What Is A Company Wellness Programme?

Published on:

December 16, 2020

What is a company wellness programme

This post covers:

  • What is a company wellness programme?
  • The productivity benefits of company wellness
  • Creating a culture of productivity

If you want to achieve a higher level of productivity among your employees, creating a company wellness programme produces impressive results. “Keep the crew happy, you can’t go wrong”, as fictional CEO Mr Tinsworthy says in the 1982 movie 9 to 5.

In the film, the creation of a day-care centre, job sharing and an alcoholic rehabilitation programme improve staff happiness. As a result, there’s a 20% rise in productivity across six weeks.

Can such an impressive leap in productivity be achieved through a company wellness programme in the real world?

A study into a corporate wellness programme in the United States by the University of California Riverside proves that they work.

Over three years, its results were dramatic – a 5 per cent increase in average worker productivity or one extra day of productive work each month. That figure doubled to an 11 per cent uptick for sick employees whose health improved and 10 per cent for healthy workers during the programme.

What is a company wellness programme?

A company wellness programme is sometimes called employee wellness, company wellness, corporate wellbeing, workplace wellbeing or health and wellbeing.

A company wellness programme is a policy that companies introduce to keep employees safe, healthy and happy to help boost productivity. In larger firms, they include the following types of initiative:

  • Yearly health assessments
  • A health and wellness helpline
  • Free flu jabs
  • Free gym membership
  • Healthy eating plans
  • Fitness challenges
  • Many more

A company wellness programme doesn’t have to be expensive to make an impact. A simple programme for smaller companies or an imaginative one can also create meaningful productivity gains. Here are some easy wins:

  • Discounted gym memberships
  • Discounted monthly massages
  • A healthy food box scheme

What are the benefits of a company wellness programme?

Most sensible employers want to look after the health and wellbeing of their employees and can see the link between improving wellness and reducing absenteeism.

But what many small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) don’t realise is the productivity gains to be made from a company wellness programme. When staff are happy, their energy increases, employee engagement increases, they take fewer ‘sickies’ and productivity increases. And when the company is loyal to them, they’re faithful back, so they stay for longer.

Some SMEs see providing employees with free access to the local gym as a cost. They don’t connect the wellbeing of staff with profitability, except in that they are delivering on their job description and other metrics that measure them. As long as employee appraisals are fair, they see everything else as OK.

Forward-thinking business owners, managers and directors take a more detailed view of their business and how to run it effectively. They want their staff to be more involved with the company and its success while showing an interest in their team at the same time.

How employee wellbeing drives productivity today

People are starting to value their lifestyle as much as their salary. The younger generation, in particular, doesn’t want their life to be all about their job.

That’s the inverse of where our grandparents were 50 to 100 years ago in the mechanistic era when command and control was the way to run a business. Back then, you could sell everything you made, there wasn’t a lot of competition, and everyone was glad to have a job.

In today’s more enlightened and interconnected world, there’s much more competition for the products and services we produce and the talent that we employ. Employees’ opinions have become as valid, if not more so, as the customer’s.

Not providing or being seen to offer a work-life experience for young people that’s balanced and helps them to get the most out of life and work, will bring you up short. You’ll find it challenging to recruit and retain staff.

Creating a culture where productivity increases

You have to do your bit to show employees that it’s worth working for you by creating a culture that cares. When they accept that a company is not just about what they produce, but is interested in their wellbeing as well, those people are going to be more loyal and motivated in return.

  • In The Millennial Study by Qualtrics and Accel, 20% said finding a more fulfilling job would be the main reason for leaving their current one.
  • In the Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020, millennials and Gen Zs (ages 25-30) wanted businesses to put people before profits. “Job loyalty rises as businesses address employee needs, from diversity and inclusion to sustainability, reskilling, and more,” said Deloitte.

At Awardaroo, one of the ways we drive productivity is by helping business owners to create belief and value in their company. We look at how people see their work and their employer and the value they are creating and delivering.

We believe that creating value for employees is as vital as creating value for customers. We don’t hesitate to address customers’ problems by selling a service or product that helps them. So, it makes sense to try something similar with employees.

Like your customers, they also have problems, whether it’s paying the bills or finding a work-life balance that has meaning. Employees need to see there’s something more to a job than our forefathers did, and a company wellness programme is just one of the ways you can achieve it.

About Paul Freudenberg

Paul Freudenberg is a business productivity coach and consultant with a focus on operational excellence delivering improved profitability and business performance, and Founder of Awardaroo in 2005. Paul has set the mission of Awardaroo to help raise UK Business Productivity from one of the lowest in the G7 to one of the highest by 2030. Connect on LinkedIn

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