Monday, February 28, 2011

Ideas and Incentives for Employee Sponsored Wellness Programs (Spring 2011)

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With increasing health care costs and major changes to the health care system, many employers are implementing wellness programs and health incentives for their employees. With a little creativity and participation from your workforce, you can create a wellness program that meets the needs of your employees and helps them maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Here are a few ideas to help you start or improve your own company wellness program:

Wellness Program Ideas & Initiatives:
  • Sponsor fitness and weight loss competitions.
  • Sponsor a walking program.
  • Sponsor company sports events, such as softball tournaments or 5K races.
  • Substitute snacks around the office with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Incentives for Participation in Wellness Programs:
  • Provide a monthly cash incentive for meeting fitness goals. 
  • Offer discounted health club memberships.
  • Give gift cards for health-related products and services.
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      Wellness programs are a proactive approach to reducing health risks among your employees, ultimately reducing health care costs.  An investment in a wellness program is an investment in your greatest asset - your employees.

      Wellness programs offer attractive benefits to employees, but they also add value to the employer as well.  Some of the reasons employees are motivated to participate in wellness programs include:
      • Desire to achieve better overall health.
      • Reduce personal health care costs.
      • Increase longevity of life.
      The benefits an employer can expect to see while maintaining a wellness program for employees include:
      • Improved energy and productivity among employees.
      • Employees will be motivated to work harder and perform better.
      • Decrease in absenteeism due to illness.
      • Improved employee moral.
      • Decrease in health care costs as employees reduce unhealthy behaviors and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
      • Gain control of illnesses, conditions, and unhealthy behaviors before they become more serious.
      • Recruit and retain top talent - wellness programs can help employees feel more appreciated and also increase loyalty to the company.
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         * “American Workers Say Wellness Works to Improve Health, Save Costs.”  Business Wire.  February 16, 2011.  

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