Corporate wellness” is the new buzz phrase. It isn’t a new concept, but one that has moved into the forefront in the minds of many businesses today. Since health care costs continue to sky rocket and the economy remains challenging, business owners and managers are being forced to look at all costs related to their number one asset – their employees!
The benefits of fit employees are numerous for both the employer and the employee. There are many benefits from a monetary stand point such as the fit employee is less likely to get sick. Reduced absenteeism and reduced health care expenditures top the list.
Other benefits include having employees with more energy. This energy allows the employee to stay focused at work. A healthy and fit employee also tends to have a higher level of self-confidence in themselves and inspires confidence in others around them. Employees, who know how to set fitness goals and stay motivated to exercise, will also be goal-oriented at work. Leading a life with a good attitude and less stress is also a benefit of a healthy and fit employee.
How does an employer go about a wellness program? When looking for a company wellness program, look for one that is more than just a gym membership. Employees come in all shapes and sizes, and most importantly different fitness levels. Because of this fact, it is important to find a wellness program that takes this into consideration. Employees need to feel comfortable and not intimidated. They need a place to go where there is someone who will help to guide them into fitness, teach them goal-setting, nutrition, exercise and how to create a road map for success.
In addition, the wellness program should offer education to the employer and the employee. It is not only learning wellness at work and in the gym, but taking that education into their home life. This will help create an actual lifestyle change.
Whether the company wellness plan is paid for by the employer, employee or they share the cost, there needs to be some kind of commitment. Often times when the wellness program or fitness membership is completely free with no guidelines, it is difficult to hold the employee accountable. When there is no accountability, the programs are often viewed as not being valuable, therefore fail. The key to any wellness program is involvement. The way to get healthy and fit is to participate.
We all want our employees to enjoy their work environment, and to bring the best of themselves to their jobs every day. Encouraging our employees to embrace fitness as a lifestyle choice pays off in numerous ways!