Strategies for Boosting Corporate Wellness

At the very top of Zippia’s 2018’s 100 Best Companies to work for in Utah is a molecular diagnostic company based in Salt Lake City called Myriad Genetics. A strong corporate wellness program is partly what attracts job seekers to work for Myriad Genetics.

You’re tasked to further boost your company’s wellness program to improve recruitment and retention. What can you do? Do you start offering beauty treatments like weekly trips to the spa, lip augmentation with dermal fillers, Brazilian wax, or exfoliation to keep employees happy and loyal?

First, you need to take stock of where you are as a company and what you really want to achieve. Here are a few ideas to consider:

The Trend

There is an upward trend in companies heavily incorporating wellness programs as part of their HR strategy. A survey made by the Society for Human Resource Management indicates that 75% of companies offer some type of wellness program. In a separate study, 77% of employees believe that these programs are good for the overall company culture.

Another survey by Utah’s Employers Council (UEC) in 2018, shows that the cost of the monthly premium for an employee for all combined plan types is $568, which is $55 more compared to 2017.

Don’t Just Jump on the Bandwagon

Start by looking at what you have and see how you can build from there. Typically, a health plan is the starting point of your wellness program. Survey your employees and determine if there are needs that aren’t met by your HMO. If you find out that many of your employees, for example, have an autoimmune disease like psoriasis, during the renewal, see how you can have this covered.

Learn about your usage rate from your agent. A company with a predominantly young—supposedly healthier—roster of employees will likely have a lower usage rate. Check if you can bring down the cost of your premium.

In the UEC 2018 study, 61% of companies with a wellness program said that they also provide incentives for employees to join the wellness program. So think of the program as not only what your company should offer but also something that your employees can participate in.

Firming Your Strategies and Big Ideas

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If your company is composed of baby boomers (1946-1964), Gen Xers (1965-1979), and millennials (1980-1999), your strategy must be flexible to meet their health goals. Millennials want more sleep and better ways to cope with stress. Baby boomers’ and Gen Xers’ want to lose weight.

Having a free “Friday Pizza (or Salad)” for everyone will always be a welcome break from the stress of daily work. If you’re indeed serving a salad or something healthy, then your employees know that you are sensitive to their weight-loss goals.

Be creative and get everyone involved in group challenges. The team that logged the most gym hours in the company-sponsored membership gets a reward card or gift certificate. Make the reward system in short intervals of time, perhaps every month or every two months, so that you keep your employees engage.  A longer waiting time for the award of the incentive might discourage them from participating.

Cooking classes, yoga sessions, and free food are all good ideas. Understanding best practices, knowing more about your employees, and identifying what fits best are crucial to having a successful wellness program.