Corporate Wellness Defined - And Why It's Important To You!

September 3, 2021

Katie DuBois

It’s a fact - happier, healthier employees are more productive employees. We’ve all heard this statement before, right? This is the main concept behind the birth of Corporate Wellness Culture, but what does it even mean? Think about it this way: when was the last time you had a really great week – go back to that time in your mind. You accomplished a lot at work and had a very productive week. Now, think of how your time was spent outside of work hours that week. What else was going on? Maybe you spent quality time with your family. Maybe you did a great job meal prepping for the week. Maybe you stayed consistent with your workout routine. Maybe you had a night out with some friends, stayed on top of household chores, or scheduled some much-needed appointments for yourself. Whatever it was, I bet a few of these statements ring true because YOU HAD A GREAT WEEK! I bet you felt accomplished, balanced and productive, which made you feel successful, happy, and healthy. This is the whole idea behind companies offering corporate wellness options to their employees, and creating a corporate wellness culture in the workplace.

From an employer's perspective, all eyes are on the numbers that determine overall production and health care costs. Especially for those businesses that are self-insured, keeping health care costs down is a huge plus! The healthier your employees are means fewer doctor visits, and fewer sick days. This is why offering wellness options and developing a Corporate Wellness Culture has become so important. According to a Gallup State of the American Workplace study, “employees with high overall “well-being” have 41% lower health-related costs compared with employees who are struggling, and 62% lower costs compared with employees who are suffering”. This, paired together with higher production numbers, makes investing in your employee’s health and wellness a must. In fact, by adopting a Corporate Wellness program, companies can expect:

  • Reduced absenteeism and presenteeism
  • Greater employee engagement and productivity
  • Less unscheduled paid time off
  • Fewer workers’ comp claims
  • Greater employee retention
  • Increased employee satisfaction and morale

From an employee perspective, being informed about, and utilizing your employer’s corporate wellness offerings is a HUGE benefit to you. Let’s face it – most of us spend the majority of our time during the workweek AT work, right? So, it makes sense to prioritize your individual wellness ensuring your overall production in the workplace will be positive – that's what employers wish for. Especially in today’s world, this is more important than ever. The COVID pandemic has of course had a strong impact on the corporate landscape, especially concerning depression and anxiety among adults. I think many of us feel this. Some studies have reported as much as a 30% increase in these symptoms from before the pandemic began. Now more than ever, our overall health and wellness are critical to our overall well-being, especially in the workplace.

As the Corporate Wellness Director at Western, I’ve found a lot of businesses are trying to work on supporting their employees with this concept, which is fantastic to see! Many larger companies have even formed an entire department around workplace wellness, whose primary role is to act as a resource for their employees, offering various health- and wellness-related benefits. I’ve discovered these often include reimbursements for health club memberships, workshops discussing self-care, nutrition and mindfulness, or even workplace group challenges and competitions. My role at Western is to help support businesses in our area with their programs and initiatives – to help people find that “Work-Life Balance” through health and wellness, both physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Employers, I encourage you to consider creating and developing optional benefits like those noted above for your employees, demonstrating that wellness is more than providing health insurance and retirement benefits. Five key components to ensure a successful wellness program are:

  1. Provide employees with practical and accessible programs
  2. Have a health-conscious work environment
  3. Integrate wellness into the company structure
  4. Link wellness to existing support programs
  5. Offer health screenings and education

Keep these ideas in mind when developing something new and consider partnering with local resources like Western to enhance your offerings.

Employees, I encourage you to seek out the options offered to you at work and utilize them to better your Work-Life Balance. Because everyone deserves to be happy, healthy, productive, and have a great week ALL the time!

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