- Employee Wellness Month--What's Missing From Many Wellness Programs
With employees increasingly demanding corporate wellness programs, offering these benefits is becoming an important recruitment and retention tool for companies. This, along with productivity and other benefits, is driving employers to launch a wellness program. Some of the key findings in the study included:
• 46% of all worksites offered some health promotion or wellness program
• Nearly 30% of employers across the nation offered a program for fitness, physical activity, or to counter being sedentary
• 20% offered programs for stress management
• 19% offered programs to help employees quit smoking
• 17% of companies offered programs for obesity or weight management
• 14% offered programs for alcohol and drug misuse
Regardless of company size, wellness programs involving physical activity were offered most frequently (29%). Health risk assessments and nutrition programs were the next most frequently offered program.
Most Programs Are Not Comprehensive
Most companies were not new to offering health and wellness programs. Sixty-nine percent of companies have had their programs in place for three or more years, but despite their experience offering programs, only 17% of companies offered employees a comprehensive wellness program. While this percentage is higher than the 6% in 2004, it still indicates that few companies are approaching wellness with a holistic view.
The CDC defines a comprehensive wellness program as having these key five elements:
• Health education programs focused on skill development and behavior change
• A supportive social and psychological environment that outlines the organization’s expectations, with policies that promote health (i.e., no smoking policies, increasing availability of healthy foods, etc.)
• Integration of health promotion programs into the organization with dedicated budget and resources
• Connection to other programs like employee assistance and work/family programs
• Worksite screening programs linked to medical care to increase follow up and treatment
Companies are more likely to have a comprehensive program when they have a designated budget and staff with experience in wellness programs, the study indicated.
This report helps companies of all sizes and industries understand how they compare in their wellness program offerings. The trend is moving towards more companies offering a variety of benefits, which will soon make the offering an imperative. Those companies that are just entering the field can take comfort in knowing that even though they may be late to the party, there are many opportunities to grow and refine their programs to match the size and needs of their organization.
Incorporating cost-free benefits like TicketsatWork, Plum Benefits and Working Advantage your comprehensive wellness program encourages financial wellness through savings, and work/life balance with time well spent outside of the workplace