The Importance of Wellness Program Management in the Workplace

Published by HealthSource Solutions on

Wellness Program Management

Work-related stress and tension are growing problems in the workplace. Research from Harvard University shows that more than half of Americans live with high levels of work-related stress.

With so many people struggling to cope with their jobs, it's no wonder why wellness program management has become such an important topic for companies that are looking to improve their working environments.

How Do Wellness Programs Work?

Wellness programs are unique in that they take place outside of an individual's traditional health care provider. The program collaborates with other services like insurance providers or fitness centers. Collaboration is beneficial because it gives employees a wide range of options and helps to reduce the stigma associated with seeking treatment for mental health.

Wellness programs often offer counseling, education, or support groups that help employees cope with workplace stress in a beneficial way for their well-being. These are vital services because they give struggling employees access to resources when they need them the most.

These services are beneficial for employees and employers. There are reduced costs associated with turnover for employers and the program provides a more positive work environment. When was the last time you heard of "employee engagement" in your workplace? Wellness program management can be one way to promote it.

Benefits of Wellness Program Management in the Workplace

Improved Productivity

Employers report an average of $2000 per year in lost productivity due to stress-related illness. According to a study conducted by the American Institute of Stress, employees with well-developed wellness programs have shown significant improvement in overall health and greater family satisfaction due to less work absenteeism.

Employees who frequently exercise are on top of their game, both mentally and physically. They are more focused, productive, and less likely to make careless mistakes at work.

Increased Employee Retention Rates

Studies show that companies who implement successful wellness programs experience a decrease in turnover rates by as much as 30%. A reduced turnover rate is because employees feel valued and supported.

It goes both ways. Employers benefit from higher quality staff, better customer service, increased productivity, improved employee relations, and more satisfied customers. By offering wellness programs, employers can retain more satisfied and productive employees, which results in a healthier bottom line.

Positive Work Environment

It is no secret that happy employees are high-performing ones too. Therefore, it makes sense for companies to want the best of both worlds to retain engaged and motivated employees.

Wellness programs provide a platform for employees to share their concerns and ideas about the workplace. Sharing concerns and thoughts result in developing better communication within teams and improved relationships with management. This often leads to increased morale throughout an entire company or department.

Additionally, wellness programs help create positive and encouraging work environments by boosting morale and improving communication between employees. It also does wonders for the employer's reputation when they are seen as offering such valuable resources that contribute directly to their staff's well-being.

Lower Costs

Wellness program management can help employers reduce the cost of disease and illness, resulting in lower overall health care costs. According to a study conducted by George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services, companies implementing wellness programs saw an impressive decrease in absenteeism due to stress-related illnesses. The latter resulted in decreased healthcare costs up to $58,000 annually.

In most successful wellness program management cases, employees also have a decrease in the use of leave time and increased productivity, further reducing employer costs.

Reduced Absenteeism

The average employee misses 5 to 6  days of work per year due to illness. This number can double for working parents caring for sick children. Absenteeism is costly for the employer. Still, it can have a negative impact on clients who are waiting longer than usual for services or products that require more hands-on attention.

Wellness programs help employees recognize when they may need additional support and resources. The support and resources can help them get back on their feet faster and decrease the amount of time they are away from work.

Diminished Work Stress Levels

Not only does workplace stress have a negative impact on employees, but it also affects the company as a whole. According to Harris Interactive and Workplace Options studies, 77% of employees report feeling stressed out at work.  As previously stated, work-related stress may result in decreased productivity levels and higher turnover rates.

Wellness programs offer several opportunities for staff members to take a break from their busy schedules. Such breaks help to decrease stress levels and make them feel more relaxed throughout the day. In turn, this can result in happier employees who are less stressed out at work and have increased production rates and a better quality of life outside of the office.

Challenges When Implementing Wellness Program Management in the Workplace

Many challenges come along with implementing wellness program management in the workplace. However, there are several strategies for overcoming these issues and creating positive changes within your organization.

One of the biggest challenges when implementing wellness program management in the workplace is that it often requires a change within an already established culture. Change can be difficult because some employees may feel their privacy and rights are being violated, while others see this initiative as positive encouragement to stay healthy and fit.

The key here is making sure everyone knows what the new wellness initiatives encompass, so there aren't any misunderstandings or misinterpretations. Many wellness programs offer incentives to employees who participate in the program. Such incentives may help encourage employees if they feel hesitant about whether this initiative is right for them.

Another big challenge when implementing workplace wellness initiatives is that several stakeholders are involved and everyone has their thoughts. To create successful wellness program management, it is crucial that everyone who has a role within the company be involved in conversations about the initiative.

The first step is to ensure all employees understand why these new initiatives are being implemented and how they can benefit from such initiatives. This way, everyone is on the same page and can help create a better environment within their workspace.

Wellness program management offers many benefits to both employers and employees. However, implementing these new strategies requires open communication with all parties involved. Open communication will ensure that everyone knows what this initiative entails, so there are no misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the program.

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