Corporate Wellness is No Longer Optional

Corporate Wellness

Corporate Wellness is No Longer Optional

by | Apr 3, 2018

Over the last decade, corporate wellness programs have become one of the most sought-after, and vital investments a company can make in its employees. It has been proven time and time again that investing in the the mental health and physical wellness of your staff will not only pay for itself, but will increase productivity, decrease burnout, and foster team building.

This article will focus on where corporate wellness came from, why it’s so important, and how to implement it.

Corporate Wellness Key Takeaways

    1. Corporate Wellness matters in today’s work environment
    2. Employees are demanding mental and health awareness programs as part of their benefit packages
    3. Benefits accrue to both employers and employees
    4. Total Row offers a complete health program, consisting of team-building group classes, complete membership programs, and corporate class packages

What is Corporate Wellness?

Before we start, let’s work off a simple corporate wellness definition. Corporate Wellness: A wellness program implemented by an employer to improve the health of its labor force. Simply put, this is any program put in place by a company, to benefit it’s employee’s physical or mental health.

Practically, these programs are simple. However in reality, these programs take many different forms, ranging from on-site care to reimbursement programs. Before we dive into the many iterations and options afforded by a strong corporate wellness program, let’s look at how they originated.

The Birth of Corporate America’s Newest Employee Benefit

Corporate Wellness programs have been around for decades, but have only recently started to transform into what we know today. In the beginning, programs were sought after as a small, added benefit for employees. These early programs may have included basic physicals, mental health evaluations, or a monthly stipend to spend on a gym membership.

While a great start, employers soon began to recognize that the improving health and wellness of their staff paid for itself many times over.

Today, those small programs have transformed into an entire industry. Forward-thinking companies began to appreciate and understand the vast benefits it received, in addition to its employees, and began pushing wellness benefits as a crucial part of daily work life. This evolution results in where we are today – corporate wellness programs that can include a cafeteria of mental and physical health options, such as complementary gym memberships, mental health programs, on-site physicals, free massages, and more!

Without an appreciation for the benefits, corporate wellness is just another expense on a company’s income statement. Luckily for all of us, the near- and long-term benefits of such programs are becoming proven and obvious.

Corporate Wellness Benefits Everyone

The beauty of corporate wellness? Everyone wins!

To the Employer

It’s not a secret that unless the employer is on board, this is all for nothing. However, the best companies are scrambling to implement these programs as quickly as possible.
The following is just a small sample of the benefits an employer receives:

Reduced Burnout: Hiring employees is expensive. Training employees is expensive. Firing employees is expensive. Happy and healthy employees will stay at companies longer. This translates to a more effective staff, a positive workplace, and reduced employee turnover. Strong benefits are also annually voted as a top consideration when changing jobs.
Lower Healthcare Costs: This is a big one. Corporate wellness programs cost money – sometimes a lot. However, ongoing healthcare costs even more. These costs don’t just stop at the doctor’s office either. Think poor performance, more sick days, reduced focused, and lackluster energy. Time and time again it has been proven: Corporate Wellness programs will pay for themselves in spades.
Increased Productivity: Regular exercise increases blood flow to the brain. This helps sharpen awareness, and it will increase energy available for upcoming projects and tasks. Effectively managing your weight and health has also been proven to make you happier, smarter, and more energetic.
Team Building: Private, team classes are a great way to create a fun environment and build employee morale! These classes usually have the lowest barrier to entry in corporate wellness, but can create lasting relationships and fun stories. They are also a great way to introduce employees to fitness.

To the Employee

Not to be forgotten, let’s look at some of the benefits to the employee:
Improved Health: This is the name of the game right? It’s time you put your health and wellness to the front of the priority list. With as much time as you spend working, infusing health along the way will keep you focused and on track with your goals.
Reduced Healthcare Costs: See above. Everyone wins in this regard, as the low upfront cost spent on the program will pay huge dividends down the road on reduced ongoing healthcare. Remember, both employer and employee share in these costs.
Increased Energy: Any exercise or physical activity that gets the heart rate up and the blood flowing, will release endorphins and raise your energy level! Don’t just rely on coffee to get you through the day – let exercise provide you with the energy you’ve been missing.
More Fulfillment: Most of us spend more time at work than anyone else (I know, crazy right?). Find a job that rewards you with benefits that help you outside of the daily grind. A company with a strong corporate wellness program will do just that!

How to Successfully Implement a Corporate Wellness Plan

Now that we know how crucial a complete wellness program is, let’s look at some tips for implementing.

Offer a good, diverse base plan

A company’s corporate wellness offering should be diverse across a few different verticals:

    Physical Health: This is a Total Row specialty. Health offerings should be scalable, effective, and enjoyable. Changing your health through a combination of exercise and nutrition is life changing. Never underestimate how important your physical health is to your daily grind.
    Mental Health: Without the mind, the body has nothing to follow. An effective corporate wellness plan will have a strong mental component. This can include extra days off for personal care, private meditation stations, and even complementary psychological evaluations.
    Spiritual Health: There is more to life than just your mind and body. Take care of your spirit by participating in programs that make you feel good, are rewarding, and offer fun experiences.
Tailor programs to individuals

While a corporate wellness program should be broad enough to include everyone, it should also have the optionality to tailor programs to specific individuals. For example, the fitness plans Total Row offers for corporations consider employees as equal to every other member. In this way, a plan is not so broad that is perversely excludes certain employees, who are not able to receive the full benefits they desire.

For a corporation that is looking to build a wellness program, search for partners that have the capability to customize programs for individual employees, ON TOP OF a broad program offering.

Employer and Employee Engagement

One of the most important aspects of a success wellness plan, is engagement. The best implemented programs have strong engagement across the platform and from every level. Without this, the program will lack resources and enthusiasm. Strong engagement will also foster team building, and important goal of any corporate wellness program.

Going Forward

Whether a corporate wellness program starts organically from employees, or from a forward-thinking management, having such a program is crucial to everyone’s health and well-being. If your company doesn’t offer such a plan, get the conversation started today! Write down the most important benefits you require as an employee, and then present to your company in a way that fits their budget. You’d be surprised how receptive companies are to making your work life more enjoyable!

At Total Row, we offer a menu of options to fit the health part of your program. To learn more about Total Row and how we can solve the fitness side of the equation, visit our Corporate Wellness page below!