The Wellness trend isn’t going away
If you thought of workplace wellness as another health-nut trend that would eventually fade away, you’re probably surprised that it’s still going strong. The idea of wellness has been around for centuries. Only in recent decades have we anchored the idea to workplace behaviors.
Companies big and small have molded the concept of wellness to meet their individual needs and expectations. Wellness specialists tailor programs to meet industry-specific groups: construction, office, factory, and other workers. Wellness hasn’t initiated a health-consciousness revolution, but it has motivated employees to at least consider different lifestyle options.
Making a Wellness Effort
Companies are making a sincere effort at incorporating wellness into their culture. They hire wellness staff or subcontractors. They work remotely with wellness consultants. Some companies implement wellness as a Human Resource function or add key duties to an existing job description. To increase employee participation, some employers implement reward programs.
Because of the obvious benefit of healthier, health-conscious employees, businesses are all in. They are personalizing their wellness efforts to meet critical employee needs.
- Smoking cessation programs
- On-the-job exercise programs
- Stand-while-you-work initiatives
- Healthier food options at work
- Worksite health clinics
- Weight loss challenges
- Biometric screenings
- Stress reduction workshops
The CDC Supports Wellness Efforts
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention report “Current Practices In Worksite Wellness Initiatives” discusses the benefits of workplace wellness programs. It also examines grant-funded programs in Montana, Mississippi, Arizona, Arkansas and other locations across the country. Each program adopted a unique focus.
- Breastfeeding-friendly workplaces
- Wellness Champions to implement worksite programs
- Healthiest workplace recognition awards
- FitPick healthy vending and micro market labeling
- Healthy employee lifestyles
The CDC has found that workplace wellness programs encourage voluntary personal improvements. They’re in keeping with the agency’s drive to prevent and control diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other chronic conditions. They also reduce employers’ direct and indirect costs.
- Improve employee health
- Reduce healthcare costs
- Lower health insurance premiums
- Reduce the number of worker’s compensation claims
- Improve employee productivity
- Reduce absenteeism
Yes, there are wellness wannabes. As with any popular idea, some companies simply want the benefit of being affiliated without making the effort. They imitate the wellness trend by simply inserting the phrase “wellness” into their business descriptions, job titles, and product labels. Of course, imitation wellness is probably a sign that wellness is truly a powerful idea that’s here to stay.
The wellness trend has morphed into a benefit that unites employers and employees. Together, they make a conscious effort to improve employee workplace experiences and promote employee health and happiness. As the nonprofit AHIP explains, “...businesses can thrive and grow. Everybody wins.“