What do you think of when you hear health care? If you think of a way to treat sick people you are among many that think the same thing. Let’s turn our thinking around and start thinking about a way to keep employees healthy and cut down on health problems in the future. The term wellness plan is a broad one but it can include things like walking clubs, sports teams, health screenings and weight loss programs just to name a few. You can’t just put one into place, you must alert your employees to it and make sure that they buy into it. Read on for some suggestions on ways to help your employees get excited about it.With all the talk about health care in the 2008 Presidential election campaign, many companies are worrying how they’re going to be affected by whatever plan finally goes into action, assuming one does.
One of the problems with talking about “health care” is that most people think of it only as a way of treating sick people. Health insurance and prescription plans are indispensable, of course, but have you thought about helping your employees stay well, to cut down on health problems in the future? This is not only good for your bottom line, but it’s good for your employees and your relationship with them.
‘Wellness plan’ is a broad term, but here are some opportunities you might explore:
- Life strategy, lifestyle mentoring, and personal development programs.
- Holistic work-life balance initiatives.
- Employer-sponsored group fitness activities, such as walking clubs or sports teams.
- Employer-sponsored fitness club memberships.
- Health screenings.
- Health education programs.
- Weight loss programs.
- Smoking cessation programs.
- Nutrition programs.
- Incentives for non-smokers and weight loss.
Whatever wellness plan you put in place, your employees must know about it, and they must buy into it. One way to help employees get excited about the wellness program is to set up a web site for your employees to blog about their progress in reaching their goals. Have contests for those who do well with competition, and post the results online. Let employees post pictures on the web site. Not only does putting your wellness program on your web site make your employees feel good, because they can brag, but it also gives your customers a sense of who you are as a company, and lets them know you care about your employees.
When setting up a wellness program for your company, it may help to look at what other companies are doing and get ideas and resources about wellness plans.
Your Miami insurance company will almost certainly have information on wellness programs and activities that you can use in your planning. Also check out web sites like SmartBusiness’s article on wellness programs at Wellness Programs – Getting Started, Healthy Guidance, and Management Help’s library of wellness program resources.
Ad don’t forget to look at various coaches and types of coaching. Often times, you can find someone who has worked within the industry you operate in and can bring valuable experience and an outside perspective to your business and associates.
Wellness programs are the perfect way to save your company, and your employees, money on insurance and health care. But they are also an opportunity to be who you really are as an employer, to care about your employees and let them know that you care about them as people.
Health is not just about health care. Being healthy makes us happier as well as more productive.
Everyone would love to be at least a little healthier – in body, mind, and spirit – and everyone appreciates having the opportunity to get there. Some employees will choose not to take advantage of a wellness plan, but no one will resent being given the chance to participate in a plan that helps them improve their physical, mental, and emotional health.
This is an opportunity to turn “health care” from a dirty word into a way to care for your employees and their families, because you care about them.