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What is a corporate wellness program?

30 June 2020 - 3:32pm

Physical and mental wellness is essential for employees to perform at their best. Without the right resources and opportunities to rejuvenate their overall health, workers may have to take time off to get back to a good place. Or, they might feel obligated to work while feeling down, which could severely impact their productivity levels and overall satisfaction of life in the workplace. By committing to and offering a corporate wellness program, you can make a move that's equally as beneficial to the well-being of your employees and your organisation.

A corporate health insurance program can be the keystone of a corporate wellness program. Without access to timely medical treatment when it's needed, general wellness programs can be seen as meaningless to those enrolled.

The need for wellness resources for all employees is a must. In a report with GU Health Wellness, we found that the cost of doing nothing for employees, in terms of contributing to their health, can be astronomical and lead to a serious economic impact on your organisation. For example, the total prevalence of mental illness in Victoria and New South Wales can amount to millions for companies in things like absenteeism, productivity loses and replacement costs.

Our research shows that an effective program comes with a return on investment in terms of presenteeism, absenteeism, effective recruitment of key employees and the consequential cost of turnover.
Let's take a closer look at what defines a corporate wellness program and what some of the key features of one should entail:

What is a corporate wellness program?

Essentially, corporate wellness programs involve a combination of plans that are designed to ensure prevention and early mitigation for common mental and physical health problems. Each wellness plan caters specifically to the wants and needs of a company, giving companies the opportunity to explore proactive health resources to offer their employees.

Workplace Wellness Australia and Corporate Wellness Australia are two examples of establishments that can create tailored programs and wellness strategies that help to satisfy employees and keep them happy and healthy - a few critical factors that are necessary for optimal productivity and the overall success of your company.

What are some potential key features of a strong corporate wellness program?

When working with a corporate health insurer, find one that offers a myriad of resources to assist employees with stress and anxiety, smart lifestyle choices and more. An effective wellness program can be built around a corporate health insurance plan, and should include features that are easily available for employees when they need them most. A few features to consider in a corporate wellness plan include:

1. Coordinated dietary sessions
Proper nutrition is an essential staple in strong health and wellness, but some of your employees might feel that they don't have the time to dedicate to making wholesome meals on a regular basis. Dietary sessions and health seminars can provide employees with the vital resources that can help them feel more knowledgeable about healthy eating and prioritising nutrition.

2. Time management training
Perhaps your employees are feeling more stressed lately due to an overwhelming schedule. One of the easiest interventions for coping with this issue is restructuring schedules and learning how to prioritise different tasks throughout the day. Time management training can be useful for these employees and can, in turn, help them feel more productive and become a better asset for your organisation.

3. Financial health well-being assistance
Financial stressors are common among Australians. In fact, the "National Australia Bank Australian Wellbeing Survey Q4 2019" found that 40% of people reported feeling some type of financial stress or hardship at the end of last year, which was also the highest number reported since the end of 2016. Offering your employees financial support in the form of seminars and other valuable resources can help them feel more confident in managing their money and paying their bills.

4. Group exercise
According to Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines, adults between the ages of 18 and 64 years old should get 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity every week. Some people may argue that this is more difficult with a busy lifestyle, so offering group exercise options or the use of a fitness centre at work can make a major difference.

5. Tips for dealing with stress
Stress, whether it's related to work or home life, can have a major impact on your employees' ability to be productive and work successfully. Provide guidelines and resources for employees who express feeling more stressed than usual, and make yourself readily available to talk through said issues with them.

6. Tips for coping with change
Now, more than ever, employees may feel uneasy about changes that occur at work - perhaps they're in the process of transitioning back to the office after working from home for months, for example. Providing resources for your employees to make the shift easier to handle can be beneficial for their well-being. Offering more flexible work-from-home opportunities can also help employees feel comfortable getting back into the office by slowing down the process.

How HICA can help

Investing in the right features for your corporate wellness program is a must if you want to see ROI. Sometimes, taking a survey for your employees can be beneficial, but your employees may only highlight what they want, not what they truly need. For instance, you can offer access to a masseuse on a weekly basis, but your employees may be dealing with mental stress and pressure that needs more attention that a realignment can offer.

A HICA consultant can help you navigate these tough questions that will likely come up when you're determining what you need in your corporate wellness program. We can recommend an example health and well-being resources calendar to introduce to employees and then follow up with feedback to best coordinate which options and resources are most beneficial to them.

Contact us directly today to learn more about corporate health insurance and ways to expand on wellness programs.