What are Corporate Wellness Programs?
Corporate wellness programs help create an organizational culture of health. They are designed to support and encourage a holistic approach to employee well-being. They help employees cultivate healthy habits and improve health outcomes, increase productivity, and boost employee engagement.
Corporate wellness programs oftentimes include benefits for employees in the following areas:
- Child Care
- Adult & Elder Care
- Emotional Wellbeing
These services and benefits could be subsidized by the company with which an employee works or the company could have a business relationship with providers in the community to provide a discount.
Why are Corporate Wellness Programs Important?
Research shows that employees are more likely to be “on it” at work and perform well when they’re in optimal health. Here are some of the benefits of wellness programs in the workplace:
- Improved disease management and prevention
- A healthier overall workforce
- Lower health care costs.
Many chronic diseases are preventable and the implementation of corporate wellness programs can positively impact employees by educating them on the importance of creating healthy habits and by supporting them. Also, employees spend a lot of time in the workplace, so employers have found that it is beneficial to bring wellness into the workplace.
The early focus of corporate or company wellness programs was on weight loss, disease management for high-risk employees, and/or meeting rudimentary criteria to receive discounts on health insurance premiums.
This means one of the primary goals was to control employer healthcare costs – not necessarily to bolster the health, productivity, and happiness of the labor pool.
Physical health and incentivizing programs to reduce costs to employers and employees are valid and valuable objectives. However, if these are the only objectives of a corporate wellness program, it is unlikely the larger goal of improving the well-being of employees will be met over the long term.
The return on investment to the employer will not be significant. Wellness is a puzzle. All the pieces must be included or the picture won’t make sense.
Fortunately, corporate wellness is evolving and incorporating more comprehensive and robust program models with a holistic approach to personal health. Physical health is still important, but corporate wellness is beginning to understand the relationship between physical health, mental health, stress management, sleep, education, and workspace structures.
As more and more employers and organizations recognize the need to support the “whole person” and emphasize the value of all interrelated facets of wellness, the ROI grows along with the health of their staff.
Corporate Wellness Program Ideas
As coaching and training professionals you’re in a prime position to help businesses put wellness programs in place.
The key to having a successful corporate wellness program at work is encouraging overall well-being while still keeping it fun. If you can’t get your team engaged then your corporate wellness program ideas will quickly lose steam. So make your initiatives fun, try new ideas and see what your team values the most.
Fitness Programs and Activities
Employees who sit long hours in an office need time to exercise or move around. Some companies provide on-site gym services and fitness classes to help their employees stay fit. Some even have after-work group exercise classes, swimming pools, and sports grounds for their staff.
Healthy Lunch and Snack Options
Employers can provide enough time for their team members during lunchtime to hit the gym, play a sport, or even head home to eat a healthy homemade lunch. Companies like Google manage cafeterias that provide free snacks, lunches and even barista-made lattes to their workers in the course of the day, where employees from different teams can interact and make new friends.
Mental Health Programs
Corporate wellness programs should benefit both the physical and mental health of employees. Employers can provide personal support for issues such as substance abuse, stress, anxiety, and depression. Many work-related stress issues experienced by employees can be addressed through guided support programs outside the workplace. Such programs help employees to achieve peace of mind so that they can be able to perform at their best. They boost confidence and satisfaction between the employer and the employees.
Volunteering and Community Service
Companies can organize a day to volunteer in the community.. Employees can form fundraisers and groups for causes they feel passionate about. Such programs also make employees build relationships with colleagues.
Starting a Corporate Wellness Coaching Career
The best place to begin with corporate wellness is by seeking additional training and education, and consider additional credentialing, such as stress management coaching or sleep science coaching. The more education you have and the deeper your knowledge of behavior change and workforce challenges you possess, the more fruitful your efforts.
Next, start researching the corporate wellness market.
- What is already in place?
- What is missing? Are there gaps?
- Are there aspects you wish to replicate or build upon?
You may find no programs exist. Even if the businesses are small, most employers want a strong and satisfied workforce because it directly impacts the bottom line. If employees are successful, the business will be, too. Conducting this research will help you identify your value and what you can bring to the table.
See if any of your colleagues are in the corporate wellness space or have worked in this space. If so, see what they did to start out or ask for a referral. Sometimes you can also ask to “sub” or be a backup or simply shadow.
There’s a visible need for corporate wellness providers right now. If you subscribe to a job board or can access jobs on LinkedIn, search the following keywords: Wellness Coordinator, Corporate Wellness, Corporate Health Coach, Corporate Wellness Provider, Corporate Personal Trainer.
Do you want to reach small local businesses, mid-sized companies, or large corporate companies? Once you decide, research the companies in your area. For smaller, local businesses and even mid-sized companies, you can usually find the owner’s name or human resources information by calling the company. Introduce yourself, what you do, what services you offer, and how they can add value to the company.
Offer to do a lunch and learn or free session or ask for a meeting. Most companies are usually excited to support another local business and do not turn down things like a lunch and learn. When you go to meet the business owner/manager or human resource personnel, be ready to discuss ideas with an open mind on how you can best help employees at the company.
Wait…What is a Lunch and Learn?A lunch-and-learn is a program where employers encourage employees or applicants to eat lunch in a group setting while simultaneously utilizing that time to complete trainings, seminars, and other education.
Remember, we have great skills that can help employees create and maintain healthy habits which then trickles down into a happier and healthier workplace environment.
Becoming a Certified Wellness Coach is the perfect addition for the fitness professional who wants to offer more all-inclusive wellness services to clients. The time is now for you to enjoy this exciting and rewarding career, which offers you personal fulfillment while improving the lives of others.
Already started your Wellness Coaching Career? Learn more about becoming a Certified Corporate Wellness Coach. This niche market is exploding with opportunity!
Spencer Institute certification programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
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