test 33 
How HR Can Promote Corporate Wellness Programs
Skip to content

Benefits Administration

How HR Can Promote Corporate Wellness Programs

One-Minute Takeaway

  • Over 50% of U.S. companies offer wellness programs as a benefit.
  • These programs support employees’ physical, mental, and social well-being.
  • Wellness programs boost engagement by up to 89%.

Corporate wellness programs are getting more and more popular. Today, over 50% of U.S. businesses offer these benefits to employees (Zipdo). This growing trend speaks to a shift in how many employers view their teams. Workers are far more than cogs in a machine – instead, business leaders are starting to see them as valuable assets. As a result, HR departments have more resources to invest in employee well-being.

Wellness programs can supplement more traditional benefits to boost job satisfaction. Unlike health insurance, which covers medical care, wellness benefits help employees build healthy habits before anything goes wrong. And wellness isn’t just physical – it also refers to mental, emotional, and even social needs.

What is a Corporate Wellness Program?

A corporate wellness program is a collection of resources or activities designed to promote employee well-being. These programs go beyond traditional healthcare benefits by creating a more widespread culture of wellness.

Every wellness program looks a little different, but many of them include:

Physical Wellness:

  • Gym memberships or fitness class subscriptions
  • On-site fitness workout facilities or classes
  • Ergonomic assessments
  • Equipment stipends so employees can purchase health trackers (like Fitbits), standing desks, noise-canceling headphones, and similar
  • Healthy snacks and beverages for on-site workers
  • In-office wellness events, like having a massage therapist come in for the day
  • Company-wide wellness challenges, like drinking water or getting 10k steps a day

Mental and Emotional Wellness:

  • A PTO allowance for mental health days
  • Meditation or mindfulness app subscriptions
  • Stress management workshops
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that connect employees with resources like counseling or childcare

Social Wellness:

  • Flexible scheduling so employees can attend therapy or doctor’s appointments or keep family commitments
  • Community volunteer days

Tailoring the Program to Your Workforce

Every team has different needs. A team of web developers could all work at different times of day, logging in whenever they’re ready to focus – but that wouldn’t work in a restaurant or a hospital. And employees’ needs change over time.

HR should put systems in place to learn about what employees want, so you can offer the right benefits for them. For example, you could run regular employee surveys to gather more information. This comprehensive approach can boost engagement and keep your wellness program relevant. A successful program should go beyond benefits and create an evolving culture of well-being.

Building a Culture of Wellness

Wellness activities and subscriptions are a great place to start, but with a little strategic planning, HR can take employee well-being to the next level. To start off, why not train your managers to be wellness champions? You can use a learning management system to give them the skills they need to support their teams. Tools like Paycor Paths allow leaders to customize the subjects they focus on, like time management or communication.

Middle managers can also promote cultural norms within the workplace, like using up PTO or taking breaks between meetings. Encourage them to lead by example, letting employees know they sometimes take breaks. It might sound surprising, but a healthy work/life balance can improve business results. Dennis P. Stolle, JD, PhD, explains, “When workers are suffering from burnout, their productivity drops, and they may become less innovative and more likely to make errors. If this spreads throughout an organization, it can have a serious negative impact on productivity, service quality, and the bottom line” (American Psychological Association).

The Tangible Benefits of a Corporate Wellness Program

These initiatives have wide-ranging benefits, including significant ROI. For one thing, wellness programs boost employee engagement and job satisfaction by up to 89% (LinkedIn). That can reduce turnover, saving money you’d otherwise spend on recruiting and onboarding new talent. Happy workers are more likely to invest their time and energy in your company, which drives innovation.

Better still, wellness programs noticeably improve your workers’ health. They reduce employee absenteeism by 14-19%, and most employers also see a reduction in healthcare costs (Zippia). Instead of spending time, money, and emotional energy on expensive medical care, your team can invest in their well-being by just showing up to work.

Building a Compliant and Inclusive Wellness Program

To design a wellness program that accounts for your team’s needs, you’ll need to collect information from them. However, asking many questions about their health can sometimes be a compliance issue. Fortunately, there are several ways to solve this problem:

  • Anonymous surveys or polls
  • Measuring participation in wellness benefits
  • Open-ended questions about what would improve their work/life balance
  • Analyzing KPIs like absenteeism rates and aggregate healthcare claims data

Your program should also be fair and accessible to all employees. Consider factors like disabilities, religious beliefs, and work schedules. For instance, you could provide healthy snacks that cater to various dietary requirements. Inclusive policies can boost program participation and foster a sense of belonging.

Wellness benefits will change over time to keep up with your employees’ needs. Whenever that happens, make sure to update your team right away. HR should also update the employee handbook with your latest company policies.

How Paycor Helps

Paycor’s tools help HR leaders connect with their teams. Paycor Pulse Surveys collect valuable data anonymously, so you can learn what they need and still promote psychological safety. Benefits administration software streamlines open enrollment, so you’ll have time to implement a comprehensive wellness program.

An effective program should account for your company’s unique needs. Paycor’s customizable solutions empower leaders to support diverse teams and work toward long-term success.