Do you want to have a more engaged and productive workforce? Or spend less money on group healthcare? What about enhancing your corporate culture by introducing additional company benefits that help grab and keep great employees?
We’re talking about corporate wellness. In recent years, companies have started integrating the latest technologies and cultivating workplace environments that benefit their employees’ personal and professional health. It’s not just about screenings and flu shots anymore.
Wellness: Then and Now
In years’ past, wellness programs primarily focused on physical well-being – on a limited basis at that. Employees were encouraged to participate in weight loss challenges, health screenings and vaccinations. While those are good starts, historically there was little accountability for the individual or the organization.
Today, the focus is shifting. Employers are taking a holistic approach to workplace wellness to create an environment where employees thrive. Many managers now approach wellness with the goal of energizing employees about their jobs. They’re taking into account comprehensive health and wellness, aiming to provide wide-ranging wellness resources including financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical health, all of which are applicable to nurturing a healthy personal life. The introduction of technology also allows for a more consistent focus on personal wellness overall while coordinating with organization goals.
Establishing a Wellness Program
Wellness is like any other organizational initiative. You can’t accomplish it all at once and you need to be focused on long-term strategies. Catto & Catto takes an individualized approach to developing a program for each client based on their current wellness culture – whether it is in its infancy or quite advanced. We then determine existing resources that can be leveraged to implement or further a wellness program and what kind of programs would enhance organizational culture. From there, we tailor a program and develop an accompanying communication strategy. In some cases, we start very basic with screenings. With more mature wellness clients, we transition into initiatives that take programs to the next level.
If you’re new to the wellness program atmosphere, here are a few starting tips for employees and employers.
It’s important to recognize wellness as a lifestyle choice. By understanding that wellness is an important part of our personal and professional well-being, balance will come naturally. Find your own reason and motivation to make healthiness a personal priority.
Start with basic wellness initiatives to engage the leadership team. For example, launch a simple nutrition and weight loss challenge for employees to join as individuals and teams. This is an easy way to get early buy-in as well as fostering teamwork and camaraderie among team members. Follow this with an invitation to participate in a company-supported fundraising walk. These types of events help lay the foundation for a broad, comprehensive wellness plan while supporting your community. The critical element is that there is a long-term plan and employees clearly see the company’s commitment to their well-being.
At Catto & Catto, we practice what we preach. We believe in the power of wellness programs because we experience it firsthand. Most recently we were recognized by the San Antonio Business Journal as one of the 2015 Healthiest Employers.
About the Author
Michelle Wiederstein, Director of Corporate Wellness
Michelle brings over 20 years of human resources experience and a profound passion for individual and organizational health and wellness. In her previous employment as a human resources director, she developed and implemented a corporate wellness program that was recognized by the San Antonio Business Group on Health and by the Mayor’s Fitness Council as a gold-level Healthiest Workplace. Michelle’s work and dedication to the wellness program at Padgett also earned them the title as one of the Healthiest Employers by the San Antonio and Austin Business Journals. They were given the Health Work Place award by the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and placed first in the Fit Company Fittest Company Challenge. Michelle holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. She is a current member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the San Antonio Human Resource Management Association (SAHRMA).