
[15:35 - 16:34] Low-cost wellness program ideas for physical health
[16:35 - 17:44] How mental health boosts employee productivity
[17:45 - 19:02] Free wellness program ideas for mental wellbeing
[19:03 - 19:59] Low-cost wellness program ideas for mental wellbeing
[20:00 - 25:06] How Citi Bike helps promote a healthy workplace
[25:07 - 31:28] How One Medical helps promote a healthy workplace
[31:29 - 33:52] How Justworks can help make a great place to work
[33:53 - 43:36] Open-ended Q&A session

Our webinar included panelists:

  1. Charleton Lamb, Product Marketing Manager at Justworks

  2. Stephanie La Raja, Head of Marketing and Corporate Sales at Citi Bike

  3. Alexis Krase, Manager of Enterprise Client Services at One Medical

Still looking for more information? You can check out our blog post on 17 Workplace Wellness Ideas That Don’t Break the Bank.